Upcycled T-shirt teddy

Upcycled T-shirt teddy

Turn a favourite old T-shirt into a familiar new cuddly toy by upcycling that too-small but beloved T-shirt into a teddy.

What you need:

  • 1 x small child's T-shirt
  • 1 x T-shirt teddy printable
  • 1 x A4 sheet of tracing paper
  • bag of cotton balls
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • needle and thread
  • pins
  • lead pencil

Number of players:


This is an easy sewing project that will allow your child to hang on to that well-loved T-shirt that is now too small to wear.

Print out the T-shirt teddy printable.  The printable will give you an outline for the teddy.

Trace over the printable's shape and then trace another line, following the contour of the teddy shape,  1cm larger, for seam allowance.

Place the T-shirt onto the table top and roughly pin the traced template onto both layers of the T-shirt.

Cut out the two layers at the same time.

Now that you have two teddy shapes, place right sides of the fabric together.

Use a pencil or black marker pen to mark out a dotted line, 1cm in from the edge. This is where you will sew.  Leave a gap at the top of the head, between the two ears. You'll need this bit kept open so you can turn it right side out, once sewn and stuff it with cotton wool.

Sew along the dotted line using a sewing machine. Go slowly around the tricky bits. You can even manually move the needle through the fabric, by turning the wheel at the side of the machine, when you get to the really tight corners.  Don't forget to leave the gap at the top of the head.

Turn it right side out, through the gap you left.

Now stuff the teddy with cotton wool.  Take care of all the limbs first, you'll need to poke your finger right in there, then stuff his body, head and ears. 

Next, you'll need to use a needle and thread to manually sew up the gap in the top of his head.

You can leave it at that, if you're already tired of sewing. Or, you can go one step further and give Ted a face.

Cut a 3cm piece from the T-shirt yoke and open it out. Trim it into a rough square shape.

Place a small amount (about half a thimble) of cotton wool into the centre. Gather up the corners and edges and use your needle and thread to sew this little piece into a ball.

This is Teddy's nose.  Sew it onto his face.

Now, use a needle and black cotton to sew on some eyes and mouth.

You are all done!

You have upcycled a T-shirt into a teddy. Congratulations everybody!

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