Rice-filled felt creatures


I recently decided that I'm going to give things I made as gifts to family and friends, instead of giving them store-bought stuff. There are three types of gifts I'm planning to make: food (honey from my bees, dried figs, and pickles), whittled wood items (spoons and other utensils), and felt creatures.

The green 3-eyed monster on the left is from a class I took a couple of years ago with my daughter. I really enjoyed making it, and it only took about 40 minutes to complete. I made the blue squid on Saturday, using felt purchased from Michaels (29 cents a sheet) and embroidery floss pilfered from one of Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching kits. Again, I spent about 40 minutes making it. I chatted with my family as I cut and stitched it together, filling it with uncooked (duh) rice. My daughters joined in on the fun, making their own creations. It was a pleasant way to spend time together.


  1. Mark, let me say that you are a pretty neat dad! And not too shabby a stitcher. Very cool creatures and what a wonderful way to spend time with your kids! Trust me, they’ll remember it when they’re in their 30’s.

  2. my girlfriend has a little fabric pillow filled with rice, and she puts it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and uses it as a hand/foot warmer. i don’t know how different fabrics would fare in the microwave, but it’s another nice idea for folks who live where it gets cold.

  3. what’s the ideal filling?: rice? bran? wheat? buckwheat? I’ve seen various for toys and microwavable neck pillows etc., but what is the very best stuffing? (apart from the shriveled husks of the damned souls you’ve sucked dry and cast aside in your daily terrible purpose?)

  4. “what’s the ideal filling?”

    I don’t know! I wanted to use lentils, because they look like little flying saucers, but all we had was rice.

    1. Buckwheat hulls are light, and their shape gives them some stick-to-it-iveness which makes things stuffed with them more moldable.

  5. I know it’s a typo, but I think the neologism* “itme” is perfect for this use. And “whittled wood itmes” is some of the best, most vivid poetics I’ve heard in a while; it made me smile.

    *Is there such word as typologism?

  6. If you’re gonna get all crafty with the buckwheat hulls, you might as well throw in a little lavender or rosemary or hops even.

    The hops would be a nice touch in a stuffed animal that was a bedtime companion, as the herb is traditionally used in pillows and is supposed to make you feel sleepy.

    Wow, after such a Martha Stewart moment, I feel the need to go play a video game or something, and kill a monster or crash a car. Maybe I’ll go play Kingdom of Loathing and beat up a hobo until this domestic feeling passes.

    But it’s rollover, damn it.

    1. you might as well throw in a little lavender or rosemary or hops

      Or fir balsam. I used to have a fir balsam pillow. Every night was a walk in the enchanted forest.

  7. I picked up a small ceramic pig at the craft store today, as well as a small wood box. And my mother is photo-albuming. Mark, I think you’ve infected us with craftiness.

    The pig fits perfectly within the little box. I am painting it to give to a friend who is quite fond of pigs. His name is Richard.

    -Ponders making a felt cow accompaniment-

  8. “Maybe I’ll go play Kingdom of Loathing and beat up a hobo until this domestic feeling passes.”
    ahhhhhh! ya gotta love her!

  9. I feel so trashy sitting here with this bottle of ale when I could be sleeping in an enchanted forest of fir balsam, hops and lavendar scented pillows. I need to get it together!

  10. Carefull when you stuff things with rice, beans and so so on: Moths like that stuff, too, and that is rather disgusting.

  11. when i was a kid i made a little toy filled with rice, and it attracted weevils. so, if your house is prone to those little buggers, be careful.

  12. Regarding moths and weevils — yes, I’m sure you are right. If you click on the photo and look at the full-sized photo, you can see holes in the green creature. Some kind of bug chewed holes through it to get to the lentils inside. What else can I fill it with? Sand? Sawdust? rice mixed with some kind of herb that repels bugs?

  13. Mark, why not mix in some cedar sawdust or chips with the filling. It will keep the moths away because the resin is horrible tasting to them.

  14. Aranzi Aronzo has a few books on how to make dolls and various cutesy stuff as this. Pretty simple for kids, I’ve got a couple of the books but haven’t gotten off my duff to start making stuff yet.

  15. Would shredded paper work? Like from a paper shredder. Bugs probably wouldn’t like that, and also, recycling.

  16. I find the cheapest rice is best, because it’s the least ricey smelling. I stir a few drop of lavender oil in with the rice before using it to add weight to lavender bags.

    Nice felt toys by the way.

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