Thursday, 7 March 2013

DIY Stuffed Animal/Toy Handbag

Luci said to me the other day, "Annika, you really are a fan of things that are other things." Well put, I thought. My favourite things that I own are a pair of ear muffs that look like hamburgers (which you can see on my instagram here).

So I was enviously viewing pictures from the 15th Harajuku Fashion Walk (envious because I just missed out on getting to join in! Ahh!) and loving the bags a lot of the lolita girls were holding, which looked just like stuffed toy animals (and probably were). And then I thought it would be pretty easy to make one myself! So here's a cute little DIY for you all :) If you have a loved childhood toy that just sits all lonely at the back of a cupboard, then why not perform a little surgery on them, so you can carry them around with you everywhere you go but not look like a (completely) mad person for doing so?
Alright, so I have to admit that I could actually never do this to a loved childhood toy, either. I ended up finding the most unloved toy in our house, making absolutely sure that no one had any kind of sentimental attachments to it whatsoever, and I still felt really bad doing this. I felt properly evil. Like I was destroying happy childhood memories.

I think the best option for this DIY - if you've got weird guilt-problems like me - is to visit a thrift store/op-shop and pick something up there. ANYWAY that's enough neuroticism - here is the DIY!

A plush toy
Fabric for bag lining
A belt/matching fabric for your bag strap
Thread and a needle
A zipper
An evil heart that makes you okay with cutting up plush animals that did NOTHING WRONG (alright, I need to stop anthropomorphising my toys now or this is never going to get off the ground)

1. Using a pair of scissors, cut down the back of the toy, the same length the your zipper is. I cut down the seam that was already there. You can also take this time to remove any tags on the toy.
2. Remove the stuffing. You might want to leave some stuffing in so the bag maintains it's shape - I left the stuffing that was in the seal's head, arms and tail. Then, if you're a hoarder like me, keep that stuffing somewhere safe to use in a future project sometime :)
3. Now you're going to make the lining for the bag. I just used a scrap of left-over fabric I had - but you could also use an old shopping bag or lining from an old coat, etc.
All you need to do is cut the fabric to the width of the slit you made in the toy, fold it over, and sew down both sides like this: that you have created a pouch. Then turn it inside out.
4. Match the lining up with the edges of the opening in the toy. If you've been using a sewing machine thus far, you'll probably want to hand-stitch the lining on, especially when you do the second side (you'll see why when you get up to this point yourself).
Hopefully you will end up with something like this...
Which you then just need to push down back into the toy...
And your bag is now taking shape!

5. This is probably the most difficult part - adding the zipper.
Make sure that your zipper is the same length as the opening you made in the toy.
Un-zip the zipper, and place it upside-down on one edge of the opening, like this:
And hand-stitch it onto the very edge of the opening, right where the lining meets the material of the toy. Repeat this on both sides.
6. You're almost there! You just need to add some kind of a bag strap. I'm using an old belt for this part - but you could use a strip of fabric, straps off an old bag or backpack, a piece of cord - anything that you think could work!
This is the belt I used (I cut off the bow before sewing it on):
You just need to insert the belt ends into each end of the opening in the toy - there should be a small hole at either end of the zipper you inserted. Then you just need to sew the belt to the bag, using a (thick) needle and thread.
What you do next is pair your new bag with your favourite novelty pieces, and pretend you live in Harajuku.
sweater - c/o Koogal (10% off use ANNIKAVICTORIA)
skirt - c/o Sheinside
shoes and suspenders - Body Line
headband and necklace - Claire's

If anyone tries this out, please send me pictures!

Love love love,


  1. I am finding it very difficult to attain an evil heart.

  2. Poor seal! Ahah! It's a shame that I'm terrible at stitching... Great job you've done :)

    1. You saw the pictures of my hand-stitching, right?? I'm no good at it either. you could totally do it!

    2. i cant hand stitch.. can i just use a hot glue gun?

    3. I'm so sorry I never saw this comment, so I didn't reply. You could :)

  3. I thought you are already adorable when you are wearing your wigs but you look so much more adorable with your new hairdo Annika! Love it to death. And that DIY bag is just genius. :)


  4. So creative!!!!!!!! I'm gonna try! <3

  5. OMG I thought I was the only one who had weird guilt problems with doing anything to my toys.. Everytime my mother throws one of my old stuffed animals to my dog for him to play with, I glare at her and put the toy back on the shelf. I have issues, man.

  6. Very nice!

  7. Oh goodness that is cute. And can I say I love your suspenders?

  8. Oh my god I would never be able to cut open a stuffed animal... but it looks so cute when you do it!! Reminds me of Quvenzhané Wallis and her dog purses!!


  9. Oh my god this is the coolest idea ever!! Why did I never think of it?!

    Francesca xo

  10. Another Amazing DIY!! Your DIY's are always so good! I must start doing some of them :D Attempt to anyway :P aha , loving your new hair do by the way! xxx

  11. cute diy!

    alice c'n'r

  12. Just think of it as heart surgery for the animal :P

  13. When I saw this look on lookbook, I was thinking: Oh my god, where Annika bought this amazing bag!? And now, I visit your blog and I'm like: yea, silly me. it's DIY <3
    It's AWESOME.

  14. ha ha =D this DIY make me laught so much ! I´m planning to make bag like this for years, but...I just can´t...hurt...any cute stuffed animal T_T =D

  15. this is just awesome!

  16. Really cute! I can't wait to try it!

  17. This bag is so adorable! Very inventive. Also, I can't get over how gorgeous your hair is. It matches your style and personality perfectly!

    <3 Melissa

  18. My shark bag's zipper broke a couple of weeks ago and I think it's time for a replacement. C:

  19. I made a bag from a toy rabbit a while ago!

    A difference was that I made it a rucksack, with two straps on the back, and the hole was in the back of the bunny's neck, so the head was like a lid?

    Either way - cuddly bags are really cute!

  20. I like that- 'things that are other things' Also now I really want to make a bag like that :)

  21. Glad i'm not the only one with strange attachments to cuddly toys XD Such a sweet idea, but I'd definitly find it hard to do ;) x

  22. Ahhh I think these bags are too cute. You know, I have some stuffed animals that I do not play anymore, and maybe that's a good idea reuses them even seeming childish things (but I do not care, I think fluffy). Your was been lovely, I'll try to do my own Annika. Thanks for the inspiration.

  23. This is such a great tutorial, I love it!!

  24. hahahahah! i did the exact same thing to a pink mouse a few month ago (none of my plush animals were harmed. thrift store find...) and took it to me almost anywhere after it was finished.
    a few weeks ago i was going to a nighclub here in hamburg (yeah! this post is coming aaaaaaall the way from germany! :D ) and had my mouse-bag with me when they asked for my id at the door.
    i was holding my id in front of me for minutes and the doorman didn't say anything. so i asked if everything was alright and he just stumbled "sorry. i was so sidetracked by what seems to be your bag..."
    okay. that seemed funnier in my head...

    1. Hahaha, it was a funny story. I am looking forward to taking this one out in public ;)

  25. This looks so cute but there is no way I could do this. I'd feel like a terrible human being!


  26. sweet tutorial <3 and your outfit is TOO CUTE OMG

  27. this is such a great idea! Imagine all the possibilities! :) and while I understand why you'd feel guilty for "hurting" the toy, just think that it'll get to see more of the world this way :)

  28. I really love this tutorial, I have too many (can there really be too many) childhood bears, cats, etc.

  29. Greaaaat idea! i'm going to do this with the toys of my cousin!
    hahahh <3

  30. This is SO cool!
    Omg which toy should I start with ~ a zebra or a panda?
    ...Wait I already have a leopard pencil case::D

  31. Hi! Thanks for this tutorial. My friend and I used some of our larger plush toys to make these bags and we're planning on wearing them to our junior prom. It turned out great! We now have seal and porcupine bags :)

    1. :) :) :)
      Also - omg please send me a picture, they sound amazing!! :D

  32. Oh, I wish I could be this creative!

    This is pretty sweet, and so cute.

  33. So creative! Now, I'm planning to kill some of my stuff toys xD


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