With a baby nephew who’s only 6 months old, I have a feeling that I’ll be sewing a lot of plush toys over the next few years. I’m talking: dinosaurs, aliens, robots… I’m basically making all the cool stuff that I fear is too childish to go in my own home! 🙂 But that’s what being an uncle is all about, right? Doing the fun stuff and spoiling my nephew with handmade gifts!
This is where my Cricut Maker is gonna be invaluable. Thanks to its awesome rotary blade attachment, it allows you to cut fabric with complete precision. Total game-changer! Below, I’ll talk you through how to use this feature to make a plush toy in ANY shape.
Also – I totally understand that not everyone has a Cricut. Don’t worry! It’s still absolutely possible to follow this tutorial to make plush toys. Just cut out your fabric shapes with scissors instead. But if you sew a lot, then I’d massively recommend investing in a Cricut Maker. It’ll change your life. Seriously.
How To Easily Make Plush Toys In ANY Shape
For this tutorial, I’ll be making a dinosaur plush toy with felt spikes. Admit it – you want one. 😉
What you’ll need
- Cricut Maker with Rotary Blade attachment
- Cricut fabric mat
- Cotton fabric (Cricut have a great range, perfectly designed for their machines)
- Felt (optional, depending on the level of detail you want)
- Matching cotton thread
- Soft cushion stuffing
- Sewing needle
- Embroidery needle
- Embroidery thread
What to do
(If you’re not using a Cricut Maker, then you’ll first need to cut out two identical fabric shapes – then skip straight to part 2, below.)
Part 1: Use your Cricut Maker to cut out the plush toy shapes
1. First thing’s first: you need to choose your plush toy design. A great place to start is the image library on Cricut Design Space. It’s bursting with images in pretty much any shape you could want – and, of course, it synchs to the Cricut Maker. So there’s no need to edit the image or faff about with uploading it. Winner! For my plush toy, I selected a simple (but oh-so-cool) dinosaur shape.
2. Use the contour tool in Cricut Design Space to ensure that you only have the outline of your shape selected. To do this, add the image to the canvas. Then click the “contour” tool (beneath the project layers on the right). Select the outline of your image, and make sure that any other details are unselected. Then click okay. Ta-dah! You’ll be left with a simple outline of your image.
3. Load up your Cricut Maker, ready for cutting fabric. You’ll need to install the Rotary Blade tool and stick your fabric to a Cricut Fabric Mat. Use a brayer to roll out any bumps or wrinkles in the fabric.
4. Follow the on-screen steps to cut out your plush toy shapes. You’ll need to cut out two cotton pieces: one for the front; one for the back. Make sure you print one of them backwards (or flip the fabric over on the mat)!
5. Carefully remove the fabric from your mat. It can really help to use the Cricut tool set for this! Once removed, give the fabric pieces a good press to remove creases.
6. If you are adding any details (like the white felt spikes for my DIY dinosaur plush toy), now’s the time to cut them. Follow the same steps as above, but change the settings of the cut to felt (or whatever fabric you’re using).
Part 2: Sew the DIY plush toy together
1. With all of your pieces cut out, it’s time to get sewing. Start by laying one dinosaur shape flat onto your table, right side facing up. Lay the white felt spikes on top, pointing down towards the dinosaur’s feet. Make sure they’re very neatly aligned, so that they all touch each other and they hand slightly off the edge of the cotton piece.
2. Pin the felt pieces in shape, then sew them down with a loose tacking or basting stitch. Sew this as close to the edge of the cotton as you possibly can. Remove the pins as you go. (This step is simply to ensure that the felt spikes don’t slip when we add the next piece of cotton.)
3. Place the other cotton dinosaur piece on top of the felt spikes. Align it as neatly as possible with the bottom cotton piece. Pin in place, all around the edge.
4. Starting at the bottom, next to one of the feet, sew ALMOST* all the way around the edge of the dinosaur shape (removing pins as you go). Use a straight stitch and sew approximately 0.5-1cm from the edge. When you sew over the spines, make sure you sew further inwards than the basting stitch you’ve already added. This will mean that the basting stitch will end up inside the plush toy – so there’s no need to remove it!
*Don’t sew all the way around! Leave approximately 5cm open.
5. Turn the entire plush inside out through the hole you left at the bottom. Use a blunt item, like the rubber end of a pencil, to push the smaller sections through.
6. Using soft cushion stuffing, fill the DIY plush toy as tightly as you can. Make sure you get right into the corners so the toy is nice and plump!
7. Next, use a ladder stitch to hand-sew the opening closed. To finish it off, you can stitch some beads onto to your dinosaur to make eyes. I chose not to do this, as I didn’t want to risk have small loose parts (since I’m giving it to my baby nephew).
This basic method can be used to easily make plush toys in any shape. And since Cricut Design Space has LOADS of images to choose from, the only limit is your imagination! You could even use this method to make scatter cushions or pillows. I totally want to make a whole collection of dinosaur cushions now…
Don’t forget to Pin this image to save it for later!