Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TUTORIAL: Bring Your Child's Drawing to Life - Part 1

Have your children ever dreamed up a creature they wished could come to life? Mine sure have. As promised, here's my tutorial on how to make a softie from your child's drawing.

1. Select your fabric.

If your child's drawing is in color, your fabric colors are chosen for you. I got lucky with Brighton's sketch. Rather than asking Brighton what colors he wanted, I showed Brighton what fabric scraps I had available and he picked which fabric he wanted for each body part. No trips to the fabric store to buy colors I didn't have. :)

2. Sketch your pattern.

Sketch your pattern onto the plain side of a paper grocery bag.

Make adjustments if necessary. Here I widened the monster's arms so I'd have room to stuff and turn them. Brighton also asked me to make the arms more similar in shape than he had drawn them.

3. Add the seam allowance.

Tape two pencils together, making sure the tips are even with each other. Measure the distance between the tips. This is the size of your seam allowance.

Use one pencil to trace over the drawing you made. The other pencil will add the seam allowance.

4. Cut out pattern and fabric. Remember, you need a front and a back of each piece.

Cut out your pattern. But sure to cut along the seam allowance line!

Pin your pattern to your fabric. Remember, your softie needs a front and a back. Cut two pieces of fabric - one with your fabric right side up (this will be the front) and one with your fabric wrong side up (this will be the back).

Since my monster's arms are a different color than his body, I had to cut the arms of the pattern and follow the shape of the body. (I'm sure there's a better way to do this, but this was the best I could think of at the time. It works out in the'll see.)

After I cut fabric for the main body, I taped the arms back on and added a seam allowance for where the arms will connect to the main body.

Then I cut off the arm pattern and, using the same steps as for the main body, cut fabric for the arms.

Now you should have the pieces you need for the front and back of the softie. In my case, left arm (front and back), main body (front and back), and right arm (front and back).

Please click here for Part 2 of the tutorial. Also, I love comments! If you have any questions or suggestions, please send them my way. :)


  1. It's always wonderful to find new ways to showcase and preserve our children's artwork. This is super. We've done this with our children. Thanks for a terrific tutorial. I'll be linking to it on Facebook :)

  2. This is such a great idea.. and yours turned out totally cute! I love the tip for adding the seam allowance. Thanks!

  3. very he loves it.

  4. This is an adorable idea! I absolutely <3 it!

  5. So FUN! I did this same type of thing about 7 or 8 years ago, only I took a picture my son drew and I painted it on a jar. He still has that jar in his closet filled with pens, and he is now 18!

  6. This is amazing, amazing, AMAZING!! Do you do work for others? I have a drawing my 5yr old did at Halloween that I would LOVE to have done!