I love a good stuffed animal, or thirty. I am that adult who still secretly hopes for stuffed animals as gifts. As we speak, there are at least four massive bags filled with my childhood stuffed animals up in my parent’s attic as well as six bags in my studio space, but I call those inventory. Yes, that’s right, I turned my overwhelming love of stuffed animals into a business.
When I was nine years old I made my first stuffed animal- a six-foot-long velvet snake named Amanda Day. Amanda Day still sits stretched across my sister’s bed in all of her vintage curtain glory, complete with her stylish necktie. Since Amanda, I have gone on to make custom cats and dogs, giant sloths, larger than life fruits and vegetables, vintage style teddy bears, and an entire line of giant plush sea creatures. As fun as creating new plush friends is, perhaps the most enjoyable part is answering the age-old question of “so what do you do for a living” with “I hang out in my pajamas making giant stuffed animals” and then watching their facial expressions as they try to figure out if I’m kidding or not.
Yes, I actually do make a living creating and selling stuffed animals, and yes, sometimes I do get too attached to them and have to keep the occasional friend. So what’s the secret to supporting yourself with stuffed animal sales? There really isn’t one. Every sane person on the planet likes stuffed animals, whether for themselves or to give as a gift. I know what you are thinking- how much can you charge for a stuffed animal and how many would you have to sell in order to pay the bills and have a little fun money, or a lot? The price people are willing to pay greatly depends on the style, size, quality, fabrics, and who your target audience is. For reference, my best selling stuffed animal costs $275.
Tip: Thinking about started a stuffed animal business? Download our free business planning worksheets! The Find Your Niche worksheet can help you plan what kind of stuffed animals to make based on the type of customer you want to design for.
In this tutorial, we will design, pattern, and make a two-dimensional plush. Two-dimensional plushes are a great place to start if you are new to pattern making and sewing. From here, you can move on to more intricate patterns and three-dimensional designs, a tutorial we will offer in the near future.
FOR THIS TUTORIAL YOU WILL NEED:
½ yard of fleece fabric
Small portion of felt (scraps or sheet)
Paper or scrap fabric for template
Watch the video below for the full tutorial as well as tips and tricks for photographing, marketing, and shipping your stuffed animals and plushes. Stick around until the end for a breakdown of the three P’s- price, profit, and popularity.
Feeling inspired to create, but perhaps looking for a different project? Check out our list of craft tutorials for some inspiration!