For those who’d prefer something a little more cuddly, I have a few handy hints for that as well. As a Taylor I love a little needlework every now and then, and here are some instructions on how to make one of these little guys!
First up you’ll need some furry material – you can substitute with something like sweater material instead if you want. You won’t need much; about half a metre does the trick for me. If you want to get fancy you can buy two different colours and make the griffin in two halves, but for this I’ll stick with the more basic version.
You’ll also need a pair of toy eyes (you can get them at places like Hobbysew or Lincraft if you’re lucky), thread, needles, scissors, tailor’s pins and a bag of stuffing. At a pinch you can do what I did when my supply ran out, and slit open a handy cushion.
Then you’ll need this pattern right here, which I drew up (click to enlarge). Print it off, cut out the shapes, and pin them on the fabric. Make sure that the fur is going in the right direction, and that you’ve folded it first. For the tail, just cut a strip to the length and width you want, fold it in half, sew along one edge and then turn it inside out. Don’t sew over the ends.
Oh yeah – don’t cut furry fabric in a room with a carpet, or while you’re wearing tracksuit pants. Trust me on this.
Once you’ve got it all cut out, clear away the scraps and loose fur. I advise fetching a shovel for this bit.
Before you do anything else, put the eyes in. Mark the right spot on the two head-pieces, and poke a hole for each eye. Stick the shaft through the hole and press the metal backing on – and make sure you’ve got it in the right way, because they’re almost impossible to remove once they’re on!
The pieces match up pretty obviously, so pin them all together – fur inward, of course – and get to sewing! Stick the tail in between the halves of the body with one end poking out, and sew it into the seam.
Make sure you leave a hole in some non-obvious place so you can turn it in the right way once the stitching is done. I suggest the belly. Leave a hole at the end of the tail as well.
Leave the wings aside for now.
Once it’s all sewn and in the right way, put the stuffing in. Getting it into all the thin bits like the legs can be tricky – try using a pen to push it down. Don’t be too rough; this sort of material has a habit of suddenly developing holes (those can be sewn up if they decide to make an appearance). If you want you can put some sort of stiffening in the front legs – I used oversized lollipop sticks, but paddle pop sticks or skewers should do the trick as well. Just make sure you cut the pointy bits off.
Once your griffin is all stuffed, sew up the hole you used. Now it’s time for the wings. If you haven’t sewn the two sides of each one together yet, do so. When it comes to attaching them to the griffin, you can cut slits in the shoulders or just stitch-tack them on; either one works fine.
You’re almost done! For the last step, seek out some feathers. I picked mine up on walks, but if you’re terrified of bird flu you can buy some in any decent craft shop.
Bundle your feathers up and poke them through the hole in the end of your griffin’s tail. Then get your needle and thread and put a bunch of stitches through it – to make sure the feathers won’t come out put the needle right through the… uh… pointy transparent non-fluffy bit, I have no idea what it’s called. Altenatively, if you don’t like the part where the needle slips and stabs you in the cuticle, you can glue them in.
Congratulations! You should now have your very own griffin mascot, plus a house full of fluff and stray thread! Treat your new pal well and feed it on the remains of your enemies; it’s the best way to save money and stop those bastards from getting in the way of your plans for world domination. Muahahahah.
This has been a K.J.Taylor blog. Thanks for reading!