Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Stick Man tutorial

We love all things Julia Donaldson and The Gruffalo here, but my kids are equally fond of Stick Man. He's a bit of an unsung hero, is Stick Man, but he's surprisingly easy to make. Here's a project that can be done in about 20-30 minutes, and sewn by hand if you don't have a machine. Easy, cheap, and fun - does it get any better? 

You will need:

-brown felt (I used two squares and had plenty left over)
-brown thread
-3 pipe cleaners
-a black fabric pen, or black thread
-green felt and thread

Step 1: Draw a Stick man

Thankfully, my drawing skills are just about able to cope with this task. I'm sure yours are, too. I used a sheet of A4 paper, and made sure that he wasn't too skinny at any point. Once you're happy with your pattern, cut two out of the brown felt.

Step 2: Fashion a Stick man from pipe cleaners

Fold one pipe cleaner in half for your head and body. Twist another one across the middle for the arms, and join the legs on at the bottom. Be sure to fold the ends of the pipe cleaner back so that the sharp, pointy edges aren't going to stick through your felt and poke any small people.

Pipe cleaner stick man, with the ends of the pipe cleaner folded up so as not to be pointy

Step 3: Give Stick Man a face

Take a scrap of your brown felt, and cut an isosceles triangle that is quite long along the bottom and the right height for Stick Man's nose. 

Stick Man's nose

Position the triangle on Stick Man's head, and sew straight down the middle of it, like so:

Now fold the triangle in half and sew up the sides, like this:

Voila! You have Stick Man's nose. I then used a fabric pen to draw a very simple face on him, but you can embroider yours in black thread if you'd rather.

Step 4: Cut some leaves

Using your green felt, cut out a couple of leaf shapes. These will stick out of the top of Stick Man's head, so don't make them too big. I cut 2 of each of my leaf shapes and sewed them together with the green thread, for extra durability, but you don't have to.

Step 5: Sew him up! 

Starting at the left arm, sew up the side, across the top of the arm, and up the side of the head. Stop to tuck your leaves in, and sew over them twice. Sew down the other side of the head, top of the right arm, and the side edge of the right arm. Stop and tuck your pipe cleaner man inside of your felt Stick Man, and slowly start sewing the pipe cleaner inside.

** Just to be clear: on this project, we're not sewing on the reverse side and then turning Stick Man inside out at the end. All the stitches are visible. **

Continue sewing stick man until all the edges are closed and the pipe cleaner form is completely tucked in. And... You're done! You now have a bendy, functional Stick Man, ready for all sorts of adventures. Just don't forget to always bring him home to the family tree.

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