Saturday, February 6, 2016

Starfish Buddies :: A Tutorial

When I was planning A's birthday party I knew I wanted to give her friends something small for joining us that day. I looked around in several stores but I wasn't at all impressed with all the plastic, made in China bits I found. So I decided to make something. I thought of making little mermaids or little whales but then this idea came to me and it seemed just right.

You will need:
At least one sheet of felt (one sheet makes 2 buddies)
Embroidery thread
An embroidery needle
A starfish template
Straight pins
A peg doll
Optional: wool or cotton stuffing or pipecleaner

Start by folding your sheet of felt in half. Using straight pins, pin the template to your felt (I drew my own but you can find lots of templates online). Cut out and remove template. Then cut out a 1.5in by 3-3.5in rectangle.

Thread your embroidery needle then stitch a small star in the middle of the rectangle. Pin the rectangle to the front of one piece of your starfish. I like to stick the peg doll in to make sure I've got enough space. Then I just did two rows of straight stitch on each side to hold it snug.

Using the straight pins again, pin the two starfish pieces together. Anchor your thread inside the starfish then begin stitching together using a blanket stitch. If you haven't done blanket stitch yet check out a video tutorial. Stitch all the way around, removing pins as you go, until only one arm remains open.

At this point you can decide if you want to stuff it so it's all puffy or add a pipecleaner skeleton so it's poseable or leave it flat. You might even consider gluing small magnets on the inside so your starfish buddy can stick to your fridge. It's really up to you how you'd like to finish it. I decided to stuff them since these were intended for small hands. I used a pencil to stuff the wool down into arm. Once all four arms were stuffed and the main body was firm, I stitched up one side of the remaining arm. I then stuffed the final arm and stitched it close.

Finish by tying a small knot at the back of your buddy and snipping the thread. Lastly decide if you want your peg buddy plain or decorated. I painted simple hair, drew on some sleepy eyes and decorated the body with washi tape. Stick your peg buddy in his little pouch and your starfish buddy is complete!

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