Friday, 8 December 2017

DIY Squeaky Stuffed Christmas Elf Dog Toy

This DIY squeaky Christmas elf softie dog toy is part of our three-piece set of Christmas triangle toys.  Triple the squeaky holiday fun!  There are no doggy play pictures in the post as Humphrey is counting down the days until his Christmas morning squeaker fest. :)  Here's how he was made:

The materials and craft supplies used in making the toy shown are:

  • Fabric
  • Scissors (I used scissors, pinking shears for the hat band, and embroidery scissors for trimming)
  • Stuffing
  • Squeakers
  • Sewing Supplies Can be fully hand sewn if you wish, but will be much quicker/easier if you have a sewing machine. Basic sewing skills are needed - nothing too fancy or difficult!

    To make your own Elf toy, you will need pre-shrunk/washed sturdy fabric, mixed fabric/fleece scraps for embellishments (a great use for offcuts!), complementary coloured thread, stuffing, squeakers (optional), and scissors/sewing tools. Softie dog toys follow the same basic principles as you would use if sewing (or buying) for a small child - no loose parts to nibble free and everything securely stitched into a sturdy toy. 

    • Cut two identical triangular* pieces from sturdy base fabric (don't forget to include seam allowances). You can shape and scale your toy to best suit your fabric and your pet. If you are working from a large piece of fabric, you can also cut the toy as a large diamond and fold at the bottom instead of having a seam.
    Note: I used one triangle of green and one triangle of red for each of the three toys in this coordinating trio, and decided to have the elf be green in contract to Santa's red.  If your base fabric is a different colour to what you would like for your elf hat and/or jacket, you can cut fleece to cover these sections. If used, sew these into position before attaching the other embellishments detailed below.
    • Cut a piece of sturdy beige fabric (or fleece) for the face. It should be tall enough to go from under the hat to under the collar/beard, and wide enough to span the toy so that the edges are all well attached and hidden underneath the fleece embellishments.
    • Cut fleece for the face, hair, hat band, collar, and/or any embellishments you wish.  My Elf was styled to coordinate with Santa and the Christmas Tree, but you can get creative and make any design you'd like for the elf face, hair, clothes, etc. My elf has a double hat band (wide white, narrow pinked red), holly spring and bell embellishment, and jester-style collar with red/green triangles and golden bells. The face is styled similar to Santa's, but with different hair and a smiley pink mouth instead of the open mouth moustache/beard combo used with Santa.  
    • Position the beige face and collar pieces.  Pin to secure and incrementally sew into place.  I opted to sew the top edge first (it's hidden under the beard later anyway) and then stitch the edges of the triangles.  Layer the bells into position and sew securely into place.
    • Position the beard. Pin to secure and sew securely into place. 
    • Position the hair. Pin to secure and sew securely into place. I added extra lines of stitching to the hair, which are primarily for looks, but also ensures the pieces are very well attached.
    • Sew the bottom layer of the hat band into place, ensuring that the band covers the top edges of the beard and face. 
    • Continue layering to best suit your embellishment placement, incrementally sew the eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and any other extra embellishment pieces securely to the base.
    • Layer (or fold) your triangular pieces so that the toy is right/embellished side in.  Pin to secure. 
    • Sew together along the seam allowances, leaving an opening gap for inversing and stuffing.
    • Trim any excess threads/material and inverse to right-side-out. 
    • Add stuffing and (optional) squeaker(s).
    • Sew to securely stitch closed the gap.
    • Trim any threads if/as needed.
    • Optional: If you wish, rub the nose/cheeks with a little bit of lip tint, blush, or other non-toxic tint to create a slightly rosy glow.

    Remember, toys are for supervised interactive play. Know your dog before giving him or her any new toy. Some dogs would rather eat their toys (whether store bought or handmade), and that's dangerous. Toys are for playing and playtime is safer (and more fun!) with you involved.  You can read more about dog toy safety here.

    Our squeaky toy trio is not only a cute combo, but was an efficient way for me to cut multiple triangles with less fabric waste - win win!  See the details at Squeaky Christmas TreeSqueaky Santa Claus, and Squeaky Christmas Elf. Woofs! 

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