Cute garden snail sewalong

This easy garden snail hand-stitching tutorial first appeared on my instagram Noisy Tut Tuesday.

It’s almost spring where many of you live, and I know you have been waiting for a while. Let’s prepare ourselves with this little guy for the garden.

This tiny snail is about 1-1/2 by 2″ not counting the eyes.

The height of the snail will vary widely depending on the elasticity of your chosen fabric.

What can you do with this? For me, I made it into a brooch. No photos sorry I didn’t take a picture of my chest. Maybe I’ll find a top with a collar so I can place it on the tip.

I spent about 10 min from design to finish.

Of course, I can’t assume everyone sews at the same pace. But, it should be really easy, especially if you have any sewing experience.

This is meant to be a fun quickie project, so I’d say don’t worry too much about the size consistency.

Skip to the video to sew along, or continue below for the step-by-step instructions.


How to hand stitch a tiny garden snail using recycled fabric

Preparation before sewing

  • 1.Print the PDF pattern onto either an A4 or letter sized paper.
  • 2. Cut out the shapes. (The patterns are drawn with a 1/8″ allowance. If you prefer to draw your own allowance, please cut **on** the dotted line instead.
  • 3. Place pattern onto the fabric, and cut the fabric— 2 different colours for the shell and the body, black and white for the eyes.

Let’s get sewing

Stitching the snail body

  • 4. Fold the body piece in the middle on the fold line, and sew around, along the dotted line.
  • 5. Sew on the dotted line, making sure to leave a gap in the middle where it says “do not sew here”.


  • 6. Turn inside out. Push the corners out lightly without piercing the fabric.

That was quick, wasn’t it?

Moving onto the snail’s shell

  • 7. Take the “shell” piece which is the big fat rectangle in the middle of the printer page, fold it in the middle along the “fold” line.

  • 8. Stitch on the long side (because we folded it, there is only *one* long side), and *one short side only*.
  • 9. Turn it inside out like we did with the body just now.

  • 10. Fill it with poly fiber fill.
  • 11. Roll it like a cinnamon roll. It doesn’t matter if you start with the closed or opened end, it will be covered later.


  • 12. Ok, here is where we will be hiding the opening.

Insert your threaded needle from the end of the roll, through to the opposite side.

Repeat twice, so you are basically dividing the pie into 6 parts.

Attaching the snail shell to the body

  • 13. Next is the fun part.

Sew it together first using a few running stitches starting from the head to the centre of the body, then, whip stitch to secure.

I know it’s not useful describing what is actually a very intuitive process.

But once you have the snail in your hand, you should be able to ‘feel’ your way through it.

Or watch the snail sewalong video here.



  • 14. Always my favorite part. I love it when they start staring right back at me.

Take the long skinny rectangle shape, fold on the line. This time no sewing.

Tie a knot on each end. If it’s not big enough, tie another over it.

  • 15. You’ll get something like this.

  • 16. Then, attach it to the top part of the body.

I used long whip stitches, pulled very tightly.


  • 17. Next to my favorite part. Yes, another favorite. I have many favorites.

Place the smallest circle onto the bigger circle, sew directly onto the knots we made early.

Yes, right through like a kebab. The last shape left should be the semi circle which is a smile.

Sew onto the top body where the eye ‘tentacles’ (what are they called?) meet the body.

Why not make an empathising snail by reversing the smile to make a frown?

Ta-da. How long did that take you?

This is the video below, click the right arrow to see the videos.


A post shared by Marn Wong (@noisybeak) on

If you would like to try making this simple garden snail too, you can download the pdf pattern here.

I’d appreciate if you’d let me know (in comments) what you’d like improved, or project suggestions in the future. Thanks for being here.

smiling bonsai baby plush doll happy with his her its leafy hair-do

Bonsai Baby Plush Doll from Upcycled Tee

Years ago, when we first moved into our current home, I was given the task to buy our first co-owned item.

I was thrilled, while my +1 might have been worried for his pocket.

It wasn’t a designer sofa, or an heirloom candelabra, or a make-up surrounded by lightbulbs.


That is how much I spent on our first item in the place we now call home.

It was a plant. A hardworking plant that cleaned the air and made our apartment home.

I loved it. I loved it so much I feared it wasn’t drinking enough. I was attentive, I was constantly watering. I loved it until it died.

That was the end of my plant journey. Since +1 has taken over the caring for all the plants that  is now brimming in our home.

This softie bonsai is made for remembering that first baby we both loved.

Make Bonsai Baby Plush Doll


Who doesn't like plants & babies? This little bonsai baby plush is def gonna make any room brighter with its hand-stitched smile. Handmade from recycled tee, it is an upcycled project, kind to its own kind. Save this tutorial and free printable sewing pattern for download later. // Marn Made It

Layout & Cut

Using old recycled tee shirts, I cut out 2 pieces according to the bonsai baby plush doll sewing pattern.

Yes, you read me right, it is old, and already recycled once. From a tee shirt, it became a furoshiki (Japanese style wrapping cloth), and now soon-to-be a soft toy baby.

Place sewing pattern on fold, cut 2 pieces //Marn Made It



You will notice in some of the instructional photos below features a blue checkered fabric instead. I made 2 dolls with the same pattern. I will update this post when the related post is done.

Anyway, rest assure the yellow and blue pieces were cut from the same sewing pattern.

fold diagonally sew a short stitch along the snipped corner

Fold the piece diagonally, aligning the sides of the little square cut out.


sew fabric diagonally, aligning the straight sides of the square cut out

One side at a time. Flip to the other side to do the same.


align front & back pattern pieces // Marn Made It


Now that you have two identical pieces, align front and back.

It is going to be a little hard because the tee shirt fabric is floppy and stretchy.

To further complicate things, the 4 short stitches you just made is called darts.

Darts make a flat shape more three dimensional. In other words, it is going to be fiddly to line them up but just try okay.

Sew around the parameter with 1/4″ allowance, leaving a small gap of approx. 1″ for stuffing (as indicated by the free downloadable sewing pattern).

The gap is on top.


Sew around the doll shape, making sure to leave a gap on the top for turning, stuffing, and adding hair. // Marn Made It

Cut Notches

Cut notches into the seam allowance for a smooth surface.


Sorry for the blurry photo, the sky turned and I must have over estimated my hand stability.

The point is, look at the little cut outs, they are notches.

Cutting notches helps smooth out the curves after the doll is turned inside out. This step reduces angular doll faces (unless that’s your intention), and puckered necks.

Then, turn it inside out.

Apologies: the following photos are of the blue doll again. f

The 2 plushies were sewn and closed in different positions. As indicated in the sewing pattern you can find on this post, the blue is stuffed at the bottom, yellow from the top. 

If you are very confused please leave me a comment, I will try to explain to you step by step. 


turn shape inside out with chopstick

Turn it inside out.

If you have chunky fingers or for whatever reason you do not want to, use a chopstick, a pencil, anything that is pointy but not sharp.

Push slowly along the seams.


deflated doll without stuffing


There you go, a doll waiting to be stuffed.

Stuffing the Bonsai Plush

Out comes my favourite chopstick again, this time to push in the stuffing.

I’m using a polyester fill here. Where I am, it is difficult to get my hands on anything else.


check for desired fullness by constantly squeezing the doll as you stuff


Squeeze the doll as you stuff, to check for fullness.

At about 3/4 of the desired size, bring out your remnants from cutting the pattern.

Now, you have a reason to have a separate craft room bin.


stuff with fabric remnants


Stuff remnants into the body, right underneath the polyfill.

Sequence in the yellow doll

  1. Push remnants into bottom
  2. Then, fill up with polyfill.

Fabric remnants make a much denser filling. In this project, the weight stabilises the doll when it stands.


reshape doll again


Hand-Stitch Doll Face Using Sewing Thread

Embroidery Supplies

  1. Pilot    Frixon Highlighter Marker (in Blue)
  2. Self-Threading Needle
  3. Common Sewing Thread, 4 pieces (Polyester, Colour Chocolate Brown)


draw face with disappearing marker


Start with a french knot at the tail end of the thread.

Insert from the gap on the top of the head, into the eye.

Complete 1 eye with backstitches.


emberoider doll face using 4 threads


Move on to the nose.

Then, the mouth.


finish face embroidery stitch in the centre // Marn Made It


On to the other eye.

To close, make a french knot on the surface of the fabric.


pop the knot through the head of the doll // Marn Made It


Insert needle into the doll head, making sure it goes through completely.


Popping the knot into the doll's head. // Marn Made It


Yank the thread tail quick and hard, until you feel the knot popped into the head.

To be honest, I really enjoy doing it, almost as much as opening champagne.

While, maintaining the tension, cut the tail off as close to the fabric as possible.


Leafy Hair from Felt Remnants

cut random shapes from small felt pieces to make leaf-hair for our doll // Marn Made It


Cut out pieces of felt, random leaf-like shapes will do.

I have tried cutting out rounded realistic leaf shapes. After an hour and calluses on my fingers, I t didn’t look any more plant like.


Sew through the centre of each leaf with a contrasting colour on the sewing machine // Marn Made It


Using a sewing machine with a long stitch length, sew the leaf-shapes, through the centre, roughly.

Take care to reinforce with a back stitch at the beginning and end of each leaf.


Arrange by hand to desired effect, resulting in a felt-leaf bouquet // Marn Made It


Snip the thread in between, gather the ends with your fingers.

Arrange them in any way you like.

My aim to look natural. Not too symmetrical.


keeping the shape as much as possible, sew across 1/4" from the baseline, to keep the leaves from shifting while we attach them to our bonsai baby doll. // Marn Made It


Flatten the felt-bouquet. What an anti-climax, I know.

Arrange it and make sure it is no wider than 3/4″ or the size of the gap you left opened on the doll earlier.

Stitch across the bottom with 1/8 – 1/4″ allowance.

It is sad looking now, but it makes your life happier. This stay stitch keeps the many pieces from shifting when you attach it to your doll later.


Attach Hair to Baby Softie


Whip stitch felt-hair into position // Marn Made It


Place the hair into the gap.

Using 2 threads, whip stitch the hair into place, at the back only. Tie a knot to secure, but do not cut the thread.


add more stuffing to the doll to increase the doll head's fullness. // Marn Made It


Stuff in a little more stuffing at this point.

With all the facial feature hand stitches, the squeezing while attaching the hair, the head would have flattened a lot by now.

Additional stuffing ensures that we maintain the roundness of the head while slightly altering the expression.

With the same needle and thread still hanging at the back, whip stitch the remaining gap.


smiling bonsai baby doll happy with his her its leafy hair-do


He or she it is happy with the leafy hair do. As am I.


Wouldn't it be nice to have a few more of these around. They don't drink water and they smile.


Bonsai baby doll requires no water to grow.

It feeds on your heart for the environment, and of course, your old clothes.

2 differently shaped bonsai baby Dolls from the same sewing pattern // Marn Made It