A Fun and Easy Felt Giraffe Project

by Kara Dyer

Giraffes are the tallest mammals on earth; they have legs that can average six feet tall! Now you try putting your dancing shoes on when your legs are that long. This project is based on the book Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae about Gerald the giraffe who wants to dance but is too shy until...he finds his own rhythm with the help of a friend.   Build your own giraffe and have fun making him dance on his wobbly legs!

"We all can dance, when we find music that we love."

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Sewing Needle
  • Yellow thread
  • Hot glue gun
  • ¼” Wooden Dowel or Chopstick (for stuffing fluff)

Materials

  • Yellow Felt- 2 pieces
  • Beige Felt- 1 piece
  • Black felt – 1 piece
  • Orange felt- 1 piece
  • Stuffing

Steps

  1. Start by placing the two pieces of yellow felt over one another and begin cutting. The shape you’ll be cutting is one of a lochness monster type of shape, just the body and the head, as I did in the picture.
  2. You should now have two body pieces that are the same size and shape
  3. Next, starting at the back of the head begin sewing until you get to the bottom and around the body.
  4. Now you can stuff the body. (Did you know… giraffes have four stomachs?)
  5. After the stuffing, continue sewing until you reach the top of the head, do not sew to the end.
  6. It’s time to give your giraffe some neck support. Place the dowel between the beginning stitch and your most recent stitch so it lines up with the neck and top of the head, now put the dowel in the two pieces of felt and slide it on down!
  7. The next step is a simple one, cut off the extra dowel part sticking up.
  8. Now with a small amount of stuffing, place it in the head and sew the last few stitches.
  9. Now for the signature giraffe look you need some spots. I chose beige to brown color felt for this particular step. Simply cut out some circles and funky shapes you’d see on a giraffe, and glue, or sew, them on where you think he needs them. (The age of a giraffe can be calculated from its spots. The darker the spots, the older the giraffe.)
  10. For the giraffe’s ears and horns, using yellow felt cut out the simple shapes seen in the picture, also cut out two small orange triangles to give the ears some depth. Now glue the six small pieces accordingly on the top of the head.
  11. To add eyes and a snout, cut out small pieces from the black felt, two triangles and one circle, or you can make the eye winking as I did… I thought it would give him a little character. Glue them to his face where you think they will fit best.
  12. Now to give your giraffe a mane, cut out a rectangular piece of beige/ brown felt.
  13. Line it up with your giraffe’s neck to make it an accurate size, and begin to cut little slits in it to give the mane its texture.
  14. Now for the giraffe’s tail, cut from the yellow felt a rectangle shape and from the beige/brown felt a shape like a candle lit flame, cutting slits in it to give the tail some detail.
  15. Glue the brown bush of hair to the end of the yellow rectangle, and you have yourself a tail.
  16. Next, glue the tail to the tail end of the giraffe, commonly known as his bottom.
  17. Finally, saving the best part for last, your giraffe needs some legs! Remembering that your giraffe isn’t a very good dancer, his legs will be slightly unstable… Start by cutting out 4 thin rectangles from your yellow felt.  Next, add some hooves by cutting out four smaller rectangles from the black felt and placing them on the bottom of his legs. (A giraffe's feet are the size of a dinner plate—approximately 12 inches across.) Now for the spots, similarly to the spots added on the body, cut out circles and funky shapes to add to his legs for that signature giraffe look. (Just like snowflakes and human fingerprints, no two giraffes have the same spot pattern)
  18. When all the necessary features of the legs are cut out, glue them all together accordingly.
  19. Finally, glue the legs on to the bottom of the giraffe’s body and there you have it, a not so smooth, dancing giraffe! Remember they do have six foot legs to swing all around, seems like a tough job to me!

To learn more about giraffes you can visit any one of these websites!

https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-giraffes

http://www.onekind.org/be_inspired/animals_a_z/giraffe/





Kara Dyer
Kara Dyer

Author

Kara is the Founder of Storytime Toys, a design company making children's toys to encourage reading, building and creativity.



Also in Playing off the Page

Baby Steps - Some Thoughts on Entrepreneurship
Baby Steps - Some Thoughts on Entrepreneurship

by Kara Dyer

Women entrepreneurs create success through incremental improvements.
3 Simple Ways to Encourage Good Behavior in Children with Storytelling
3 Simple Ways to Encourage Good Behavior in Children with Storytelling

by Margaret Swink

Here are three tricky toddler and preschool behavior challenges that you can easily solve through storytelling.
Beyond Kumbaya - Six Campfire Songs to Share with Today’s Preschoolers
Beyond Kumbaya - Six Campfire Songs to Share with Today’s Preschoolers

by Margaret Swink

Campfire songs are one way to establish a camping bedtime tradition that feels special while helping calm the little ones down.