Channel your inner 80s kid with this retro-inspired unicorn plushie by Kirsty Anderson of A Wooden Tree
Gazing at this pastel-toned plush takes us back to simple times spent eating cereal in front of our favourite Saturday morning cartoons. It would a great gift for a little one, or you could just keep it to nurture your own nostalgia. Use whatever colours and embellishments you like; ours are just a guideline. You don’t have to stick to felt either – how about corduroy, stripes or florals? You can also scale up the size for an XXL pal if you like.
You will need:
• For the body: Two square pieces of mint green felt, 30.5 x 30.5cm (12 x 12”)
• For the mane: Seven pieces of varied, contrasting coloured felt, 6x 4cm (2 3/8 x 1 5/8”)
• For the tail: Two long strips of felt, 1 x 15cm (3/8 x 6”)
• For the tail end: Three felt pieces, 7 x 5cm (23/4 x 2”); Two felt pieces, 6 x 4cm (23/8 x 15/8”); Three felt pieces, 5 x 3cm (2 x 11/4”)
• For the ears: Two felt pieces, 3.5 x 2cm (13/8 x ¾”)
• For the horn: Three felt pieces 8 x 4cm (31/8 x 15/8”)
• Embroidery thread in contrasting colours
• Needle and thread
• Toy stuffing
• A tool for stuffing, such as a knitting needle
• Sewing machine
How to make a felt unicorn toy
Using the templates, cut out the body, rainbow mane, tail, horn and ears. We used seven for the mane, but you can use more or less as long as you keep to an odd number. Cut three pieces for the horn so it can be layered to create sturdiness.
Pin the shapes for the mane so the edges line up with the edge of the unicorn shape, with the tips pointing inward. You can position the colours whichever way you like – we went for a contrasting look.
You can either add the embroidered details now or at the end of your project. We stitched the hearts first then left the eyes and mouth until the end. Mark your shapes with a disappearing marker pen, then backstitch using two strands of contrasting thread. You could also try adding some appliqué.
Back stitch the three horn pieces together so it stays upright. Follow the dotted lines on the template to create a horn effect.
For the tail, attach the two 1 x 15cm (3/8 x 6”) strips by sandwiching them in the middle of the contrasting felt tail end droplets and hand stitch together. There should be one large droplet shape and two ascending sizes on each side in contrasting colours. Back stitch along the centre of the two long strips using contrasting thread.
Tack stitch the rainbow mane pieces to one body piece to stop it moving around. Tuck the main ends under so they don’t get trapped when you sew it all together.
Place the tail and the horn with the raw edges overlapping the body piece. Double-check the horn’s positioning to ensure it points at a good angle when bagged out. Make sure nothing can get caught in the outline stitch.
Now place the second body piece over the top, matching up the outside edges as closely as possible. Pin the horn and the tail first, then pin around the rest of the body.
Start sewing from under the neck and all the way around the edge, using a 0.5cm (¼”) seam allowance. Use a straight stitch set between the 1-2 dial on your machine. Take your time as you sew around the legs and slow down at the horn, as you’ll be sewing through five layers of felt. Leave a 6cm (2 3/8”) gap for turning. Double check you have sewn everything together properly – you don’t want any holes after turning.
Cut little notches on the curves and legs to stop lumps appearing when you turn right sides (RS) out. If you cut too far just go over with the machine again.
Time to turn RS out and stuff. Use a knitting needle, stick or paint brush – whatever you feel works best for you. Turn the head out first and then the legs, taking care with their narrow shape.
Now fill with stuffing. Start with the legs and use small pieces so they don’t get stuck or go bumpy. Use your stuffing tool to help.
Slip stitch the gap closed.
Embroider the eye, mouth and add a few freckles. Then add the ears by folding and anchoring into place.
Browse our full list of Free Craft Tutorials.
Share your crafty adventures with us using #molliemakers on Instagram and Twitter or post it on our Facebook wall. Pinning too? See our Pinterest boards.
About A Wooden Tree
Designer-maker Kirsty Anderson creates unique textile creatures using vintage fabrics. Taking inspiration from the past; wildlife; family and eclectic items that hold history, she creates a whole range of animal art from Giant Narwhals to Mr Stag textile wall hangings. www.awoodentree.com