Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Olaf the snowman DIY

"Hi! I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!"

Today I made this toy out of some scraps we had around the house, it took probably 3-4 hours in all, but I work slowly!

We are big Frozen fans here, I recently shared how I drew Elsa here and we must have watched it about 8 times already. I've been dreaming up Olaf since I found a lone white baby sock last week. I had originally planned him to be only about 10cm tall, but I ended up making him 19cm tall excluding the hair.

I didn't take photos as I went along, but I can describe it and show you close ups. I started with a child's white sock, and various white items to stuff it (a linen napkin, a baby sock, a fleece mitten, some fluff from a pillow). The nose is orange felt repurposed from a Gruffalo costume I made some years back. The arms and hair are brown acrylic yarn. The buttons are black acrylic yarn and his eyes are beads. His eyebrows are brown thread.

I made sock monkeys years ago,  and learned a bit about hiding stitches and forming a face through that.

I began by stuffing the sock, keeping in mind the body shape I was after. The fleece mitten rolled into a flat ball and made a good head. The baby sock made the chest and the linen napkin and fluff made the main body. For the feet I just rolled up the excess sock and sewed into two feet. I shaped the neck and tummy divisions by sewing a running stitch around the circumference and pulling it tight. 

I then braided six pieces of the brown yarn for each arm, tying off the end with some knots and leaving the thumb separate to the fingers. I sewed the knot into the shoulder area and hid it by pulling the sock together over it.

The buttons were three pieces of black yarn, knotted two or three times and sewn in like the arm was, pulling the sock across to hide the loose ends. Make sure to sew through the knots too so they can't be pulled out! His hair was three knotted strands of yarn sewn into the top of the head and frayed and trimmed to look like branches.

I wasn't sure about shaping the face, I had initially thought of inserting some cardboard for the top lip, but that looked weird, so I sewed it all, using the nose site as a main anchor for the stitches. I pulled the eye sockets back through the back of the head before sewing the beads in place. I would have used white felt for his teeth, had I any, so instead I just shaped around them using the thread to define. I also used anchoring sites on the cheeks to pull the smile in, giving more shape to the face. His eyebrows were simply sewn three times over using doubled thread.

To hide the work at the back of the head, I pulled over the sock edges to smooth it out, as seen in the third photo above. The nose was the most fun to do, just a cone of orange felt stuffed with more orange felt and finished well before being sewn onto the face.

It was very exciting for my 2 year old watching Olaf come together,  and he was delighted when I was finally finished.

And Olaf looked pretty happy to be in his hands too! All together now "Bees'll buzz!" Are you tempted to make one too? Put a photo up on The Mama's Hip Facebook page here we'd love to see! 

Elsa, I mean,
Nee x


  1. Oh wao Niamh. Amazing handywork, my son would love an Olaf, I'm not sure it would look quite as good yours though by the time I finished with it!! Well done, really looks like the real deal :-)

  2. That is amazing, very well put together!


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