Clothes re-cycle: onsie to toy in quick easy steps

It’s all about re-cycling clothes at the moment. It’s that time of year again when we are seeing out the old and welcoming in the new. A time to get rid of all those unwanted items before condemning them to the bin. But how about looking at them from a different angle to see if they can be recycled.

Here is a nifty little idea for turning your re-cycle clothes into something new:

It’s re-cycling clothes that you didn’t want, to give hours of enjoyment to someone else.
Although well-loved, this giraffe onsie no longer fitted, but I could see that it would make a fantastic toy for my pooch.
He loves nothing more than to grab a cushion and carry it around everywhere, so I knew that this would be a hit.
This was such a quick and easy project as all the components were already there, they simply needed altering to fit the design I had in mind.
All that is needed for this project is an old item of clothing, a sewing machine, thread, pins, scissors, stuffing (I used an old cushion) and your time.
To start, cut the hood off the onsie and so that you have the head of the giraffe.
Place the right sides together so that the edge of the original hood joins together.
Sew along the old opening, up to the nose, leaving the bottom open so it can be attached later to the cushion part.
You don’t need to sew along the nose as it gives a more realistic effect and makes it nice and floppy.
Using the leg part of the onsie, place the giraffe head down and mark the width you need for the cushion and then cut two rectangles.
The width needs to be the same as the head, but you can make it as long as you want.

The sleeves:

The sleeves can be used to make the leg and you should get two legs out of each sleeeve.
The cuffs make fab hooves so leave them on.
As giraffes have long legs, I kept them nice and long but made them thinner.
I did this by sewing along the middle of the cuff length and up the middle of the sleeve.
Again, leaving the top open. Make sure you sew with the right sides together.
Then, once you have cut off the excess along the bottom and sides, turn the right side out.

The tail:

The onsie already had a tail, so I just cut it off and it was ready to use.
You can make your own tail with a small piece of fur attached to the end of a thin tube of material.
This is made the same way as the legs, just make sure you tuck the fur in one end.
As you can see above, you should now have all the parts you need to create the toy and all you need to do is put them back together.

Put it all together:

 With the right side facing up,  position the legs at the sides making sure they are inwards.

Put the tail at the bottom, again inwards.

This is so that they are the right way when you sew the top part of the cushion on.

Stitch the legs and tail in place so that they don’t move and it will be easier to sew the top on.

You need to make sure that they are tucked in well.

You don’t want to catch them when sewing around the edge. 

Place the top of the cushion panel, with the right side facing.

Again, checking that all the bits inside are well away from the edges.
Sew down the side, along the bottom where the tail is.
Then, back up the other side, leaving the top open.
Keep the cushion part the wrong side showing, but turn the head so that it is the right way.
Slip it into the cushion part, making sure that the head is centred to the legs.
Stitch the two pieces together, leaving a hole so that you can stuff the cushion.

Turn it the right way out and you can stuff the cushion so that it is soft or hard.

I put some stuffing in the head too.

I also put a squeaky toy in the head as my pooch loves anything that makes a noise.

Hand sew up the hole and sew a line of stitching along the neck so that the cushion will keep nice and firm. 


As you can see, it is a big hit. Pus, I had enough material leftover to make him a cushion that I don’t mind him greeting everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) with.
This was super easy to make, I even re-used the zip so that the cover can be taken off for washing. I also embroidered his name on there to make sure everyone in the house knows it’s Max’s.
Hope you have fun and I would love you to show me your recycled makes.
Please note that dogs should never be left unattended with toys. They should be inspected regularly for wear and tear.

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