Do your kids love finding all sorts of treasures while on a nature walk?
Leaves tend to be quite collectible with my kids at the moment but they don’t last for very long in our nature treasure box. So this year we’ve used some of our leaves to make these gorgeous leaf soft toys. Perfect for loving, cuddling and taking to bed!
Since they’ll now be enjoying a soft leaf toy at bedtime, I’m hoping I’ll find less nature treasures between the sheets too. I can’t count how many times I’ve found leaves and twigs in their bed. I’ve even found rocks! Hopefully this will convince them to keep their nature treasures in the top of their bedside drawer and cuddle their leaf softies instead!
These Leaf soft toys are so easy to make that the kids can do most of it themselves. They may need some direction from you, and perhaps a little help with the sewing machine, but it really is a simple and fun sewing activity.
Did you know it’s Sew a Softie Month (July)? If you love this sewing activity, you’ll love all the goodies on their webpage!
Okay, let’s get into how to make these adorable leaf soft toys!
Want more? you might like these animals bean bags too with free templates.
Leaf Softie Materials
- Material – I used calico and satin
- Stuffing (we
- recycled the stuffing of an old toy)
- Acrylic or Fabric paint
- Sewing machine (this craft can be hand sewn though)
- Needle and thread
- Plastic eye balls
How to make a Leaf Soft Toy
Check out the video or tutorial below
- Iron your material first. It’s harder to go back and iron it later!
- Collect some leaves that have nice prominent veins. While looking for leaves, pay attention to the size and shape you would like your leaf softie to be.
- Cut your material into a two squares. The size depends on the leaves you will use and the size you would like. Mine were approximately 20cm x 20cm.
- Mix some acrylic paint to your desired color and paint over the under side of the leaf or the side that has the most prominent veins.
- Turn your leaf over, paint face down, onto one side of the material. Place a piece of cardboard over the top and press the cardboard down with your hand. The cardboard reduces the chance of smudging.
- Peel the cardboard off carefully and then the leaf of carefully. You should have a beautiful leaf print on the material.
- You can do the other side of the material if you like so that you have a front and a back. That’s up to you.
- When the paint is dry, paint on the hands and the smile.
- Once it’s all dry again, it’s time to add the eyes. Follow the instructions on the eyes that you bought. Mine were really simple. I made a little hole and they screwed through the material, then I put a little cap on the back. SO EASY!
- Next, turn the two bits of material together with the painted sections facing each other. Cut around the edge, leaving a 2cm gap from the edge of the painted leaf.
- Sew around leaf leaving a gap of 1cm between the leaf and the sewing thread. Make sure you don’t join the sewing. You’ll need to leave a gap of at least 5cm , so that you can add the stuffing.
- Turn the material the right ways around. Be sure to use a pencil to push out any tips.
- Fill your material with stuffing. I recycled stuffing from an old toy the girls didn’t want anymore.
- Lastly, hand sew the hole that’s left over.
I let the kids make their own leaf soft toy and I did make a couple of my own too.
I couldn’t help myself!
It was their first real experience of sewing with material (they’ve see n me sew and they’ve hand sewn leaves before). They did an incredible job and they’re thrilled with their new little leaf soft toys. They actually want to make more, so I think we’ll be making flower softies next!