Toothless is finished!! I’m so happy!
He was actually finished quite a while ago but I have been putting this post off for some reason. I started Toothless over a year ago and he went through many changes during the process. Normally a project doesn’t take me quite so long, but there were many experimental phases, time when I was stalled while looking for certain materials, and frustration periods where I didn’t work on him for weeks at a time. But I was determined to complete him and make him as unique and close to my vision as possible. I am unbelievably pleased with how he came out, so it was all worth it.
Body and Legs
I’d never made a plush toy prior to deciding to make Toothless so I wanted a pattern as a jumping off point. I purchased this pattern from Etsy and made tweaks and changes as I went but patterned my own tail and wings because the originals weren’t working for me scale wise. During the initial process of getting the proportions and shapes down he went through two bodies, three tails, two and half sets of wings, six legs, and two heads. I think the only pieces that ended up being unchanged were the fins on his tail.
His body is made out of very fuzzy fleece/fur fabric and his wings and fins are fleece. He’s very cuddly and soft! The furry fabric was pretty difficult to work with, though, because it stretched in odd ways and had a mind of it’s own (and left little black fuzzies EVERYWHERE. I’m still finding them!) It was also really difficult to see what I was doing around all the fluff, but I really liked the way it looked and felt so I had to experiment with a few construction methods to get it to work. I ended up adding a cotton lining to the entire thing to give it more stability and stop the thread from pulling out. It helped SO MUCH.
I filled his feet and the end of his tail with plastic seeds just to give them a bit of weight and help him stand up on his own, and there is wire in his wings that make them fully posable! I considered leaving the wings soft for maximum cuddle factor, but I decided to mock them up with wire just to see what it would look like and I ended up liking it better.
Claws and Eyes
Closely tied with his red tail fin, which I’ll discuss in a minute, Toothless’ claws are my FAVORITE part. This was one of the additions I made that wasn’t included in the original pattern and they looked even cooler than I imagined. I purchased some claw beads from a wonderful seller on Etsy and simply sewed them to the ends of his toes. They can be moved around like how Toothless uses his claws in the movie which makes me happy, but they do have to be adjusted sometimes otherwise they are just all over the place haha.
The eyes took a while for me to be satisfied with. I bought a green 17mm set at the local craft store, but after a while I decided they were too small and the color was too flat. I took to the internet once more to find larger, slit pupil plastic safety eyes, which was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I ended up buying some clear 24mm eyes from this shop that I was able to paint to a more accurate Toothless eye color. I used acrylic paint and they’re still not as bright as I wanted them to be, but I decided to let that one go. I even toyed around with the idea of rigging LEDs in his head to illuminate his eyes, but that will have to be a later addition. I made three different versions with various paint layering and I believe I ended up using option 2.
Runner up for favorite part of Toothless is his badass red tail fin. This is the only thing that I completely flew by the seat of my pants while I was making it. I didn’t make a mock up and just went right for it. I used some red outdoor vinyl to make the fin and drew the design on by hand with a paint pen. I had this random tiny leather belt laying around that I wanted to use, but when I began working with it the leather started to crack and disintegrate, so I picked up some flat, suede cord from JoAnn’s to replace it with.
The metal “rods” are headpins for jewelry making and I also picked up a small riveting kit. The entire thing is put together with rivets and hot glue. I considered using my fancy vinyl/leather/plastic/metal/everything ever highly toxic and flammable glue, but I didn’t have time to mess with that! I was on a roll! I was able to put the whole thing together in about three hours total. The buckle is fully functional and the fin can be taken off.
The head was both the first and last thing I worked on. His original head was where I started this project and his second and final head was what I did last. The consequence of that was that I had a headless dragon hanging around the house for a few months lol.
The first head was made without the cotton lining and when I would add the polyfill it stretched in all sorts of bizarre and lumpy directions, which is what lead me to the decisions to use the cotton for the body as well. Hand sewing the head took around 26 hours and all the movie soundtracks I posses. Shout out to all the classic Disney movies for getting me through the majority of it. The changes I made to the head were larger side ear fins and a slight tuck in the chin to make the shape flatter and less ball like. I also added some eyelids so he wouldn’t look so bugeyed.
Let me know what you guys think and thanks for sticking with me through this long post!