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Giant Leather Snail Stuffed Animal

Handmade Leather Stuffed Animal Snail

I sewed a giant stuffed leather snail. Why? I got a harebrained idea and of course I had to follow up on it.  Not too long ago I saw that Nette had sewn a leather pug and I thought that making a giant leather stuffed animal was a great idea. The Shelly the Snail pattern is by Abby Glassenberg, a stuffed animal designer and blogger who I have long followed for her blog posts about running a small craft business.

Casa Leather Snail

I sewed the snail out of a leather jacket that I got for free at the Swap-O-Rama-Rama. One of the fun things about cutting up a leather garment is that there were visible seams in my pieces that give a great extra texture. It was a very soft leather which was actually quite simple to sew. Since it was so soft, I could cut through it with my normal sewing shears without a problem and I actually sewed it on my machine without needing to use a leather needle. The only problem with using the soft leather is that my thread pulled through it several times as I tried to hand sew the shell onto the back. I finally decided to glue the shell to the body using a shoe glue and it fixed the problem quite nicely. Oh yeah, the other problem was that the antennae were near impossible to turn inside out. I spent 1.5hrs getting them turned inside out since the leather stuck to itself. Next time those are getting and exposed seam!)
Leather Snail in Living Room
I intended for the snail to be a living room decoration. Although she seems kind of lonely sitting in the corner, so I may need to make a friend for her out of the next leather jacket that I find :)
shell cutting leather snail

I enlarged the pattern to 200% on the copy machine and mostly sewed it as written.  For the shell, I kept the stitching of the inside curve close together, even though it enlarged on my photocopy. I changed the eyelashes to be a little more fluttery. I also sewed the eyes and mouth on before stuffing. The biggest change I made is that I didn’t sew the curved part of the shell to itself but instead left it open. And I just discovered while writing this blog post that I sewed the shell on backward. Oops!

Snail in Woodshed Stuffed Animal
I thought the pattern and instructions were well written and, as someone with no stuffed animal experience but extensive sewing experience, I had no problems. I would have preferred if the pattern pieces contained all the pertinent information on them like a garment pattern (i.e. how many to cut, of what fabric, is seam allowance included, etc.) but that information was all contained in the pattern.
Toddler and Giant Snail
I brought my snail over to friends’ house to photograph it in their yard and their son took quite a liking to it! Her daughter also had a fun suggestion of naming the snail Casa since she carries her home around on her back.
Giant Leather Snail Stuffed Animal with Toddler

Comments 4

  1. This blows my mind! This guy is just amazing. It’s one thing to make a giant snail, it’s another thing to make a leather snail, but to make a giant leather snail? Wow. He’s wonderful!!

  2. Hi Erin, came across your blog via Abby Glassenbergs fb page. Your snail is amazing and very inspiring! I have been doing a bit of research on sewing with leather but not taken the step yet. Your project has inspired me to think outside of the box, eg upcycling old leather pieces I no longer used in ages! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for the compliments! So glad my snail could be a source of inspiration!

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