Time requiredComplexityTools &Supplies

6 hours

Moderate

Common for leathercraft

I’ve been thinking about designing a series of free stuffed animal patterns that could be made with thin leather and was inspired by the current Chinese new year festivities to make one and celebrate the year of the ox.


Requirements


Skills

Tools

  • X-Acto knife or scissors
  • Applicator for the dye (optional)
  • Awl
  • 2 needles

Bill of Materials

  • 2/3 oz veg tanned calfskin
  • A little piece of some kind of thin black leather or felt
  • Leather dye (optional)
  • Leather finish
  • Polyester stuffing

Pattern

The free pattern can be downloaded here.

Walk-through


Printing and cutting the pattern

The PDF for the pattern can be found here.

Print it on A4 paper and cut-out all the pieces.

Make sure that the pattern is not resized by checking your print settings. You can check if it was printed properly by measuring the test box on the pattern to ensure that its sides are 5cm long.

Print on thick paper to make it easier to trace the shape on the leather. 200g/cm2 and above is ideal (as long as your printer can handle it)


Tracing the pattern onto the leather and cutting out the pieces

Cut-out the different elements of the pattern.

Trace the outline of the pieces onto the leather and mark the stitching points.

You will need:

  • 1 regular main body and 1 mirrored main body (flip the pattern piece over to achieve this).
  • 1 belly & legs.
  • 2 regular horns and 2 mirrored horns (again, flip the piece over to trace those)
  • 1 forehead.
  • 1 neck.
  • 2 ears.
  • 1 tail.

Finally cutout the different pieces.

Cutout two eyes from your black leather/fabric/felt as well.


Dyeing the leather

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This step is optional. You can of course choose to use the leather in its natural state.

Apply the desired dye to the different pieces of the ox.

I chose to go with blends of red and white dye to stay on theme with Chinese new year.

A leather finishing product is eventually applied to seal the pigments.


Perforating the stitching holes

Following the markings that your prepared earlier, poke trough every stitching hole to get the pieces ready for stitching.


Stitching the horns

You will see in those pictures that I used a kind of “reversed” cross stitch (reversed because the crossing of the threads is inside instead of outside). It took a really, really long time to stitch like this which is why I recommend a baseball stitch instead as it should be easier.

Start by stitching the opposite components of the horns together.

Don’t cut the thread when you get to the end. We will use the remaining thread to attach the horns to the main body.

Stuff them to give them a proper shape.

When the horns are stitched and stuffed, stitch them their respective main body side.

Pay special attention to their orientation so that both sides end up being symmetrical.


Adding the eyes and ears

Glue the eyes on with leather cement.

Add the ears by stitching them through two of the horns stitching points.


Stitching the belly to the sides

Start with one side, being very careful about aligning the stitching hole between the two pieces.

When you reach the back leg and complete one side, start stitching the opposite one.

Stuff the legs before moving on to the next step.


Stitching the neck and the forehead

Stitch the neck to both sides of the main body.

When you arrive to the edge connecting to the forehead, attach this piece as well, continue stitching the edge of the neck and body, then come back to stitch the two remaining edges of the forehead.

Stitch the neck to both sides of the main body.

When you arrive to the edge connecting to the forehead, attach this piece as well, continue stitching the edge of the neck and body, then come back to stitch the two remaining edges of the forehead.


Preparing the tail

Make a knot at the end of your tail so that it is ready to be put in its final spot since we are about to close down the ox.


Closing down the ox

Final step!

Stuff the head and start stitching the two sides along the back edges.

Stuff along as you go. Also: don’t be like me, be mindful in regard to the amount of stuffing you’re fitting in. I lovingly called my ox “Fat Albert”.

Once you get to where you would like to position the tail, stick the knotted side in and secure it between two stitch points.


Final result

There you go, hope you had fun!

恭喜发财

Footnotes


The following online content provided some assistance and/or inspiration during the making of this project:

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