We could not be more delighted with our newest tutorial by Maker Team member Penny of @happystitchery. This stuffed alpaca combines all of our favorite things: felt, pom-poms, embroidery, color and cute! Shall we take this adventure together? Alpaca the snacks.
Who doesn’t love an Alpaca? Inspired by the animals native to Peru, this adorable little creature is sure to bring a smile to your face, with his pom-pom halter and colorful felt blanket! If you have never made a three dimensional stuffed animal before, don't worry. This tutorial will guide you through each step and help you make a felt alpaca of your very own.
Skill Level: Advanced
Time: 5 - 6 hours
For Alpaca -
One 12 x 18” sheet of Violet Wool Blend Felt
Two 9 x 12” sheets of Oats Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12” sheet of Blush Wool Blend Felt
One Aqua Felt Pom-pom, Extra Small
One Fern Felt Pom-pom, Extra Small
One Lemonade Felt Pom-pom, Extra Small
One Magenta Felt Pom-pom, Extra Small
One Tangerine Felt Pom-pom, Extra Small
Embroidery Floss - DMC 31, 224 and 948
Stuffing tool (optional)
Doll Making Needles (optional)
Alpaca Pattern (click to download)
For Blanket -
1. Gather your materials and tools, download the Alpaca Pattern above and let’s get started!
2. Print the Alpaca Pattern onto freezer paper. Cut out the pattern pieces and iron them onto the corresponding felt colors shown on the pattern. Cut out felt pieces.
3. Take pieces H (head) and G (body). Align pieces to fit together but not overlap. Use Wonder clips to keep them in place while you whip stitch them together using one strand of DMC 948. Repeat with the other pieces H and G.
4. Next, pick up piece M (belly). The front of this piece is flat and the pointed end is the back of the belly. Align piece I (front leg) with the curve of the front of the belly and whip stitch together using one strand of DMC 948. Take piece J (back leg) and align with the curve at the back of the belly and whip stitch together using one strand of DMC 948. Repeat this with the second set of I and J, so that both front and back legs are attached to the belly.
5. Now that you have the belly/leg piece and both side panels done, it is time to start piecing the alpaca together. Take one of the side panels (H/G) and the belly/legs piece (M/I/J). Align the back leg from the body piece (G) with the back leg (J). Use clips to keep in place. Repeat with the front leg (I). Once in place, whip stitch using one strand of DMC 948 starting from the top of the back leg around the contour of the belly and front leg, ending at the alpaca's neck.
Take piece O (top of head). Line up the flat end of this piece under the alpaca's chin against the flat end of piece M and whip stitch together with one strand of DMC 948. Switch to DMC 224 to whipstitch the side of piece O to the blush part of the head (H).
6. Repeat this with the other side panel of the body. Leave an open section along the back of the neck to add stuffing. Take small pieces of Polyfil and, using a stuffing tool or chopstick, stuff all four legs starting at the feet and working upwards. Then, stuff the head until it is three dimensional and symmetrical. Continue stuffing the body. Be careful to not forcibly stuff or overstuff as this with put strain on the stitches.
7. Once you are satisfied with how the alpaca looks, sew up the opening along the back.
8. Take cowl and hood pieces K and N. The scalloped edge of piece N will go at the front of the cowl to give the alpaca a fringe look. Whip stitch piece N to piece K using one strand of DMC 948 along both sides. Once the hood is finished, slip over alpaca's head.
9. The alpaca is now starting to take shape and it's time to start adding details!
10. Take two E (front hoof) pieces and, using one strand of DMC 31, whip stitch along three sides. Leave a gap on the top of the hoof to slip onto the foot. Once the hoof is on the front foot, stitch around the top of the foot to make sure it does not slip off. Repeat for the other front hoof using the other two E pieces.
Repeat the process with F (back hoof) pieces.
11. Take two A pieces and whip stitch along one side using one strand of DMC 948. Wrap this connected piece around the front leg, making sure it is pulled down to hide the top of the hoof, and whip stitch along the other side of A. Repeat for other front leg with remaining pieces of A. Using the same process, repeat with B pieces for back legs.
Then, take two C pieces and repeat the process. Layer these on top of A on front legs. Use same method with D pieces for back legs.
12. Take one S (inner ear) piece and one T (outer ear) piece. Make sure the blush colored piece (S) is inside. Put pieces back to back before using one strand of DMC 948 to whip stitch around the edge. To give the ears a bit of shape, squeeze slightly before adding a stitch at the bottom to hold the shape. Using pins, position ears on either side of head and sew into place.
13. Use a couple of pins to secure piece L (tail) to the rear end of alpaca with scalloped edge at the back. Using one strand of DMC 948, back stitch the tail into place, then remove pins.
14. Use six strands of DMC 31 to sew a triangle on the face for a nose, followed by a smile underneath. Use both pieces of P (eyes) and a couple of pins to position the eyes until they are straight and symmetrical. Use one strand of DMC 31 to back stitch them into place. To add a little sparkle to the eyes, use three strands of DMC 948 to make a french knot and sew on both eyes in the same position.
15. The alpaca body is now finished and it’s time for him to be decorated! Cut two lengths of twine 35" each. Hold an end of each piece and tie a knot just slightly off center.
16. Drape the twine on the nose of the alpaca, with the knot on one side. Tie a loose knot on the other side of the nose and tighten until it fits. Pull the twine to the side of the face and make a knot just in front of the ear. Repeat on the other side of the face. Take both sides of the twine and tie at the back of the head.
17. Take all four pieces of twine and bring them to the front, with two pieces on each side. Using a needle with an eye large enough for the twine, string a different colored pom-pom on each piece of twine. Tie a knot in the middle and then string the fifth pom on all four lengths of the twine. Tie a knot beneath the pom, then leave 1-2" of twine hanging beneath the pom. Trim any access.
Blanket - The blanket is adorned with a cross stitch pattern that looks like the colorful rugs of Peru. You can create your own pattern for the blanket or follow steps 18-23 to use the pattern provided.
18. Cut a piece of Magenta felt measuring 6 x 3.5" for the blanket (Q) and a piece measuring 3.5 x 1" for the belt of the blanket (R). Cut a piece of 14-count waste canvas to the same size as the blanket (6 x 3.5"). Use clips to hold the waste canvas and felt together while you stitch the blanket. Find the middle of the waste canvas before stitching the cross stitch pattern. Use two strands of embroidery thread for the design.
19. Once you have finished the blanket, it is time to remove the waste canvas. Be careful when removing the waste canvas not to stretch the felt. Scissors and tweezers will make removing the waste canvas easier. You are now left with a cross stitched felt blanket.
20. Take a piece of six stranded embroidery thread in one of the colors from the cross stitch design. Make a loop and take one strand of thread in the same color and tie in a knot at the top of the loop leaving a long tail. Take one strand of thread in a different color and wind this around the top of the loop multiple times before tying a knot. Cut off the excess. Leave a small tassel and trim the end. This is the first mini tassel for your blanket. Repeat nine times for a total of ten tassels.
21. Sew five tassels on each side of the blanket, alternating colors.
22. Take the last piece of Magenta felt (piece R) and use a backstitch and one strand of DMC 600 to sew one side to the bottom on the blanket. Drape the blanket over the back of the alpaca, making sure the middle of the design runs along the back seam. Sew the other side of the blanket belt (R) to the blanket.
Your alpaca is now finished! I hope you have had fun making this little guy.