How Plush Toys are Made: The Creation Process

  • By: Mohammed Zeliche
  • Date: December 9, 2021
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Have you ever wondered how a plush toy is made? Well, wonder no more. In this blog post, we will take a look at the creation process of one of the most popular toys for children today: stuffed animals. 

We’ll discuss what materials are used to make these toys and how they’re put together step-by-step from start to finish. So grab your favorite toy animal and get ready for an inside peek into what goes on behind closed doors in many plush toy factories!

What Is a Plush Toy?

Plush toys are plush animals made of fabric and stuffing. Sometimes they include plastic pellets to provide weight, adding to the sensory experience of the toy. Common examples include teddy bears, pigs, tigers, bunnies, unicorns, and more!

Types of Plush Toys

Many stuffed animals are considered ‘soft’ toys, but not all soft toys are plush toys. There is a difference between the two types of stuffed animal toys: basically, plush toys contain filling or stuffing material inside their bodies while soft toys do not. Soft Toys: A doll or other type of figure that does not have any stuffing in its body. It’s just fabric without anything inside. 

How Plush Toys are Made: The Creation Process

Teddy bear on a sofa

Let’s take a look at the creation process of one of the most popular stuffed animal toys in existence today: teddy bears! Here is how they’re put together step-by-step from start to finish!

Step 1: Start with the patterning, cutting & sewing materials  Plush animals typically have two types of fabric used which include an outer shell or exterior covering that looks similar to the material used on clothes while the inside stuffing is usually made up of polyester fiberfill or cotton. There are stitch lines running through both pieces of fabric so when the plush animal is stitched together, the stuffing doesn’t seep out.

Step 2: Before the toy is sewn together, it’s important to note that there are no patterns for plush toys like clothing – instead, they’re created with measurements and scales in mind. For teddy bears, stuffed animals that are meant to be bigger than average ‘tall’ or ‘giant’ sizes receive thicker padding because of their size. 

They also often contain plastic pellets (similar to those found inside bean bag chairs) within them which adds weight/substance to the toy so it feels nice against your skin! It can be really fun to feel these pellets shift around as you play with them! Stuffed toys that are meant to be small and ‘bite size’ receive less stuffing to save on production costs.

Step 3: Next, the stuffed animals are sewn together and the plastic pellets (also known as ‘Poly Pellets’) are inserted into certain areas of the plush toy’s body. The more Poly Pellets a stuffed animal toy has, the heavier it feels! The added weight makes them feel extra special because they’re not your average toys! 

On average, most teddy bears have an estimated 7-10 pounds worth of plastic pellets within them with some having up to 20 pounds worth or more which is about half the weight of an 8-year old child! Note that companies do vary in how polyurethane fills their toys.

Some only use the pellets while others add a combination of shredded polyurethane foam, cotton, and/or fiberfill to their toys as well.

Step 4: The final step in this process is to stitch up the plush animal’s face! Depending on the type of plush toy, not all may have embroidered facial features so if you spot one with no stitching around the eyes or mouth, that just means there isn’t any! 

Additionally, some crafty plush makers may find other creative ways to decorate and accessorize their stuffed animals such as by painting on details or gluing accessories like feathers or plastic flowers onto them.

Any extra embellishments must be carefully applied in addition to making sure that it stays intact when the toy is given a bath or goes through a washing machine! And voila, you have a brand new plush toy ready for sale in stores! 

Of course, there’s much more to this process than what we’ve mentioned above but hopefully, this gives you a better idea of how these popular toys are made from start to finish. In case you’re interested in learning exactly how they’re created firsthand, below are some articles that will give you more information on the types of equipment used for each step in production.

How Does the Design Process Work for Plush Toys?

Plush toys are designed by either the company itself or various independent toy producers. The process of designing a plush toy is done in several steps that include creating the concept, sketching ideas for new plushies, designing their look online to see how they’ll turn out, and sending them off to be made into plushie prototypes before they are released for pre-orders! 

Designers have their work cut out for them because it’s not as easy as simply copying an existing animal as you might with clay (where clay designers often take inspiration from real animals). 

It’s important to show creativity when conceptualizing new plush toys so even if your design is similar to another company’s, yours will still stand out on its own!    

What Materials Can I Use to Make a Plush Toy?

Small bear plush toy on a pavement

The materials needed to make new plush toys vary depending on the type of animal it is. To make teddy bears, Minky fur fabric is commonly used for their exterior while satin and velboa fabrics are usually used for stuffing them instead of pellets! 

Panda, raccoon, or fox stuffed animals usually contain some sort of shredded polyurethane foam within them too since they’re meant to be big in size. 

Lastly, some small teddy bear companies might use wadding (a cotton mix) as their main stuffings instead but these types typically do not contain any Poly Pellets, unlike other larger companies that produce bigger plushies.

Plushies that have accessories such as purses or other items that need to be sewn on should use fabrics that are capable of holding up to light stitching such as cotton, twill, denim, and quilting cotton which should not be neglected by plushie makers. 

Meanwhile, other plush toys such as stuffed animals meant for children under 3 years old generally require extra care since their facial features rely heavily on safety standards. If you’d like to learn more about the types of materials used for various surfaces and designs in this process, click here:

How do Plush Toys and Dolls Differ?

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into making each unique toy! Hopefully, this article helps give you an idea of how these fluffy pals are created from start to finish. If you’re interested in reading up more about how a plushie comes into life, click here: Where Do Plushies Come From?

Where do I Get the raw Materials for Plush Toys?

One of the main ingredients needed for plush toy production is high-quality Minky fabric. This material is made from 100% polyester fibers and it’s often described as “fleece” which makes them soft to touch while being very durable too! Depending on your budget or target customers, you have a choice between realistic-looking Minky fabric that has a smooth surface that’s similar to real fur and cuddle Minky which has a furry texture instead.

Another popular option these days is plush fabric because it’s less expensive and also gives a unique appearance to the toy at hand. For instance, you can make teddy bears with vintage or “scrappy” designs on their exterior by using different types of plush fabrics like corduroys (anti-pill type), fleece (hollow fiber type), and velvets (dense pile type).

How Do I Sell My Own Plush Toys?

The first step to selling your new creations is putting them up on your online store! After that, it’s important to promote both your brand and the product to help gain more attention. 

For example, you could share your toys on social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram by creating a business account for it! If you’d like, make sure to include the name of your company or brand which enables people to find your profile easily by searching for them on Google or Bing too.

Another clever tactic would be organizing an online event called a sale where people from all over the world can browse through various plushies that are made available at discounted prices! Check out Plushie Paradise’s weekly sales that take place every Friday & Saturday night if you’re interested in joining one of these events!

Final Thought

With so many different steps in the plush toy creation process, it’s no wonder that every finished product is one of a kind. That’s what makes them so special! It takes patience and skill to create these toys, but for all those who are passionate about making something beautiful with their hands, this work can be very fulfilling. Now you know how your favorite stuffed animals come into existence.

Let us help you find out more information on the subject or share our blog post with someone else who might enjoy reading about it too! We hope you’ll stay tuned as we continue to delve deeper into the world of plush toys–we’ve only scratched the surface here. Think there’s anything else we should mention? Leave us a comment

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