Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to Make An Elephant Doorstop (that's too cute for the floor!)

Can I show you how to make an elephant doorstop that's bursting with so much cuteness you won't want to put it on the floor?
The plan for this sweet thing was to have her hold my little girl Laney's door open, but the thought of kicking it out of the way every time I wanted to close the door made me change my mind... Miss. Elephant is now safely perched on top of Shel Silverstein on the bookshelf and far away from our feet.  Are you relieved?  I am.
Wanna make one?
You'll need:

  • This pattern for the elephant
  • This pattern for the bow
  • Gray felt
  • Pink felt
  • Decorative scrap fabric
  • Needle, embroidery thread and scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Plastic can gripper (that's my secret weapon!)
  • Pebbles
  • Stuffing

First, you'll want to print this pattern (landscape-style at 250%) and piece it together.   I always like to give credit where credit is due, but it was super hard to find out who originally created this pattern.  One source said it was from an old Family Fun magazine, so we'll go with that.

Use the pattern to cut each of your pieces out of felt.  For the ear pieces, I cut two pieces out of fabric a little larger than the pattern so that I could turn it under before stitching, and two pieces out of felt (for the backs of the ears).**

Now the fun part!  Piece the gray felt pieces together and pin them in place. Start whip stitching the elephant together (I started at the back of the elephant's heel and went up towards the butt.)  If you don't know what whip stitching is, check out this youtube video.  (You're going to thank me for the awesome music!)
One quirky thing about the elephant pattern is that it didn't include a tail pattern piece so I made up my own.  I just cut a rectangle piece of felt about an inch or so wide and about 2.5-3 inches long.  I snipped the ends of one of the short sides of the rectangle and then rolled the felt up, whip stitching the roll closed.  The picture above should help you.

The picture below is how I pieced the tail in.  You're looking at the inside of the elephant's butt.
Keep whip stitching around the rest of the elephant.  When you get to the trunk be sure to put in some stuffing WHILE you stitch it closed.  It will be super hard to get the stuffing in there if you don't do it this way.
Now for my secret weapon... pull out that freebie can gripper that you got at the fair (the flexible plastic one) and use it to grip your needle when it gets really hard to pull it through two layers of felt and the fabric on the ears.  Works perfectly doesn't it?!

**Be sure to follow my above instructions about the ear fabric.  If you cut the fabric a little larger than the felt then you'll have space to turn the fabric under before you stitch it to the ear backs (made out of felt).

One more important note... TRUST THE PATTERN!  While you're stitching, line up the pattern pieces you cut perfectly, don't start making adjustments to the pattern while you're stitching because you think it's not lining up correctly.
When you're all done stitching the elephant the underneath will have an open flap for stuffing.  Put the stuffing in first (just a bit in the bottom of the feet too) then fill in the rest of the legs and the underneath belly with pebbles for weight.  

If you're not planning on using your elephant for a door stop or a book end, just omit the pebbles and use only stuffing.
 As a finishing touch, I embellished with a pink bow using this pattern.

 Can't wait to show you the rest of Laney's room!  We're aaaaallmost done.


Christina at I Gotta Create! said...

Oh doggone that's cute! Pinned!

<3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
Wildly Original linky party is open

Christina said...

Isn't that the cutest! I'm so happy she is on a shelf, too! Too cute for the floor! Ok- you have to tell me where you got the polka dot sheets, and those throw pillows, too! They are all so perfect together.

Sarah said...

Thanks, y'all! I'm crafting up a whole room reveal post once I finish a couple more things and I'll be sure to include links to all of my sources.

Katie said...

Super cute! Do you think this pattern would work with a lighter weight cotton fabric. I would use stuffing rather than rocks, of course, and wouldn't expect it to hold any doors open!

Sarah said...

Oh sure, Katie, you could make this with fabric too, you would just have to turn in all of the seams before you hand stitch. You could also try to do as much as you can with the sewing machine then finish up by hand. Send me a picture, I wanna see it! :)

Melissa Rager said...

I'm having a hard time printing the pattern. Did you print in the pdf file? Can you give further instructions? When I went to print to 250% it didn't print everything.

Sarah said...

I have a couple of suggestions. First make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Reader so that you're able to see the PDF correctly. Download the PDF and press print. Once your computer registers the printing job you should be able to change the size to enlarge it to 250%. It should print about 5 or so pages that you'll then have to piece together to make one large pattern. Hope that helps!

fourteenseventynine said...

Where'd you get those curtains? Love.

Sarah said...

I got the curtains from Cathy's Custom Pillows on Etsy. You can see the link here:
I was really pleased with how they turned out! Cathy did a great job.

Anonymous said...

Can you post the name of the fabric you used for the ears? Also did you make your pillows?

Mel the Crafty Scientist said...

This is SOOOOOOOOOOO super-cute! I absolutely LOVE it! : )

-Mel the Crafty Scientist

Taliah Molina said...

How do I print the elephant pattern at 250%?

Sarah said...

You'll want to click on the pattern and begin to print it as you normally would. In your printer settings change it to landscape rather than portrait and 250% rather than 100%. Check your printer manual if that's confusing.

Sara V. said...

Hi! I love your little elephant as well as your blog! I was hoping to make this guy but when I click on the link for the pattern it just takes me to another pinterest site with the pattern but not the .pdf - is there any way you could send me the .pdf or any other way I could get it? Yours looks so great!

Style-Delights said...

During our recent trip to India, my 6 year old saw a real elephant for the first time and she was fascinate by it! I am sure she will love it! Great tutorial!!
BTW, the color palette you are using for the room is so unexpected and so sophisticated!! First time on ur blog, will be back to see the big reveal:-) Hope you are having a wonderful day!
Style Delights Blog

allikat433 said...

I love your elephant and went to print it myself but your link takes me to another pin and when I click on that, it takes me to a webpage, not a pdf. that page does not print correctly at 250%. Any tips or can you please email me your pdf at Pretty Please!!! Baby Charlotte NEEDS this elephant!! ;O)

Anonymous said...

This is so cute! My dog always gets herself stuck in one of the bedrooms and the door closes by itsself. This would be perfect for letting her get out by herself (or let me hear her as she "boffs" for help

Amanda Rollo said...

Oh my goodness, this is too cute! No kids of my own, but I'm totally making this for myself! Love it! I wonder if filling it with rice would be a substitute for the stuffing/pebbles.

Amanda @ Running In Heels

Mick said...

Well, that's a first..."looking at the inside of the elephant's butt." I've started this and plan to put the same material (pink n green harlequin-type) for the ears, nose circle and feet bottoms.

Sarah said...

Haha mick! That's hilarious! So true!!

Microbio Purses said...

So cuuute, this is a must make for me, thank you so much for sharing this and i would like very muchbto pin it but see no pin button :-)

Julie said...

Can somebody email me the PDF for this pattern? I cant seem to print it in JPG.

Corinne Standring said...

Hi is anyone making and selling these? I would love some to give as Christmas presents. E-mail me at

Many thanks.

Sarah said...

I've had a lot of questions about making these for sale. Unfortunately since this is not my pattern, and to honor the woman who did create the pattern, I can not make these for sale. I hope you will enjoy this tutorial for your personal use only. Thanks!

Monica Kumar said...

Hi sarah! (you have the same name as my older sister btw). But could you post something about making cute puppy or dog stuffed animals as well? I know you have the dogs out of socks, but I'm looking for something like this with regular cloth than I can make. Thank You so much! keep up the good work.

haggermaker4 said...

Hey Sarah, is there anyway you can email the pattern template? I have tried everything and cant get it printed.

Tona in Bama

Anonymous said...

OH this is lovely, how lucky I am I have a door that needs stopping? Maybe I'll put some 'shoes' on its feet so I don't feel bad kicking it around on the floor :)

Nicole Henke said...

i think I remember seeing it in FF- I think it was a yarn tail!

Joy said...

thank you he is so cute

Kristin said...

Do you happen to know the final dimensions of this little guy?


Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth Devitt said...

It is really cute. I'm pinning because I may have a granddaughter one day that I could make it for.

Borbála Ivicsics said...

Dear Sarah

Thanks a lot for this post, I love elephants and it was a pleasure to make my own! Check out here my little elephant: .

Ps I made the ears from an old worn out kids soks :)

Betty Davis said...

Hi Sara - I love the things you make and am trying to make the elephant doorstop for a toy for my grandaughter's first birthday, but I'm having trouble. The area between the front and back legs on the elephant do not line up with the pattern for the belly. The trunk underside is also too long. I did what you said to do and trusted the pattern even though it was obvious from looking at them together that they did not seem to match and have cut out my fabric and now they do not fit together. What did you do to make them fit and what should I do? This is all the fabric I have. Your help would certainly be appreciated.

Ianroniel Baluyut said...

Thanks for sharing, I'll look forward to make a version of mine, can't wait to give it a try.

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Barbie Chiu said...

Hi, just passing by to see something very interesting and gladly I've found it here. Thank you for your wonderful article it really helped me a lot. You can also visit my site if you have time.

Candice Ruark said...

I am also having trouble with the underside of the trunk. Are we supposed to spread the excess fabric out along the trunk with little pleats?

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