Designed in 2021-Released in 2022
I have a long list of designs I want to make. However, a hippopotamus wasn’t on my list. A friend of mine was expecting her first child in March 2022 and told me prior to Christmas 2021 that her husband had joked with her that he was getting a hippopotamus for Christmas, because she was getting so big. Ummmm…what?! I said to her…let’s give him a hippopotamus for Christmas that he won’t forget!
Not too long after…my hippopotamus was born. My intention from the start was to make it with a remote controlled fart machine inside…because, why not! It was the perfect touch! (now there is a free tutorial on this site for putting a zippered pocket in your plushie…perfect for a fart machine…or whatever)
It was a fun gag gift for her husband that also doubles as an heirloom toy for her first born. Whatever reason you’re making a hippo…have some fun with it!
Full Size Templates
Super Fun Pocket Nostrils
Easy to Follow Bite-Size Instructions
Photos Accompany Each Step
Variations to Customize Your Hippo
Skill Level - Confident Beginner with Intermediate Options
Skills and Techniques Used
- Fundamental Sewing Basics
- Sewing Tight Curves
- Sewing Simple Gusset
- Clipping Curved Seams
- Sewing Opposing Curves
- Machine Applique (optional for fabric eyes, toenails and tummy accent color)
- Attaching Safety Eyes
- Hand Sewing (to close seams)
- Hand Applique (to attach optional eyelids)
- Fun Feature! Learn to make pocket nostrils!
Materials and Tools Needed
- ~2/3 yard minky for body (alternative fabrics: quality cotton, fleece, repurposed clothing, etc)
- ~1/4 yard minky for markings (alternative fabrics: quality cotton, fleece, corduroy, etc)
- ~1/8 yard minky for foot pads (alternative fabrics: quality cotton, fleece, canvas, suede, coduroy, etc)
- ~20 oz fiber filling
- 1 pair 20mm, 24mm or 30mm safety eyes (alternatively make fabric appliqued or embroidered eyes)
- Optional: 1 pair false eyelashes (the kind people wear)
- Notions: scissors, thread, sewing machine
Pattern Testers Hefty Hippo Gallery
First, I must say how much I appreciate all the wonderful pattern testers who volunteered their time and talents to test this pattern and provide feedback!! I absolutely love seeing the different hippos they curated and the fun twists they gave them.
Pattern testers used a variety of fabrics, including: minky, cotton, fleece, denim and even suede (but she doesn’t recommend it).
Two testers reduced the size of the hippo to 50% and sewed it by hand. These tiny hippos turned out so adorable, but a word of caution, it does make it more difficult to sew at the smaller size. One tester increased the size to 125% for an even more loveable size! One embroidered eyes and added a birth announcement on the tummy patch. Another gave her hippo a darling tutu and added a button for a belly button.
Pattern testers’ skill level ranged from beginner to advanced/professional.
Why Make a Hefty Hippo?
Heirloom quality toy
Inspires active play and imagination
Makes a memorable and fun gift
A memory hippo is more fun than a memory bear
You will tap into your own creativity when you make it
Sewing and crafting are therapeutic
Great decor in a nursery
Wonderful addition to any toy room
Fun decor in your living room
Sell finished hippos at handmade markets
You’ll love watching it come to life as you make it
You’re never too old to cuddle a soft toy
It is difficult to accurately describe the skill level needed for each project as the skill level itself can be quite subjective. Each traditional skill level has a wide spectrum of ability associated with it. I have tried to assign a general skill level to each pattern, however, please review specific techniques used in the pattern to determine if it is a good fit for you to try. Keep in mind I write my tutorials in bite-sized easy to follow steps, each accompanied with photos.
I aim to have each pattern attainable for a confident beginner and some have variations that may be more advanced, but they are optional. You’ll be provided with all the instructions, tips and material list to create a plush toy just like those pictured in the tutorial…I keep nothing secret. Each pattern and tutorial provides the blueprint for you to make it just like I have. An easy to make pattern doesn’t have to be simplistic looking…it can look amazing!