How to Make Anime Plush Dolls

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You can make a plush doll that looks like this anime character.
You can make a plush doll that looks like this anime character. (Image: manga styled samurai girl image by Anastasia Serdyukova from Fotolia.com)

Plush dolls, also known as plushies or UFO catcher dolls, are popular among anime fans. These dolls are stylistically similar to one another, but usually depict different characters from anime shows and movies. Plush anime dolls, which are often found in "claw" or "UFO catcher" game machines in Japan, can be bought online, but are sometimes overpriced or difficult to find, especially for the less-popular character dolls. Many fans make their own dolls, using basic cloth doll-making skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Picture of anime character
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Flesh-toned flannel or canvas fabric
  • Pins
  • Fabric pencil
  • Thread
  • Home sewing machine
  • Polyester fiberfill stuffing
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Yarn
  • Tissue paper
  • Flannel fabric
  • Felt fabric
  • Fabric glue

Make the Anime Doll

Find a few reference pictures of the anime character you would like to make into a plush doll. Make sure that you have pictures of the hairstyle and outfit.

Make the head pattern. Draw a circle onto a sheet of paper that is as big as you would like the head to be. Draw another circle around the head, 1/4 inch away. Cut along the outside line.

Make the body pattern. Draw a rhombus onto a sheet of paper that is as big as you would like the torso of your doll to be. Round off the edges and extend the top of the rhombus upward into a neck shape. Draw another rhombus around it, 1/4 inch away. Cut along the outside line.

Make the leg pattern. Draw a rectangle onto a sheet of paper that is as wide and long as you would like the legs to be. Round off the bottom edges. Draw another rectangle around it, 1/4 inch away. Cut along the outside line.

Make the arm pattern. Draw a rectangle onto a sheet of paper that is as wide and long as you would like the arms to be. Round off the bottom edges. Draw another rectangle around it, 1/4 inch away. Cut along the outside line.

Measure the top edge of the neck. Transfer this measurement to the bottom of the head, so that you can later leave a gap that is as wide as the neck. Do the same for the arm and leg pieces on the body.

Sewing the Anime Doll

Pin the pattern pieces to your flesh-toned fabric. Cut two pieces of fabric for the head and body, two for the arms, and two for the legs. Transfer all markings to the fabric, using a fabric pencil.

Pin the head pieces together, with the right sides of the fabric touching. Sew 1/4 inch away from the edges, leaving the neck opening free. Do the same to the body pieces, leaving the arm and leg openings free. Also leave the top edge open.

Pin the arm pieces together. Sew 1/4 inch way from the edges, leaving the shoulder openings free. Do the same to the leg pieces. Turn them all right side out and stuff them with polyester fiberfill stuffing.

Insert one arm into the body, through one of the openings. Take the shoulder edge of the arm and pull it out through one of the arm openings. Pin the shoulder edge to the arm opening. Sew 1/4 inch away from the edges. Do the same to the other arm piece and the legs.

Turn the body right side out through the top opening. Also turn the head right side out. Stuff both with polyester fiberfill stuffing.

Insert the neck into the bottom of the head. Turn all raw edges to the inside of the head. Handstitch the neck to the head, using a slipstitch.

Mark the facial features with a pencil directly on the head. Paint over the markings with acrylic paint, using your reference pictures as guides. Let the paint dry completely.

Accessorize the Anime Plush Doll

Cut a ball of yarn that is the color of the character's hair into long pieces and line up the ends side-by-side on top of a piece of tissue paper. Fold the tissue paper over the ends. Run the tissue paper through the sewing machine, stitching the paper and yarn pieces together.

Remove the tissue paper from the yarn "weft" that you made in the previous step. Place the weft on the doll's head so that it runs front to back. Then hand stitch it to the doll's head. Make and attach more wefts as necessary, then trim the yarn into the hairstyle you want.

Cut your original body pattern into the shape you need for a shirt, dress or coat. Add seam allowances of 1/4 inch to all edges, just as you did to make the body piece. Make a pattern for pants or a skirt in the same way.

Pin the clothes patterns to a double layer of felt fabric and cut two of each. Sew or glue the clothes pieces together, 1/4 inch away from the edges.

Cut accessory pieces out of felt fabric, such as gloves, shoes, hats and decorative detailing. Glue the felt pieces directly onto the doll.

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