Thursday 17 October 2013

How To: Make a Mini Felt Hamster & Heart

To celebrate the launch of my new book, Super-Cute Felt Animals, I'm sharing a collection of free tutorials that you can mix and match with the projects from the book.

This week's projects coordinate with the pets in the "At Home" chapter. Today, learn to make a cute little felt hamster and a sparkly heart...

The heart would also look great in pink! I designed a heart to accompany this chapter because “home is where the heart is” but it would be a sweet accompaniment to any felt animal you sew from the book to give as a gift to someone you love :)

To make the hamster & heart, you will need...

- the template sheet from the bottom of this post
- red felt, approx. 2 x 4 in (5 x 10 cm)
- Satsuma orange felt, approx. 3 x 4 in (7 x 10 cm)
- a small piece of pink felt
- white, red, Satsuma orange, pink and black sewing thread
- pink embroidery floss (thread)
- 2 black seed beads (size 8/0)
- round red sequins – approx. ¼ in (6mm) in diameter
- stuffing & a pencil or other small stuffing tool
- needles, pins & embroidery scissors (great for cutting out small felt shapes!)

To make the hamster:

1. Use the templates provided to cut out two feet from pink felt, and one head, one front body and one back body from Satsuma felt. Also cut out a small pink oval for the nose. Turn over one of the feet pieces – this will be the right foot.

I used a single layer of felt for each foot, but you may want your hamster’s feet to be thicker or sturdier – if so, cut out four feet instead of two and sew the two layers together with running stitch or whip stitch in matching pink thread. Or, if you find sewing two small pieces together a bit fiddly you can sew one shape onto a piece of felt and then cut out the second layer after you’ve finished stitching.

2. Place the head onto the front body shape, using the back body shape as a guide to ensure the front and back sections of your hamster will match up when you sew them together. Sew the head in place with whip stitch in matching Satsuma sewing thread.

3. Sew on two black seed beads for the hamster’s eyes, sewing each bead flat like an O with three or four stitches of black sewing thread. Then whip stitch the nose in position with matching pink sewing thread, and sew six small stitches with white sewing thread to form the whiskers.

4. Cut a length of pink embroidery floss and separate half the strands (so for six stranded floss use three strands). Switch to a larger needle if necessary and use the floss to backstitch the hamster’s mouth and a curved line inside each of its ears, as pictured.

5. Sew the feet in position on the back body piece, using whip stitch in matching Satsuma sewing thread. Take care to sew into the orange felt not through it.

6. Place the front and back of the hamster together, and begin sewing around the edge with whip stitch and matching Satsuma sewing thread. Start at one side where the head joins the body, and sew up around the head and then around the body stuffing the hamster gradually as you sew. Turn the hamster back and forth as you sew past the feet to help keep your stitching neat on both sides. Continue sewing until you’ve closed up the final gap.

7. (Optional) Use Satsuma sewing thread to sew a line of running stitch flush around the edge of the hamster’s head from one side to the other. This will improve the shape of your finished hamster. Carefully sew through all the layers of felt and stuffing, so your stitches pull the layers closer together. Turn the hamster back and forth as you sew to help keep your stitching neat on both sides. Finish your stitching neatly at the back.

To make the heart:

1. Use the template provided to cut out two red felt hearts.

2. Decorate one of the hearts with round red sequins, sewing each sequin in place with three stitches of matching red sewing thread. Follow the arrangement of sequins pictured, or plan your own arrangement before you start sewing. Avoid placing the sequins too close to the edge of the felt, so you can easily sew around the edge of the heart in the next step. Arrange your sequins on one of the hearts and then transfer them one by one to the other heart, sewing them in place in the correct position.

3. Place the front and back of your heart together and sew around the edge with whip stitch in matching red sewing thread. Start at one side and sew until you have a gap large enough for your finger. Stuff the heart and then sew up the remaining gap with more whip stitches. Finish your stitching neatly at the back.

Click here to view the template sheet in another window/tab, and print it at 100%.

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many felt hamsters & hearts as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a few photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

Super Cute-Felt Animals is published by CICO Books, RRP £12.99. It includes 35 fun felt projects, each with illustrated step-by-step instructions. It's available to buy at Amazon UK and Amazon USA and many other bookshops.

Please note: the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.

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Twiggy said...

I love the hamster, so cute
Twiggypeasticks x

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks Twiggy! :)

bairozan said...

Love, love the hamster! And the felt color you've used :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

I'm glad you like him - he's one of my favourite of these little "extra" projects.

Unknown said...

I've got to say... I love that sweet little hamster too!

I'm taken by the the idea of making one to go in my bag as a little good luck charm. As long as I don't end up needing it too much and wield it in public whenever I get upset, all should be fine! ;) Actually that doesn't sound like such a bad plan haha.

Anyway.. love your blog as always.

Bugs and Fishes said...

What a sweet idea, Liz! I hope if you do sew a hamster for yourself that he'll help bring you luck :)