Project 20: How do you make a toy snail?
Time: An hour or so
Difficulty: Fiddly fingers but totally do-able!
I’m often asked, “how do you make a toy (insert toy of choice here)?” I’ve made lots of toys over the years but never a snail before. It was a new challenge. I like a crafty challenge. It helps me kick my lazy brain into gear!
Did you know that my favourite toy I’ve ever made was a very dodgy, no pattern “winging it” effort that I sewed to accompany the Susan Perrow story I wanted to tell for a little girl who was experiencing separation anxiety. The toy (toys, actually- there were two in the set) was “Baby Bear Koala” and his mama, made from felt like this snail. They are so so so cute that I think everyone who has ever seen me tell the story using these props forgives the homespun nature of them.
But back to snails… I wanted to make a few nature-inspired craft using felt and sewing as this is my favourite crafty thing in the world. When you have a piece of felt and a few basic sewing stitches up your sleeve, you can do just about anything. So can your children! In fact, children (from about ages 4 or 5) will be able to make this toy with just a little help too. Let’s go.
1. Cut a rectangle of green felt, minimum 30 cm long and 6 cm wide.
2. Fold it in half longways and sew up the seam using blanket stitch. Sew the bottom end closed.
3. Stuff it with wool or cotton stuffing.
4. Flatten it a little with your fingers so that the seam runs up the middle of the tube like so.
5. Gently roll it into a shell shape. (Tip: I used a tiny stitch to fix the starting piece to the first point of contact on the roll. This works to stop the centre of the shell slipping out of alignment later.)
6. Pin it in place.
7 & 8. Use blanket stitch to sew up the seam.
9. Cut the body template from your choice of felt colours.
10. Use blanket stitch to sew around the border (not the head). Stuff lightly with wool. Place more in the tail end, and only a teeny bit in the actual body.
11 & 12. Place the shell onto the body, just forward of the tail shape. Stitch the shell onto the top of the body felt.
13. Use blanket stitch to sew the base of the shell to the brown felt to hold it securely in place without wobbles.
14. Cut out a piece of felt for the head like so.
15. Add the leaf-shaped template into the centre of the head piece. Sew the left side first, then add more stuffing.
16. Sew up the right side too.
17. Fold a 6 cm piece of green pipe cleaner in half for the tentacles and add two beads for eye spots
18. Use thread to attach these tentacles to the top of head as shown.
Your snail toy is ready for adventures in the garden with you.
Slippery slimy snails
On the garden rails
Leave a shimmery shine
Behind for us to find.
What toys have you made?
Anyone game to share their patterns with me?
I’d LOVE to see what you are up to!