Stuffed Animals


Today I’m writing about Abby Glassenberg’s new book, Stuffed Animals: From Concept to ConstructionI’ve been meaning to make a project from the book, but of course I haven’t gotten to it yet.

I think this book does a fabulous job of actually teaching you how stuffed animals are made with 52 lessons, 16 projects and 30 pages of patterns. So if you want to design stuffed animals yourself, you can simply use the construction lessons and add your own ideas. And if you just want to make the stuffed animals exactly like she’s done in the book, you can do that too. I really like books that teach you the “why” and not just the “how” of sewing. Abby shows you how different construction techniques will result in different shapes and how simple modifications can make a big difference in the finished design. When working with three-dimensional projects, I’ve mostly experimented with shapes through trial and error because I could never be sure about how something would look until it was stuffed. Abby helps take the guess work out of the process, allowing you to create the result you want with less frustration.

You can make these cute animals shown here, plus more:


Abby makes projects that are practical — toys that can actually be played with and loved, like her new Emma doll, made of washable fleece. She gives a lot of thought to how the toys will be used and the best ways to make them safe for kids. You can see below how she uses clear instructions to demystify the process. For instance, below she shows you how to install those stuffed animal eyes to give your projects a professional look.


You can watch the book trailer here. Abby is also author of The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make and SewAnd be sure to check out her blog While She Naps, where she writes informative and thoughtful posts about making stuffed animals and running a creative business.

Monster Tooth Pillow

It’s Celebrate the Boy Month at Made and Made by Rae. Dana and Rae are serving up tons of boy tutorials, ideas and inspiration over on their respective blogs. Plus they are offering giveaways and other good stuff. So be sure to check it out. They asked me to make a special project for boys, so here it is! Yes, I have two girls, but we still love monsters. This little monster pillow will gobble up your child’s baby teeth and spit out money — what could be better?

Measuring about 6″ x 6″, this little pillow is a cinch to make and I’ve given you the full tutorial with templates; just click on the image below.

Be sure to check out all of the great ideas on Made and Made by Rae during Celebrate the Boy Month.

Printable Presents

Looking for last-minute presents for the little ones? Or just something to keep them entertained during these long, cold days? Here are some printable toys that would make great gifts — and even better, you don’t have to leave home.

Little Red Riding Hood and House, $5 from Maria Lunate.

Mini Me Paper Dolls Winter Collection, $6 from Lily & Thistle.

Paper Gas Station from Paper Doll by Dignav, $4.

Pink Cottage Dollhouse, $10 from Fantastic Toys.

Play Shop, $7 from Neskita.

Paper Doll Set, $10 from Sarah Jane Studios.

For free printable toys, check out these websites: Fantastic Toys freebies, Canon’s Creative Park, The Toymaker, Robert Sabuda’s instructions for pop-up cards, and HP’s Creative Studio.

See more printable toys and crafts  from my earlier posts here and here.

Handmade Gift of the Week



I have such memories of these candle pyramids from my childhood.  We had several of the pyramids that my grandmother must have bought in Germany.  You light the candles and the tiny wooden figures spin around in a magical way.  These are amazingly beautiful and well-crafted.

The Wooden Wagon has a large selection of candle pyramids and has offered readers of The Long Thread a 10% off coupon for the month of November (enter the code TLT1109 at checkout).  They have lots of beautiful wooden toys including my favorite — Flade wooden figures, plus nutcrackers, Fagus trucks, Ostheimer wooden toys, and a great selection of high quality art supplies for kids.  So check out their site and buy some new family heirlooms.

Please note: This is not a paid advertisement. The Wooden Wagon sent me this coupon code and since I love their site, I thought I’d pass it along to you! If you have a shop of handmade goods, I’d love to share special discounts for the holidays. Just send me an e-mail at thelongthreadATgmailDOTcom.

Kraftwork this Thursday


If you live in Atlanta, be sure to come out this Thursday for Kraftwork at Young Blood Gallery from 7-10pm.  This event takes place on the first Thursday of each month and is sponsored by the Indie Craft Experience.

This week, I will be there with my six-year-old who has designed her very own set of animal softies, Eva’s Art Sewing.  Around the beginning of the year, she started asking me (repeatedly) if she could have a job.  So we came up with this plan.  She’s the designer and I’m the laborer.  I wanted to encourage her entrepreneurial spirit, so we’re donating half of the proceeds to the World Wildlife Fund and I’m letting her keep half to buy art supplies.  We would really love it if you can come out to see us!

Here’s a photo of her horse.  She drew the design, then I digitized it for the embroidery machine, we sewed it and stuffed it.  Eva created the background scenery for this photo.