27 October 2008

you too can have bats in your belfry

In the spirit of fun Halloween tutorials, I offer this cute and easy bat finger puppet. I would have made a ton of these for the shop if the idea had occurred to me sooner, but as it didn't, here's the tutorial and a quickie PDF pattern for you to make your own to put in your favorite little hobgoblin's trick-or-treat bag.

You will need the following materials:

  • a printout of this pattern
  • a piece of black, brown, or dark gray felt, approx 8 x 12 or so (doesn't have to be 100% wool, although that is what I prefer to work with)
  • a small piece of fabric for the insert (like about 2 x 3 1/2 inches)
  • embroidery floss
  • buttons or plastic safety eyes or teeny felt discs
  • a small amount of polyfill or cotton or wool stuffing
  • (optional) fabric glue

1 - Trace the shapes onto tissue paper and cut two of each shape - except for the fabric head panel - out of the felt. Each shape has been drawn taking into account a 1/8 - 1/4 inch seam allowance so no need to add that. You will now have:

  • 2 pieces for the body
  • 2 ears
  • 2 wings

2 - Now cut 1 head panel out of fabric. It should all look like this:

3 - Fold ears slightly and place and pin to head, like so:

4 - Now sew fabric head panel right side down, like so:

As soon as the head panel is sewn onto the one side, remove the pin.

5 - Sew onto other side:

sew onto other side, remove pins

Remove the pin there as soon as you're done.

6 - Before you sew the rest of the body, adjust the ears. Stuff them in slightly to ensure that their tips will not be accidentally sewn together or to the body:

7 - Now sew the body down the front and back, like so:

trim threads and head

8 - Trim the ends of threads and snip around the head so that you can invert it neatly and easily:

head trimmed, ready to invert

9 - Carefully invert your finger puppet with the blunt end of a pencil:

stick blunt pencil end in and invert carefully - remember to be patient

yay! you have successfully inverted your bat

10 - Now detail the face. You can get as creative with this as you wish. There is no need to only use safety eyes. You can sew or glue on buttons, beads, or sequins or sew on and embroider felt eyes. Please bear in mind the age of the recipient. I feel a little silly saying so here because I know all of you already know this, but it is worth mentioning that it is NOT a good idea to use buttons for a puppet for a toddler. You can also draw on a face with fabric markers or fabric paint. Do whatever you like to detail your bat and give it the personality you want.

11 - Once your bat face is done, now stuff the head with your preferred stuffing, be it polyfill or wool or cotton:

detail and stuff

12 - Finally, we get to the wings. Position them and either pin them to place and hand-sew them (using the whip-stitch) or glue them with your fabric glue. I prefer them to hand-stitch them myself:

Now when your favorite little hobgobblin comes a'trick-or-treating you can give them a treat that lasts longer than candy, is more interactive, and won't give them cavities or empty calories. Happy Halloween folks!


grumperina said...

And this is why you get paid the big bucks!!! All those intricate steps.... eehh... I will let the pros at it :-D

Anonymous said...

super cute!! thanks for the wonderful pattern

Elizabeth Magee said...

This is adorable. Seriously. Thank you for sharing. It's such a good idea and would be cool to pass out to trick or treaters if I had enugh time to make them. I guess they'll have to settle for candy this year!

Linda said...

Thank you, thank you!! I love this little bat and can't wait to make him :)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is ADORABLE!!! I'll be linking to this little guy.

Kirsten said...

Thanks!! This is so adorable! I must make many!

Danielle said...

Stop!! I do not have time for any more crafty projects ...

Anonymous said...

Love this! How many of these can I make between now and Halloween? Thanks for the great pattern!

Amy said...

*dies of cute*

I'm with grumperina, though. The bag, I *almost* thought I could manage. :)

G Leigh said...

My daughter, who loves to make softies, was soo excited when she saw this tutorial. She just took the pattern off the printer and ran! I can expect bats to be eeking about any minute now...

Thank you for the lovely pattern and tutorial. Being able to share crafty things with my daughter, that SHE thinks are cool, means a lot to me. So thank you for the quality time opportunity! Hugs - Ginger

Kat said...

Thanks for yet another amazing tutorial. I am clearly going to have a problem from keeping all of your tutorial posts new. I can't wait until epsilon is a little older and we can make softies together.

tiennie said...

You do awesome tutorials! My kids would love these! Thanks!

heidi said...

thanks so much for sharing this with everyone, I just love your finger puppets and made the bat this morning for my 5 yr old. Are you doing BB Boston again this year? If so I plan on stopping by early :)
I also posted a link to this entry on my blog today.

Wonder Woman said...

how cute is this! I posted a link on my blog!

Patty said...

I love this! Thank you so much for showing us how to make this cute little bat.

Anonymous said...

This is incredibly cute! Too bad just today I ran out of felt - perhaps there'll be a Halloween miracle? do those exist?

Thanks for posting such an adorable pattern!

fpgirl said...

You're welcome for the feature! Can't wait to see what the deer comment inspired:)

Stephanie M Larsen said...

Thanks so much for sharing. LOve it!

Ylime said...

Love this! I've linked back here from my blog, The Handmade Experiment in a post all about handmade toy tutorials. Would be great for when I'm reading Stella Luna to the girls. :)

The Handmade Experiment