DIY Tooth Fairy Pillow-Wally Whale [tutorial]

tooth fairy pillow unique whale1

There are many fun traditions I miss from my childhood, waiting up at night for Santa to come, waking up to a basket full of chocolate from the Easter Bunny, and of course leaving notes for the Tooth Fairy under my pillow with every tooth I lost.  The angst of waiting to find out what the tooth fairy had left me in the morning was almost unbearable!  It’s the memories of traditions like these that inspire me to create fun DIY’s like today’s “Wally the Whale” Tooth Fairy Pillow!  Not only was this whale pillow fun to make, it was made with lots of love for my future nephew who will be born this August 🙂

“Wally the Whale” Tooth Fairy Pillow [Tutorial]


step 1

Deco Art’s Ink Effect paints are great because they allow you to paint any image onto a regular piece of paper, then transfer onto fabric simply by ironing! The first step in the project is to paint a picture of a whale onto a standard white piece of paper (I used graph paper because it was all I had).  Paint the whale the same size that you want your pillow to be.  

Use this template if you’re working with standard 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper.  Simply click on the image, save it to your computer, then print it out as a full page.  I created this template for the whale I painted =)


step 2

Allow your painting to dry for about 20 minutes (or until it’s dry to the touch).  Now it’s time to transfer your painting to the fabric you selected (I used a cream colored linen fabric).  Place a piece of cardboard down on a flat surface (this will catch any bleed through), then the fabric with the painting face down on top of it.  Iron the painting on top of the fabric, this will begin the heat transfer.  Continue to iron for about 2 minutes until you can clearly see the painting transferred onto your fabric.

Next, use a pair of fabric scissors to cut out the whale shape.  You need two sides for your pillow, so make sure to double up the fabric to cut out the pillow’s back as well.  Leave 1/2″ around the outside of the painted area.

step 3

Now that we’ve created the whale pillow shape, its time to stitch it up!  Flip the front and back of the pillow sides around with the good sides facing in (the painted side of the fabric should be facing in).  Then, take it to a sewing machine and stitch all around the outside of the pillow, leaving a small 2-3″ section open at the top of the head (this is where we will stuff it, and hat will eventually sit).

Once you’ve sewed around the outside of the whale, flip it right-side-out and stuff with polyester pillow fill.  Then stitch up the open area on the head!

step 4

Now the body of the whale pillow is complete, set it aside while we move onto the whale’s hat!  Cut out three squares of fabric, each about 6″ in length, into the shape of the whale’s hat.  Use the template below for tracing and cutting out your whale pillow’s hat.  Simply click on the image then print.

step 5

Now that you’ve cut out the whale’s hat shape from three small pieces of fabric, we’ll start with creating the pocket that will hold the lost tooth and gift from the Tooth Fairy!  Fold over the top of one of the fabric pieces and stitch it across.  This will be the top of the pocket.

step 6

Lay the pocket piece you just stitched on top of another piece of of the cut.  You will be flipping this inside out after stitching, so make sure the clean side of the stitched pocked is facing inward.  Stitch all around the outside of the pocket, attaching both pieces together, make sure not to stitch the top pocket opening!  Your hat should look like the photo below after this step.

Now flip the pocket right-side-out…I know the corners on my hat are far from perfect, but we’ll look at it as “added character” 😉

step 7

Now we need to attach the pocket portion of the hat to what will become the back of the hat.  Flip the pocket over (with the pocket facing down) and lay it on top of the back of the hat.

Now stitch around the outside of the pocket, attaching it to the hat’s back.  Make sure to leave a small (approx. 2″) section open on the bottom of the hat for flipping it back around and stuffing it with fill.  Again, my sewing skills are seriously lacking, but trust me, this won’t effect the end result 😉
tooth fairy pillow-whale 15

Now, go ahead and flip the hat back so it’s right-side-out…

See, now my horrid stitching job isn’t so noticeable anymore!

step 8

Stuff the hat with pillow fill through the opening that you left on the bottom.  You’ll notice that the opening I left is much larger than what I originally left…I removed some threads and widened the opening to get more fill in. 

After stuffing the hat, stitch the bottom back up!

step 9

I decided that I wanted my whale to have a funky red and cream striped hat!  To paint the whale’s hat I used Deco Art’s So Soft Fabric Paint.  tooth fairy pillow-whale 10
For this step, simply use a small paint brush to paint stripes (or whatever design you choose) onto the whale’s hat.  Let dry for about an hour.

step 10

Last, but not least, attach the hat to the whale pillow!  You might be able to use a sewing machine for this, but I hand stitched it…you’ve seen my limits when it comes to using a sewing machine 😉

….there you have it folks, your new Whale Tooth Fairy Pillow!

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