How to create a toy monster out of upcycled fabrics

In the lead up to World Environment Day, we've teamed up with Kate Makes Monsters to show you how to upcycle your Kip&Co bedding fabrics into the cutest little toy monsters. Kate shows us in a step by step guide how to upcycle your excess fabrics and give them a second life as a monster, ultimately saving them from landfill. 

 

 

 

Step 1. Choose which fabrics you'd like for each body part

- Choose contrasting colours and patterns for a more eclectic look. 

- If using a fabric that frays easily it's best to back it with another fabric, either the same or a different one.

- Up-cycle old pre-loved clothes, op shop finds, Kip&Co bed linen and draw strong bags, cushion covers, tea towels etc. 

 

 

 

Step 2. Cut out the body parts from the templates provided

- Cut out the body parts from the templates provided and place & pin them onto the desired fabrics. Click HERE to download the templates. 

- Extend the arms and spikes if desired.

 

 

Download your toy monster template

 

 

Step 3. Hand sew the mouth, eyes and pocket

Mouth:

- Pin and trim the teeth to the shape of the mouth.

- Place the mouth and teeth on the front body fabric and pin into place (remember to leave enough space from the edges for sewing the toy up at the end).

- Take a needle and some thick, contrasting colour thread and hand stitch the mouth and teeth to the front body piece.

Eyes and Pocket (on the back):

- Using either the same coloured thread or a different colour, sew two crosses - one small and one bigger just above the top of the mouth for the eyes. Stitch across the threads to ensure the threads aren't easily un picked.

- Using either the same coloured thread or different colour to the eyes and around the mouth, hand sew the pocket to the back body piece of chosen fabric. You can always create your own pocket out of fabric or use an existing pocket from an old piece of clothing. You can also add additional, sensory elements such as ribbons and I also have added initials of the owner before (as per the photograph).

 

  

Step 4. Machine stitch the toy together

Double sided elements eg spikes/hands:

Lay and pin each piece together ensuring the desired sides of the fabric you want to have showing are facing each other (once sewn you will then bag them/turn them out).

HINTS: - You can use a chopstick or similar to help push the fabric into the points.

Assembly of all elements

Lay the body parts in reverse on the inside of the body so that when it's bagged out/turned out the desired fabric is facing the correct way. Finally, before stitching, lay the front body piece on top (in reverse) and pin into place. All of the elements ie the arms and the spikes should all be sandwiched within the front and the back body pieces.

- Please see photographs for reference.

- Use a simple straight stitch on a high tension, ensuring you maintain an approx. 1cm seam allowance from the edge the whole way around.

- Use a back stitch to begin the sewing and also when you end (this will ensure it won't undo when you stuff it).

- Leave a gap in the sewing between the legs to be able to bag/turn it out and stuff it.

 

1. Decide where you would like your body parts eg arms and spikes.

2. Turn them face down in the position you’d like them.

3. & 4. Cover the front body and other body parts with the back body fabric and pin into place.

Sewing double sided pieces together (in reverse and then you bag/turn them out).

 

Stuff the toy and then close up with a ladder stitch or as best you can to make sure no stuffing can escape and it is strongly held together.

 

 

Step 5. Finishing - ironing and stuffing

Once Bagged/turned out, iron to ensure any creases are removed.

 

Kip&Co x Kate Makes Monsters Toy Monster 

 

 

HINTS:

- Use newly bought toy stuffing or shred and use old unwanted clothing. You could also use the stuffing out of any unused cushions or soft toys.

 

Read more sustainability tips on the Kip&Co blog.