Things You'll Need
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- Polyester fiberfill
- Embroidery floss and needle
Making stuffed animals is an enjoyable and creative hobby. A stuffed dog is particularly fun since dogs can be made to resemble different breeds or just be a silly, imaginary dog. You can make a dog out of a variety of fabrics from fake fur to simple calico. The most important thing to remember before creating a stuffed animal is to make it age appropriate. If the dog will be for a young child, make sure your design does not include any small buttons, snaps or wires. It should be durable and washable. Above all, make your stuffed dog soft and cuddly.
Find a pattern for making a stuffed dog. You can find stuffed dog patterns online (see Resources) or in craft and sewing books or in magazines. You can even draw your own pattern onto paper and cut out the pieces.
Decide on the fabric you will use for your dog. Fake fur, terrycloth, felt or cotton are good choices for fabric. Purchase the amount of fabric called for in your pattern directions.
Cut out the pattern pieces. Pin them to your fabric with straight pins and cut out with sharp sewing scissors. Dogs usually have separate pattern pieces for body sides, underbody, ears, tail and, sometimes, legs.
Remove the pattern and pins then pin the fabric, right sides together, with straight pins. Sew pieces together with the sewing machine according to pattern directions. Remember to leave an opening for the stuffing. Clip the seams around the curves close to the stitching line. This will give the dog a curvier, natural shape.
Turn the dog right side out. Stuff the body with polyester fiberfill. Use the end of a pencil to get the stuffing into small areas more easily. Stuff the dog firmly so he can stand up on his own when finished. Fold the stuffing opening and close it with straight pins. Sew this opening shut by hand with a needle and thread.
Attach the ears and tail to the dog’s body with straight pins. When you are sure the position is correct, sew by them hand with a needle and thread.
Embroider the eyes, mouth and nose with black or dark brown embroidery floss. Or, sew on felt pieces for the eyes, nose, mouth, tongue and paw pads. Add a cute bow or collar with ribbon for your dog.
If you are making a stuffed dog for a child, make sure there are no small pieces which can come off and potentially cause harm.
Megan Allen is an experienced freelance writer with a B.A. degree in English. She has several years of expertise in the following subjects: interior design, home improvement, crafting and genealogy, and has published articles online at eHow.