I picked up this craft booklet, circa 1966, a few months ago at a church rummage sale and got inspired to update one of its projects. The yarn octopus has long been a classic toy to make for children, and I’ve transformed it into an even easier, and perhaps more cuddly, no-sew fleece octopus!
According to my 8-year-old, her fleece octopus is “the cutest thing ever.”
-16″ x 16″ piece of fleece
-styrofoam ball 3″ in diameter
-3/4″ wide ribbon
– felt scraps in white, gray, and black
-8″ x 8″ piece of quilting cotton for the bandana
-string (not pictured)
1. Place the foam ball in the center of the fleece square and wrap it. Get a sense of how long the fringe in the legs will be. Unwrap the ball and set it aside.
2. Cut away a roughly 5″ x 5″ square from each corner of the fleece (this doesn’t have to be perfect). Cut 6 snips along the remaining edges. The snips are about 5″ in length, but don’t have to be very neat or very exact, don’t worry!
3. Place the ball back in the center of the fleece and wrap it up. Tie it tightly in a double knot at the neck with some string. Pull the fleece taught to smooth out the wrinkles.
4. To make a leg, braid three fringes together and tie off the end with a ribbon tied in a bow. (We held the head between our feet while we braided!) Continue until you have 8 legs.
5. Trim the ends of each leg so that they are neat and even.
7. Embroider a mouth with split stitch.
8. Optional: Hem an 8″ x 8″ square of matching fabric to make a bandanna.
Put the octopus on your head and smile!