Think “elf on a shelf” but amphibious.
They are remarkably expressive. A combination of the long limbs and eyes that follow you everywhere, silently judging you. An amphibious elf on a shelf. Why not.
Do you need more supervision? They are easy to make.
You will also need:
- basic sewing kit
- this tip for turning small parts
- cotton fabric (16 X16 inches)
- stuffing – I like wool
- chopstick or similar
- embroidery thread
1. Fold your fabric with the right sides together. Pin one leg and arm along the fold and pin the body and cut out.
2. Refold the remaining fabric, place the arm and leg on the fold and cut out. Pin the oval to a scrap of contrasting fabric and cut out.
Support free patterns like judgy frogs! And keep the awesome free projects flowing.
3. Fold over each bottom edge of the frog body – wrong sides together – and press. Mark all your seam lines.
4. Stitch all seams. You can sew by hand or machine. Leave open as indicated.
5. Trim little triangle section around the curves of the head. Be careful not to snip the seams. Trim away about 1/2 of the seam allowance on the arms and legs.
6. Use the chopstick to turn the body right side out. Use this trick to turn the arms and legs: insert a turning tube or straw cut in half into a limb. Push the straw all the way in.
7. Snip the point of a skewer and dull the end with sandpaper. Use it to push the fabric into the straw.
8. Push all the way through the straw. Save your straw forever to use again and again.
9. Lightly stuff the bottom half of each limb.
10. Fold the limb in half so the toe is 1/4 inch below the open edge. Use a pin to mark the fold location.
11. Using embroidery thread stitch across with small even stitches. Use this method to hide your knots and thread tails. . Repeat for all the limbs.
12. Lightly stuff the upper section of each limb. Leave about 1/2 inch at the top empty.
13. Insert an arm at a slight angle, with the seam facing down, and pin in place.
14. Use tiny whip stitches to stitch it in place along the front and then back. Repeat for the other arm.
15. Pin a leg to the front of the body, leg seam facing in.
16. Stitch to the edge of the front body piece. Repeat for the other leg.
17. Stuff the body. I think rag dolls are best stuffed on the light side but make sure to fill out the head, eyes etc. fully.
18. Pin the back edge and whip stitch closed.
19. Pin the stomach in place and whip or straight stitch around. For adding the details you will find this tutorial on hiding your knots helpful.
20. Stitch a line for the mouth – I used backstitch. Find a free guide to three simple embroidery stitches here.
21. Add buttons for eyes – you can uses any size – the size of the button can change the expression in funny ways. And 4 hole buttons work too – make an X with the stitches.
I stitched through the hands and feet – 3 little lines – for an extra detail on the brown toad. And you could cut a scrap of wool for a scarf. Put him on a shelf and let the judgement begin.