Calling all crafters!
This year Teddy Bears Without Borders is joining forces with Backpacks for Refugee Kids at Christmas Brisbane to supply 100 + handmade cuddly toys to Brisbane kids of refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.
Last year, people from all over Brisbane joined together to provide over 200 backpacks filled with necessities and toys to kids from refugee backgrounds and families seeking asylum. You can read all about the success of the Backpack project, which began in 2016 as the brainwave of Brisbane mum Alison Reynolds, here, and join the Facebook group here.
Below are the details of the project and how YOU can get involved! Please share the project with your networks, friends and family and help us reach our goal!
Handmade Plush Toy Drive 2017
What’s the goal of the project?
To make and collect 150 (with a stretch goal of 200!) handmade plush toys that will be included in backpacks of necessities for children in Brisbane from refugee and asylum seeker families.
What do you need?
Handmade plush toys no bigger than 30cm long (so they can fit in a backpack). These can be knitted, crocheted or sewn from fabric.
As the backpacks are given to boys and girls aged anywhere from babyhood all the way up to 16 and 17 year olds, we are looking for a wide range of toys – teddy bears, dolls, animals, dinosaurs, cars, trucks or planes, superheroes – you name it! As some of the teenage children won’t necessarily need a cuddly toy, we are also looking for handmade toys such as hacky sacks, juggling balls, soft frisbees, tic-tac-toe sets or even simple pieces like coin purses or toiletry cases. See below for a list of patterns and suggestions.
When do you need it by?
As the backpacks will need to be sorted and packed in the early weeks of December 2017, we are posting an initial cut-off date of FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17th, 2017.
All toys will need to be received to our Brisbane postal address by this date for guaranteed inclusion in the Backpack project.
Are there any special requirements for the toys we make and send?
Any fabric or yarn type is acceptable. Cuddly toys should be stuffed with fibrefill (hobby stuffing), rather than rice or rags.
Toys must have embroidered facial features (no safety eyes) and friendly faces are best.
Safety eyes are not safe (ironically!) for very small children, so embroidered faces are a must. You can find excellent tutorials for how to sew faces onto yarn and fabric dolls here, here and here.
Cuddly toys should preferably be free of accessories (jackets, scarves, hats etc), but any adornments MUST be firmly stitched to the toy. Extra bits like scarves look super-cute, but can detach from the toy and cause a choking hazard so please re-think adding them in.
If you are making a doll, consider the skin and hair colours you will use – remember, humans come in all colours, shapes and sizes!
WHERE CAN I GET A PATTERN FOR A TOY?
You are welcome to use any pattern you prefer for making your toy as long as it suits the size requirements listed above. If you need help finding a pattern, look below!
I have collected a range of free patterns for knitted, crocheted and sewn toys from around the internet that you might like to check out. Feel free to do your own searches, or share any patterns that you like to use on our Facebook page.
KNITTING Pattern Suggestions:
Koala Baby from Knitted Toy Box (just be sure to substitute the safety eyes for embroidered ones!)
*Please note, I am a crocheter, not a knitter, so I have no idea how difficult or easy these patterns are. If you are a knitter and know of an accessible and simple pattern please feel free to comment below!*
CROCHET Pattern Suggestions:
Bruno Bear by Baghi Handmade with Love (just be sure to substitute the safety eyes for embroidered ones!)
SEWING Pattern Suggestions:
Please note you may have to adjust the printing size of these patterns to get the right size for your toy.
Warren the Charity Bear by Shiny Happy World (just remember to replace safety eyes with embroidered ones!)