My poor son. He has spent more hours in JoAnn’s and Fancy Tiger (our local fabric shop) than any little boy should ever have to endure. And he knows his way around an Anthropologie, that one. It’s a little dangerous to take a three-year-old boy into Anthro, what with the teetering stacks of beautifully patterned dishes, just beckoning to him. But duty calls.
And on one such (oh-so-necessary) Anthropologie visit, Burke discovered, and immediately loved, a plushie porcupine. The upside? Now there’s a perk for him in our too-often Anthro trips (he gets to see his little porcupine buddy!). The downside? I can’t afford a $50 stuffed animal.
So I made my own little plushie porcupine (or maybe it’s a hedgehog? I hope it’s a porcupine, because I ordered some darling porcupine children’s lit to accompany this little guy on Christmas morning) for Burke!
Does your little guy need one too? To make one, you’ll need:
-a gray or brown wool sweater, felted (black would work too)
-brown and white yarn
-black embroidery thread
-embroidery thread (optional)
-a tapestry needle
-sewing machine and supplies
1. Cut out one foot ball shape and two offcentered football-ish shapes from your felted wool. This doesn’t have to be exact. Just think about what the general line of a porcupine would be (straight on the botton, curved on the top, and pointy at the nose) and cut out two pieces. Stitch the two ‘back’ pieces together, right sides facing together.
2. Start making the yarn “prickles.” First thread a tapestry needle with brown or cream yarn (or both!). Measure out a length of doubled over yarn and knot the end. Make a loop of yarn along the porcupine’s ‘back.’ Estimate the prickle length and tie off the yarn on the interior of the plushie (just tie them together). Then cut the loop. You should now have four pieces of yarn sticking out of the porcupine back (your yarn was doubled and now you have two sets of prickles). .
3. Repeat and repeat and repeat. I went in rows, making the loops and trimming at the end, but do whatever works for you. Warning- this is tedious! Put in a good movie (or catch up on your shows on Hulu!) with a pile of yarn next to you to make this task less tedious.
4. Leave the pointy front prickle free. Add an embroidery thread nose (just wrap the point, passing the needle through every once in awhile to secure) and embroidery thread eyes.
5. Pin the bottom football shaped wool piece to the porcupine ‘side,’ right sides facing in. Stitch along side. Repeat with the other side, leaving a little opening. You should now have an inside out, unstuffed porcupine (but since you just see the interior, it looks like a mass of yarn knots).
6. Pull right side in through the opening. I embroidered a little yellow heart on the underside since Burke has a thing for yellow (totally optional, of course). Stuff with polyfil and stitch the opening closed.
7. Pair with a the book A Porcupine Named Fluffy if you please (last year, one of Burke’s gifts was a stuffed truck with the books “The Three Little Rigs” and “Hansel and Diesel” and I cannot tell you what a hit they were!).
8. And there you have it. Prickly Anthro knock off goodness for one patient little boy!
With Burke’s handmade present all finished up, my To Make Before Christmas list includes something fabulous for Trish (who actually might see this, so I won’t go into any more detail than that), a baby doll for Piper Jane and a stack of headbands for the Little Miss as well. Fingers crossed that I get to all of that.