Sunday, 9 December 2012

DIY Walrus Toy /// Step-by-step handmade soft toy tutorial


Alright, this is my holiday DIY project the last week I've received a total of ELEVEN custom painting orders through my shop, so I have my work cut out for me! But, I still had to take a few minutes to share this. It was so much fun to make.

I decided ages ago that I wanted to make Ben a handmade toy for Christmas (you know, to balance out all of the fisher price crap) and I finally got around to it last week. This was MUCH easier than I thought it would be. It took some time, but it was very simple, and most of it I was able to do while drinking tea and watching bad daytime tv during Ben's naps. Yay!

Here's what you need:

  • One yard of fabric for the body
  • Half a yard of fabric for the tummy, snout and feet
  • Tiny little bit of white felt (I used leftover felt from my Christmas Tree Skirt DIY, but if you are buying it you can get away with asking for a few inches)
  • Black and white crochet thread
  • Stuffing (or a pillow you don't want anymore)
  • Fabric glue
  • Regular thread
  • Sewing machine
You might want to add more details like cute buttons or something, so you can add to this list as you need to. 

Here's how I did it. Very easy, and this time I took semi-decent (non-iPhone) pictures. Go me.


I started by designing my walrus. This is based on my Walrus painting, because it seems to be Ben's favourite. I hereby allow anyone to copy this for personal use in making this soft toy, so go nuts! I used large craft paper and cut out a body shape, an oval for the tummy, etc. You can see above the shapes I used...and these do not need to be perfect, they look better if they're not! So use these shapes as a guideline, but feel free to change them up.


I cut the fabric using the paper templates by tracing around them with a Sharpie.  I used a dark grey suiting fabric for the body and the lighter wooly grey fabric for the other parts. Make sure you cut two pieces for the body, and make them larger than you need (leaving room for a hem). The other pieces should be exactly the size you need.


Next I placed my pieces on the fabric where I wanted them to go, and used a little bit of fabric glue to hold everything in place. Play around with the eyes and other pieces here to get the look you want. 


Time to stitch! Using your black and white crochet thread, hand stitch around the tummy, snout, and feet. The eyes are also finished with stitches, and little details added here and there like little nostrils, foot details and whiskers . This part was really fun and quick, you can really just do as much or as little as you want. Here are a few close ups of the stitches that I did. 




As you can see, my stitches are far from perfect. I like the look of it, but you can be more careful if you want here. You basically just sew it by hand, then knot the thread in the back when you're done. 


Once you've stitched all of your details, you're almost done. Lay the two sides of the body together, with the good side of your walrus facing the second piece of fabric, and pin around the edges as shown above. (Here you can see the mess of hand stitching in the back....doesn't matter though). Stitch around the outside edge all the way around leaving a gap at the bottom for your filling (about 5 inches or so). 

Give it a quick iron, then flip it inside out. Stuff it with your filling (I used about half of the contents of a king size pillow) and blind stitch the opening. And you're done!



So, what do you think? Anyone going to give it a try? This project took me about 2 days to finish, and I only worked on it while Ben was napping or after he was in it's definitely doable before this Christmas!!! More holiday gift ideas here.

Just a reminder, my special A & B readers-only discount ends on December 10th! Use discount code AANDBSTORIES1 in my shop and you will get 20% off!


  1. It's so, so lovely! I would definitively try if I had a child :) Does Mr Walrus has a name by now? :)

  2. this is probably my new favorite thing, like ever. Love it so much! I hope you will consider uploading a photo of it into, I would really love to feature this. Just fabulous!

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    - Jess

  3. This would look cute as a penguin, too! Do you have any ideas on how it could be made as a polar bear? You seem to have more drawing skills than I. :)

    1. You know, it just so happens I have a Polar Bear painting that will give you an idea! I would do the cut out for the tummy still, it's just cute! And then you could do the ears and nose. Here's my polar bear:

      Let me know if you decide to do it, I'd love to see how he turns out!

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  5. Love the walrus, and also love the cloud and tree cushions... any tips on where to find the fabric?

    1. The tree cushion is by Fine Little Day, and I made the cushion using Farg Form fabric that I found on Etsy, but you can buy Farg Form items including pillows online, even on ebay :)

  6. I've just made a walrus using your template. I just love him and can't wait to make more to give as gifts. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us.

  7. I've just made my own walrus using recycled corduroy, felt and flannel. I just love how it came out. I'd love to make a version of your giraff next if that's okay with you. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us.

  8. That is like seriously, seriously, seriously, so stinkin' adorable I cannot believe it!!! Definitely going on the list to make! LOVE!

  9. really, really...its a big inspiration. I need to do one! THX

  10. I so love this and he is so cute. My daughter who is now 11 has been in love with walruses since she was 4. I think we have been to see every walrus in the Continental US. It is so hard to find anything walrus. Thanks so very much for sharing.


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