DIY stuffed animals with many different tools

How to Make Plushies: Step-by-Step Tutorial 2024

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Plushies, those soft and huggable companions, have a magical way of capturing our hearts. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a curious beginner, learning how to make plushies is a delightful journey into the world of fabric, stuffing, and creativity. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unravel the secrets behind crafting your own plush toys. From selecting the perfect materials to stitching intricate details, we’ll walk you through each step. So, grab your favorite fabric, and let’s dive into the enchanting realm of plushie-making!

How to make a plush toy by yourself in 5 steps

How to make a plush toy by yourself in 5 steps

Creating stuffed animals is a much simpler task than you think. All you need is some inspiration and dedicated time, and you'll be able to make your stuffed animal. Follow these five simple steps below to get started!

Step1:Design your own plush

First, let’s begin by designing the shape of the toy. If you’re skilled at drawing, consider creating a three-view drawing of the toy. Three-view drawings provide a better understanding of the toy’s three-dimensional form If you’re a beginner and not familiar with drawing, Photoshop, or design software, consider using AI to assist with your design process. For instance, we recommend trying out Midjourney. Simply input or imagine specific descriptions to express your requirements for the plush toy, and Midjourney will generate four images for you. Additionally, if you have reference images you like, you can create similar designs based on those pictures. Just upload your preferred image as a foundation, and Midjourney will produce themed images consistent with the original material. After filling in the descriptive text, Midjourney will generate images in the same style as the source material.

If you’re interested in learning more about AI design processes, you can explore this informative article. 

write a prompt use midjourney

turn a AI art into real toy

Step 2:Prepare the materials

Prepare fabric

According to your design drawing, you’ll need to determine which fabrics should be used for each part. The following are very common and widely used fabrics, so you can use them as a reference and choose a few you’d like to try.

Cotton: Pure Cotton has a nice touch and durability in most cases. This is why it is mainly used to make clothes. It is a great choice for beginners who don't know how to choose fabrics.

pure cotton fabrics in light colors

Smooth minky fabric: This short-haired fabric is the most common choice for plush toys because it is cozy to the touch and readily available.
Smooth minky fabric
Rabbit Faux Fur: The Rabbit Faux Fur has a soft, smooth, and rich texture while providing warmth.
Rabbit Faux Fur

Felt: Felt has good adhesive properties and does not come loose easily. You can use glue on it if you are not an expert with needles and threads.

PlushThis high quality felt fabirc

Nylex fabric: Nylex fabrics have a unique knitted structure and hard texture, making them ideal for square plush toys.
Nylex fabric
If you’re a beginner, consider using materials like cotton or smooth minky fabric. Both of these are short-pile fabrics, which make it easier to visualize the toy’s shape and are more convenient for beginners to adjust. If you’re highly skilled in making plush toys, you might want to try faux fur fabric, such as faux rabbit fur or other long-pile options. Toys made from these materials will be even softer and more comfortable.

Prepare stuffing

Creating the stuffing for your plush toy is a key step in the process. The fluffiness, feel, and thickness of your stuffed animals are determined by the filling materials. You can choose between polyester filling, which is the most commonly used, and natural fillings like cotton. Polyester filling is soft and fluffy to the touch. To get more support for your plush toy, try using Plastic particles or snow foam particles.

Cotton: Generally speaking, cotton filler products are toys for infants. Cotton is a pure natural, environmentally friendly, and safe material that can be mixed with other harder filler materials.

cotton stuffing

Plastic particles: Plastic granules are frequently utilized in the manufacturing of plush toys. These granules can add weight to a doll's bottom, improving the toy's stability, especially when the centre of gravity is unstable. Additionally, plastic granules can be used to create squeezable plush toys.

Plastic particles

Snow foam particles: As a commonly used filling material, snow foam particles are also used on specific products. It is mainly used in elastic fabric dolls and beanbag chairs. When using it as a filler, the fabric should have more elastic so as to make the most of it since it can be compressed and deformed. However, this kind of filling requires a specific machine. For homemade products, using a funnel is also a method.

Snow foam particles

Prepare Tools

To create a well-proportioned stuffed animal, you should gather supplies such as paper, paints or brushes, and needles with thread. You can enhance your toy's design by adding embellishments such as buttons, lace, or zippers.

 a small box of sewing supplies

Steps 3:making patterns

Embarking on the journey of plush toy crafting is akin to stepping into a magical world. But before we thread our needles, let’s delve into the fascinating realm of topology—the art of transforming three-dimensional shapes into flat surfaces and start the pattern making process.
First, dissecting the toy. Begin by deconstructing your plush toy into its constituent parts—the head, torso, limbs, and any other features.
Second, unfolding the 3D. Now, like an origami master, unfold each 3D segment into a 2D plane. Picture the plush toy’s curves and contours stretching out onto paper. These flat patterns will serve as your guide during assembly.
Finally, fabric Mapping, Transfer these unfolded shapes onto your chosen fabric. Cut along the lines, creating fabric pieces that mirror the toy’s original dimensions. Pay attention to grain direction and seam allowances.

cut by stitch line of stuffed animal

Steps 4:Sew the fabric pieces together

Now, we are ready to sew the fabric cutouts together. You can either use hand sewing or a sewing machine. A running stitch around the edges works well. Follow your pattern and sew the body, arms, legs, and other components. Leave an opening for stuffing.
sew the fabrics

Steps 5:fill in the stuffing

In the final step of making a plush toy, we need to fill your stuffed animal. You can decide how much stuffing you want based on your desired fluffiness, three-dimensionality, firmness, and weight. First, locate the opening in the toy cover fabric. Then, stuff the filling material into the toy cover. Finally, use a needle and thread to close up the opening. Add any final touches, such as embroidered features or fabric paint. Your toy is now complete!
stuffing a stuffed animal


Is it hard to make a stuffed animal?

Not at all! If you start with a stuffed animal that has a basic structure or simple shape, it will be easier than you imagine. Sometimes you don't even need to use sewing skills, just use glue to get things done. However, turning flat pieces of fabric into three-dimensional stuffed animals requires extensive experience. Without proper experience, it can be a bit difficult to achieve the desired shape and create a high-quality stuffed animal.

How long it takes to make plush toys yourself

If you are a beginner in sewing or making plushies, it might take you quite a long time to finish it. But things will be different when your plush is simple and small or you already have a pre-made pattern. You will probably finish it within an hour. In the end, it all depends on your sewing skills, size and the complexity of your design.

How much does it cost to make your own plush?

The price depends on your design, style, quantity, material, complexity, etc. Basically, it doesn't cost any money to design it by yourself. But if you get an independent designer to draw rendering for you, it may cost more than you think. Creating stuffed animals requires materials such as stitching, fabric, glue, and filling, which can cost a certain amount of money and time to acquire. However, the joy of DIY is priceless and makes the investment worthwhile.


Making stuffed animals can be a fun and fulfilling activity that delivers joy to you and others. This creative process not only allows you to craft unique handmade gifts and cheerful home or office decorations but also provides a sense of satisfaction. In this article, we have provided you with a step-by-step guide on how to make stuffed toys, from designing the piece to sewing and stuffing it. This process involves designing the desired result, preparing materials, and sewing the fabric pieces together. If you find toy-making complicated and troublesome, you can consider working with a professional company like PlushThis, which specializes in plush toys and can help you achieve your vision.


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