Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Making a Purse out of a Stuffed Animal

So, this might be a bit picture heavy, but I don't know how to properly illustrate my directions without visual aids, probably because I find visuals very helpful. SO, here we go.
Difficulty: Easy

What you will need:
Stuffed animal
Zipper [one that will fit into your plush]
Fabric [for liner]
Something to use for straps. ie; ribbon, fabric, backpack straps....
Needle and thread
'D' rings
Sewing Machine

So, firstly, start off with a plush you don't mind cutting up.
Any size will do, mine is 15 inches long.
The first step is to make an incision where you will put the zipper. I decided because my plush lays down, to put the zipper along the seam on 'her' back. If you have a plush that looks like it sits or stands, you have the option of turning it into a backpack so you can place your zipper horizontally but it's all to you're discretion.
After that you need to take out the stuffing, but please leave the stuffing in the head and arms/legs alone. You can sew the limbs shut if you choose to do so. I didn't because I'm not that concerned about it.
I decided not to buy a zipper because I had an old purse with the perfect size zipper, so I cut it out carefully and set it aside for later use.

See, my zipper is ready for application, but I need to make a liner to put my things into.
I decided to recycle my reusable canvas bag that I use for groceries because my family accumulates them in bulk. I guesstimated on my measurements so my lining came out to be roughly 8 inches in width and 10 inches in length.
Please figure out your measurements according to you're stuffed animals measurements.
I then folded it width wise 'hot dog' and sewed 2 of the edges to make it into a pocket.

I used really simple stitches and tied it with a french knot. I'm not an expert sewer, just so you know.

I then turned my pocket inside out and lined it with my plush's opening like so.
Which, with the same simple, weaving in and out stitch, I sewed the lining to my plush's opening.
After It was secure all around with no gaps or open spaces, I tucked/pushed the lining into my plush.
The next step, which is the most difficult step was to sew the zipper to the plush's opening.
SO, I overlapped the edge of the plush/lining over the edge of the zipper and using the same simple stitching, I sewed the zipper on.
After finishing one side, this is how the underneath of the sipper looked.
I then opened the zipper and finished the other side.

Voilla! The zipper is sewed on. This is how the end product looked open.
My sewing skills aren't the best or the neatest, but I make sure my stitching is secure. If anything needs to be reinforced, please do so.

Now, on to the straps. I do prefer using backpack straps which you can cut off an old backpack or purchase at you're local fabric store, which I did. I bought a yard which was perfect for the length I was going for.
Please measure the precise length you require for your plush because it might differ from mine.
I also bought 'd' rings to adhere my straps to my bag, which is optional but I wanted to experiment....
If you plan to use the 'D' rings, you must sew the straps to the rings by over lapping the straps over the ring and sewing it shut around the apparatus. Like so.

Then repeating on the other side, making sure that they will both be facing inwards.
You can also incorporate 'd' rings into you're strap to make them adjustable.
But you will have to find a separate tutorial online for that, I'm sorry.
Now, you can attach that with a piece of fabric or by sewing them on directly to the plush. Please use you're preferred choice.

I opted for directly sewing them on, because I got lazy. But, it worked out just fine.
I just sewed into the plush and wrapped it around the ring and repeated it over and over until it was securely fastened on. I harshly tugged on it to make sure it wouldn't rip off.
If you're sewing on the strap directly, I would just use a simple stitch but sew over the strap a good number of times to make sure it won't rip off and give it a good few tugs to make sure the sewing job was done well.
Don't forget to repeat the same process on the other side. [Doubly so if you're putting on 2 straps to turn your plush into a backpack]

Ta da! It's finished!

I'm quite fond of the finished product!
Here are a few examples for making a backpack. There are optional placements for placing you're straps.

Minnie's are on her hand and connect to her feet so it looks like she's hanging on to one's shoulders.
While Scrump, is a basic backpack that hangs off one's back.

Though, mind you, these 2 are purchased from the Disney company.
I hope this tutorial is helpful and enjoyable. I know I really enjoyed making my purse!


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  2. This is so helpful, I plan to try it. Thank you <3

  3. I've been looking for this scrump backpack for AGES but no there any chance you'd sell me yours if you no longer use him?!

  4. I've been looking for this scrump backpack for AGES but no there any chance you'd sell me yours if you no longer use him?!

  5. useful information on topics that plenty are interested on for this wonderful post.Admiring the time and effort you put into your b!..Eddy the Teddy bear