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Make a Miniature Poseable Mouse From Felt and Wire
This adorable miniature mouse is a fairly easy hand sewing project. Make your first mouse from felt, then experiment with a mischief of mice made from fine velvet, teddy bear fabric or ultrasuede. The mice can be given different personalities by adjusting the printable pattern slightly to give them shorter faces, round stuffed cheeks, ears in different positions, and chubbier, well stuffed bellies. You can make them with or without a wire armature. The armature allows you to pose your mice in... various positions. More easy to sew felt animals include the miniature hippopotamus and the miniature rabbit.
To Make a Miniature Felt Mouse You Will Need:
- Suitable Fabric - I show the mouse made from a small piece of off white wool felt. You can also make them from short pile velvets, teddy bear fabrics and ultrasude, even leather. Felt is the best fabric to experiment with for your first mouse. In addition to the body fabric, you will need a small amount of pink or pale orange felt for the legs, feet and paws.
- Sewing Thread - I used standard sewing thread to match the fabric.
- Fine Needle
- Sharp Scissors
- Embroidery Thread a small amount of black thread is used to embroider the nose and mouth details.
- Tiny Beads - I used small black seed beeds for eyes.
- Coloring for the nose and insides of the ears. I used a fabric felt pen, but pastels and colored pencils or fabric paints will work as well.
- Wire I used standard florist wire, 24 gauge or anything that will make you a fairly stiff armature. You could also use fine pipe cleaners.
- Wire Cutters and Pliers
- Quilt Batting or cotton batting for stuffing the mouse to shape.
- Hemostats or Bent Nose Tweezers to help stuff the mouse.
- PVA (white) glue or fabric glue
- Printable Pattern for body pieces. The pattern is available as a pdf, which will need Acrobat reader to open.
The miniature Christmas stocking the mouse is holding in the photo can be made from one of the three charts for Christmas stockings on the miniatures site.Continue to 2 of 17 below.
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Make The Basic Wire Armature for a Miniature Felt Mouse
This step is optional but will allow you to create a miniature felt mouse which can be posed in many positions.
To make the armature, cut the two pieces of wire according to the directions on the plan. One will be roughly 6 1/2 inches (16 cm) long, the other will be roughly 8 inches (20 cm) long. Fold the longest wire in half, making a loop at the halfway point. Twist the wire once or twice below the loop to join the two wire legs back together to form a neck. Spread out the two ends of the wire.
T...o add the arms securely to the armature for the miniature mouse, lay the arm wire across the body and head wire from the previous step, setting the wire for the arms just below the twisted sections for the neck (see photo). Twist the arm wire over the two ends of the main body wire anchoring it securely as shown in the photo. Proceed to the next step to finish the armature.Continue to 3 of 17 below.
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Finish the Armature for the Miniature Mouse
Finish the wire armature for the miniature felt mouse by gathering the two body / leg wires back together, leaving the arm wires free. Twist the body leg wires a few times to form a torso, then separate the leg wires as shown in the photo. You can adjust the lengths of the legs and arms when you add the armature to the mouse body.
If You Want a Standing Mouse If you want to make your mouse more stable when it stands, you may want to bend the bottom of the leg wire into loops or triangles. I left... mine as single wires, as I will be hanging my mouse, or having it sit on something most of the time. Making triangles or loops in the foot wires, may require you to need a longer body wire for the armature. The loops or triangles will also affect the way you can trim the feet to shape and make the toes, so experiment a bit to find something that makes your mouse pose properly for you. Adding 'hips' by bending the legs on your wire armature out to the sides, then down, will also help to balance the body of your mouse better if you want to try to make it stand. Again, you will probably need a longer body wire to allow for this.Continue to 4 of 17 below.
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Sew the Leg Sections on the Miniature Felt Mouse
Begin sewing the felt mouse body by sewing the leg edges on each body section together at the base of the body. Match the bottom of the leg across one section of the body and use a simple backstitch to stitch a seam very close to the edge of the felt as shown. Sew the leg on both body sections, then use your hemostats or bent nose tweezers to turn the legs right side out with the seams on the inside.Continue to 5 of 17 below.
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Sew the Two Mouse Body Sections Together
To finish the mouse body, take the two body sections so the finished legs are between the two sections, and match the outer edges of the body as shown, lining up the inner seam lines of the mouse legs at the base of the body. (The legs are inside the body pieces at the bottom).
Beginning at the base of the marked neck opening on the curved side of the body piece, stitch the two pieces together around the outside of the body piece, keeping the legs free as you carefully backstitch around the outer... edge of the body pieces joining them together. Continue stitching until you reach the top edge of the body back and tie off your thread.
Turn the body right side out by using the neck opening you left unstitched at the front (curved side) of the body.Continue to 6 of 17 below.
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Fit the Wire Armature in the Felt Mouse Body
With your body neatly sewn together and turned right side out, fit the wire armature inside your miniature mouse. The loop of the armature for the head will be at the top of the neck opening on the front of the body, the leg wires will go out the bottoms of the leg openings, and the arms will be pushed throught the fabric below the neck opening where the shoulders will be. (see photo).Continue to 7 of 17 below.
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Stuff the Body of the Miniature Felt Mouse
Take small amounts of your quilt batting or stuffing, and use your tweezers or hemostats to fill the base of the legs on the mouse body, making sure you add stuffing on either side of the armature wires. Continue to stuff the body tightly, filling out the stomach and back of the mouse on either side of the wire. When you are finished your mouse body should be solid not limp, and the wire armature should be thoroughly padded and not visible.
When you have stuffed the body, trim the arms to the... length you want, leaving roughly 1/4 inch to turn for loops to support the paws (see photo). Use your pliers to make loops on the ends of the arm wires.Continue to 8 of 17 below.
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Sew the Head Seam For the Miniature Felt Mouse
To assemble the head of the miniature mouse, fold the head piece in half lengthwise as shown. Use the backstitch to stitch the seam from the tip of the nose (narrowest end of the head as shown) to the top of side at the widest section, leave the top of the head unstitched as shown.
Turn the head right side out, with the seam inside the head. Take care to turn the nose end carefully to make the nose a rounded point.Continue to 9 of 17 below.
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Stitch the Head of the Miniature Felt Mouse to the Neck Opening
The head of the miniature mouse is stitched to the neck opening at right angles to the body (see photo) with the seam of the head facing down. You can begin with a backstitch where you can sew the inside of the head to the inside of the neck, and finish with a ladder stitch or a hidden hemming stitch to join the final seam of the head to the neck. It is best to start and end your join on the underside of the head where the stitches will not be noticed.Continue to 10 of 17 below.
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Glue the Feet and Lower Legs to Your Miniature Felt Mouse
To add the feet and legs to the lower body of your miniature mouse, first use a needle or tweezers to open the ends of the legs where they touch the wire. Felt often curls to the inside, and you want your openings to be wide, with no curled edges. Check the rest of the steps on making feet so you understand them, and trim the wires at the bottom of the legs so you will be able to bend them at right angles for the foot.
Apply glue to one side of the straight half of a leg and foot section. Pull... the ends of the legs on the body up the wire towards the body to keep them temporarily out of the way, and roll the glued section of felt around the leg wire, keeping enough wire free to bend underneath the wider section of felt to make a foot.(see photo) Glue the roll of felt around the wire so that the seam is at the back of where the foot will be. Allow the felt wrapped around the leg to dry, then apply a thin band of glue to the top of the felt roll on the leg and use tweezers or a needle to gently pull the loose leg section on the body down over the felt on the leg, trimming the glued felt section if necessary to allow the leg section on the body to cover it. Allow the glue at the join of the body leg and the felt leg to dry thoroughly.
Note: If you are not adding an armature to your mouse, roll the felt for the foot as if you were gluing it to a wire and insert and glue it into the opening at the bottom of the body on the leg. Leave to dry.Continue to 11 of 17 below.
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Finish and Trim the Feet on the Miniature Felt Mouse
To finish the feet on your miniature mouse, apply glue to the underside of the wide section of felt you left free on the foot, and fold that section of felt back over the wire, or over the other side of the foot if you aren't using a wire (see photo). Allow the foot to dry, then trim the outside edges to shape for a mouse foot. Use sharp scissors to cut tiny toes into the mouse foot, trimming the ends to make them slightly rounded.Continue to 12 of 17 below.
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Add Paws to the Arms of a Miniature Mouse
To make the paws on the ends of the wire arms of your mouse, glue the straight end of the felt paw section and roll it around the wire, setting the seam to be at the back of the arm.
Glue the wide end of the felt to itself at the end of the wire, using the wider section of felt to cover the loops you made to support the paws.
Use sharp scissors to trim the paws and cut small 'fingers' into them.
If you are using a wire armature for your miniature mouse, add the paws to the wire as outlined.... If you have no wire armature, glue the felt of the paws and roll them to shape, then insert them into the open end of the arms in the next step.Continue to 13 of 17 below.
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Fit the Arms To Your Miniature Felt Mouse
To fit the arms on your miniature mouse, first fold the arm in half lengthwise and sew the top third of the widest part of the arm using the backstitch to make a fine seam.
Turn the arm right side out, and gently pull the sewn section of the arm onto the wire over the paw. Tuck a little padding into the sewn upper section of the arm, then stitch (or glue) the open section of the arm so it covers the end of the arm section of the paw. Keep the seam to the back of the arm.
Sew the top of the arm to... the body at the shoulder using invisible hemming or slip stitches.
If you are not using a wire armature for your mouse, insert the rolled felt end of the paw arm into the lower unstitched end of the arm, and stitch or glue the arm together. Stitch the arm to the body just below the head to make the shoulder.Continue to 14 of 17 below.
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Add the Ears and Tail to Your Miniature Felt Mouse
To add a bit of color to the inner ears of your mouse, you can color the ear with a fabric felt pen, felt pen, colored pencils or pastels leaving the edges of the ear free of color. Pinch the base of the ear slightly to make a cup shape, and stitch the base of the ear to the back of the head at the seam between the body and the head as shown.
To Make the Tail - take the triangular tail piece and apply glue to one side. Beginning at the thickest end, roll the felt triangle across lengthwise to... form a tail, keeping the glued seamline as even as possible. Allow the tail to dry, then sew the thick end to the back of the miniature mouse.Continue to 15 of 17 below.
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Add Whiskers, Eyes, Nose and Mouth to a Miniature Felt Mouse
To finish the face of your miniature felt mouse you need to add the mouth, nose, eyes, and whiskers.
For the nose and mouth, color the nose of the mouse with the same soft pink or orange you used for the inside of the ears. Don't make it too bright. Use dark brown or black embroidery or sewing thread and stitch on either side of the nose, then down a bit of the underseam of the face as shown. If you wish you can give the mouse the effect of a smile by making two small stitches back from the... stitch on the underseam, going out slightly on either side of the face.
For the whiskers, use a silk embroidery floss or fly tying floss and take a stitch to anchor the floss on either side of the face just in back of the nose. Separate the floss with the end of a pin, and trim it to the correct length for your mouse's face.
To make the eyes, take a stitch intot the face where you want to place an eye and then sew a small bead to the face. If you are making a mouse for a child, use large french knots in embroidery thread for eyes instead of beads, and don't use a wire armature for the mouse. Once you have one beed or knot in place for the eye, take your thread through the face to the other side, and add the second bead or knot, drawing up the thread between the two eyes to pull the eyes into the face to give it some shape. Take the thread for the eyes out the back of the head at the seam, or under the head at the seam and tie the thread off, clipping any loose ends.Continue to 16 of 17 below.
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What Size is The Miniature Felt Mouse?
Here for a size comparison is the miniature felt mouse with a Playmobil adult figure. The miniature mouse sewn according to the pattern pieces is roughly the size of a 1:24 scale adult. You can adjust the height and 'weight' of the miniature mouse by shortening the body, or making the curve of the stomach larger or smaller before you cut the body pieces. You can also shorten the length of the mouse head to create a different character for your mouse collection.Continue to 17 of 17 below.
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More Animals To Make To Accompany the Miniature Felt Mouse
The miniatures site has instructions for a number of other animals that will go with the miniature felt mouse. These are all slightly easier projects to make than the felt mouse.
- Make a Miniature Felt Hippopotamus - this is a very easy sewing project for a beginner, the hippopotamus makes up to roughly the same size as the mouse.
- Make Churchill the Polar Bear - The polar bear is smaller than either the hippopotamus or the mouse, but if you want it the same size, the pattern is easy to enlarge.
M...ake Clothing For Your Tiny Animals - If you wish to make clothing for your animals, there is a simple pattern for a dress which was made to fit the miniature hippopotamus. You can also adapt clothing made for small figures, the clothing for Only Hearts Club Lil Kids will fit many doll house scale child dolls, as well as the mouse and the Hippopotamus which are roughly the size of 1:12 scale child dolls.