You do not need to throw away a beloved plush toy just because it has experienced an accident or looks kind of old. Even if you are not very crafty most children—even some adults--would be happier with a repaired old friend rather than not having the toy at all. Use some of the following tips to help you mend a plush toy before giving it up to the trash bin.
Sew ripped seams back together. This is the most common type of injury to a beloved plush toy that is also the simplest to do even if you are not a seamstress. Use a thick or strong needle for large stuffed toys; use a thinner needle for small ones. Sew the seams back together with a clear polyester thread with a knot at the end. Push your threaded needle through the inside of the rip so that your knot will end up on the inside. Pull the needle through one side of the tear and back through the other side; pull on your needle so that the two sides come together. Continue until the hole is closed and tie off the remaining thread as close to the plush animal as possible. If your animal is the furry type, comb through the fur to help cover your stitches. Make sure to push any overflowing stuffing back into the toy while sewing.
Brush clumpy or matted fur with a wire dog brush. Be very gentle and do small areas at a time to see if this will perk up the fur. Place the plush toy in the dryer on low setting for four to five minutes to re-fluff.
Replace or add new stuffing to give your stuffed animal a pick-me-up to restore chubbiness when the stuffing goes flat or clumps up. Open a side seam and add polyester fill or fluff then sew it back up again. Many older stuffed animals are filled with toxic foam or plastics, according to Bobvila.com. If you are going to pass along your plush animal to a young child you may want to consider replacing the old stuffing.
Use pieces of felt or sew on new features like an eye, nose and mouth if they are missing. Try your best to match colors and fabrics when possible. If the plush animal that needs mending has stitched features, replace them with embroidery thread. Make an upside down triangle for the nose and an inverted Y under the nose to make a mouth. Go to a craft store or the craft department in a department store to find a variety of eyes that can be added if your toy is missing an eye. A crescent shaped red piece of felt can be used to make a tongue if needed. You can also use fabric paint to paint on any features that are needed.
Match any missing fur or fabric as close as you can to the original with new material. If the stuffed animal is becoming threadbare in spots, hot-glue or sew on a bright red fur heart to cover up the area if appropriate. Sometimes you have to use a bit of imagination with missing pieces and be creative; you or your child may love the result.
Things You Will Need
- Long, thick needles
- Small needles
- Clear polyester thread
- Embroidery thread
- Polyester fill
- Fabric paint
- Wire dog brush
- Fake fur