Every Tusken Raider needs a trusty bantha to ride around Tatooine. These elephant-size creatures with long ram-like horns first showed up in “Star Wars: A New Hope,” and it’s easy to make your own cuddly toy version with some felt, stuffing, thread and a lot of love. Here are the instructions from my book “The Star Wars Craft Book.”
What you need:
- Beige and light tan felt squares
- Pillow stuffing
- Beige fake fur
- Tan thread
- A sewing needle
- Straight pins
- Chenille stems (also called pipe cleaners)
- Buttons (for eyes)
- Bantha action figure or images for reference
How to make a bantha felt toy:
1. Measure four beige felt squares into rectangles. Sew the long edges together so you end up with one long piece of sewed felt. Then sew one end to the other so you make a rectangular cube.
2. Cut out a square of the beige felt and sew it carefully to the bottom of the cube. This will be one end of the bantha’s body.
3. Turn the fabric inside out and start stuffing.
4. Cut out another square piece of the beige felt and sew it carefully to the end of the cube. Depending on which end you like best, this will be where the face will go, or the bantha’s rear. The body should look like a cuddly loaf of bread.
5. Cut rectangle-shaped strips of the same beige fabric and roll them into short tubes. Sew the edges together.
6. Stuff each tube and sew circles on both ends. These four stuffed tubes will be the bantha’s legs.
7. Cut diagonally on a piece of light tan felt to make two triangles. Roll and sew each one to look like ice cream cones. Put chenille stems in each one then stuff. Use chopsticks to push the stuffing into the hard-to-reach parts of the cone. The wire in the stems will help you twist and position the bantha horns the way you want them.
8. Sew two black buttons on the face for eyes. Fold a long strip of felt in one direction and then the other and sew it to the head to make a mouth like the one you see in the photo above.
9. Before you sew the legs on the bantha, place the body on top of legs to make sure they can hold the weight of the bantha body.
10. Sew the legs on to the bantha using a simple whipstitch. It doesn’t have to look pretty, but make sure the bantha can actually stand on its legs. The longer the legs, the harder it will be for the bantha to stand.
11. When the body is exactly how you like it, sew a rectangle of fake fur on top the body, and sew a triangle of fake fur for its beard.
Now that you know how easy it is, make a whole herd of banthas.
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