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How to Make Farm Animals from Wood or Fabric

Whether you want to teach children about farm animals and their sounds in a hands-on way or you're simply interested in creating decorative pieces, produce recognisable figures from wood or fabric. Farm animals have been an important part of human society since the beginning of animal domestication 10,000 years ago, when humans began shifting from being hunter-gatherers to settling in one place. Populations grew and complex societies developed, forming the foundation for the modern world. In a sense, farm animals symbolise the beginning of modern society.

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  1. Draw or print simple profile images of farm animals on cardstock and cut them out.

  2. Trace the templates onto the wood. Measure and mark the wood for a rectangular stand for each animal. The stands should be about 3/4- to 1-inch wide and at least as long as the animal.

  3. Cut the animal outline and the stands with a jigsaw.

  4. Sand with coarse or medium sandpaper, such as 50- or 60-grit, following with fine sandpaper such as 100-grit.

  5. Affix the animal cutouts to the stands with wood glue.

  6. Prime the figures and paint them using acrylic colours.

  7. Draw or print simple profile patterns of farm animals on cardstock and cut them out.

  8. Trace the templates onto the underside of the fabric. You will have two cut-outs for each animal. Create mirror images so the pieces will align with the correct sides facing out when you sew them together.

  9. Sew on buttons for eyes, feathers for wings and yarn for mane and tails to give the animals detail and texture.

  10. Sew the mirrored pieces together inside out, leaving about an inch unsewn. Use a sewing machine to complete this step more quickly.

  11. Turn the animal right side out through the hole and stuff it.

  12. Sew the hole with a clean overstitch using a needle and thread. Tuck in the edges of the fabric to leave a clean seam.

  13. Tip

    Use a temporary spray adhesive to hold the template to the wood or fabric when tracing. You can also use transfer or carbon paper. Recycle old garments instead of buying fabric for the project.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cardstock
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • 1/2-inch plywood or medium-density fibreboard
  • Jigsaw
  • Protective goggles
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Primer
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Fabric
  • Buttons, feathers and yarn
  • Needle and thread
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Cotton or polyester fill/batting

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Taylor Ross is a professional writer of culture and lifestyle articles. Her work has appeared in “Santa Barbara Magazine,” "Edible Santa Barbara" and “CASA Magazine.” Ross holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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