Wednesday, February 11, 2009

tooth pillow tutorial, revisited



This basic tooth pillow pattern includes a loop to hang from the bedpost, doorknob or night table drawer knob, so the Tooth Fairy doesn't have to do that hazardous groping under the beneficiary's pillow. This is pure gold. Pure GOLD, people. It also has a built-in pocket in the mouth for receiving teeth and coins.


So I finished my oldest's tooth pillow (Ballerina Fairy, photo above) and I thought I'd repost the basic pattern with a better tutorial to go with it, because I made a couple of adjustments to it. The basic pattern does not include the crown, wings or skirt. You could make those parts pretty easily on your own if you like. (If you would like to see other tooth pillows I've made for both boys and girls for inspiration, you can view this flickr set.)

The basic free pattern now includes the cheek and teeth shapes. (I'm also developing a retail version of the pattern that includes lots of accessories and a better way to sew the mouth pocket. Stay tuned for that.)

So here we go! For a basic girl or boy tooth pillow you'll need:
  • My pattern printed twice on 8.5 x 11 card stock
  • Felt for tooth body, inside pocket, cheeks, little teeth, plus (optional) any accessories you add in addition to the basic stuff, like the crown and tutu.
  • About 11 inches of ribbon for the hanging loop
  • Buttons for eyes (or safety eyes, or felt eyes, etc...)
  • Fabritac or other fabric glue
  • Matching thread, embroidery floss, etc...
  • Disappearing marker to trace and make markings
  • Poly stuffing
1) You've downloaded the new and improved pattern and printed it out twice at actual size (no scaling) on letter sized card stock, right? Alrighty. Cut out the teeth and cheek shapes if you want to use them. Cut out the large tooth body piece from one sheet and the pocket piece from the other sheet. Also punch small holes in the main pattern piece to mark the ribbon placement, the mouth slit, the top corners of the pocket placement and the eyes. I use a 1/8 inch hole punch and it works great.


2) Trace and cut out the tooth pattern twice on felt. The pattern is now symmetrical so you don't have to worry about flipping it. Mark a vertical slit on the back piece and on the other piece mark all the placement holes you punched in step one.


3) Trace and cut out a felt pocket piece (in my case, I chose light pink*). Trace and cut out the small teeth shape and two cheeks if you are going to use them. If you are using the teeth shape, go ahead and glue it to the center top of the pocket piece. Set the cheek shapes aside.


*Note: If your tooth is a light color felt, avoid choosing dark colors for the pocket piece -- it may show through and give your tooth five o'clock shadow. Not good, especially if you are a girl tooth pillow.

4) In matching thread, machine sew around the mouth line and also the line on the back piece before you cut them. It will look like a box of stitches around each one. It's to stabilize the felt and keep it from stretching out of shape. Use an Xacto knife and a ruler to cut the slits, being sure not to come too close to the stitching.


5) Add dots of fabric glue around the edges of the right side of the pocket piece to keep it in place for sewing. Place it on the wrong side of the front piece behind the mouth using your marked dots for placement. Be sure the teeth are centered and showing through the mouth slit. With thread or floss that matches the outside of your tooth, hand sew with a hidden whip stitch all the way around the pocket. Be careful not to go through to the other side and use small enough stitches so that you won't lose any of your kid's teeth through a gap.



6) Add button eyes, safety eyes, embroidered eyes, felt eyes, whatever suits your stash or your fancy. Buttons can be a choking hazard for kiddos under three, so keep that in mind if your tooth pillow is for a very young kid. I know you know that. Has to be said. Also hand sew the cheeks on at this stage, and add whatever else you like in the way of facial features: freckles, mustache, eyebrows. Go crazy.


7) Add the ribbon. Loop it in half and glue it to the edge of the front piece. Pin the loop out of the way of the stitches.


8) Sandwich both pieces together right sides facing, pin, and machine sew all the way around with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. After sewing be sure to trim and clip all the seam allowances so that when it is turned the curves are nice and smooth. Turn it right side out through the slit in the back.



9) Tada! Now all you have to do is stuff it and hand sew the slit in the back closed. Scroll below to see some finished teeth and the back sewn closed.



At this stage you can also add more accessories if you'd like to customize your tooth.

The mouth pocket you created is where the lost tooth goes. Then you hang the pillow on the bedpost, drawer handle, doorknob, etc...And then the Tooth Fairy magically comes during the night to replace the tooth in the pocket with some coins or a rolled up dollar bill. At our house the Tooth Fairy sometimes forgets to visit (can you believe that slacker?), so now we always hang the pillow outside the child's door on the knob, as a visual reminder. For the Tooth Fairy.

And that is how you make a basic hanging tooth pillow. Love to see the ones that you make in my flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/mmmcraftsprojects/

Below are more photos of the one I made for my two with a crown, felt tutu and sparkly pipe cleaner wings added on the back (girly overload), so you can see there are many possibilities. I've made a few improvements to the pattern since I made mine.



What's really weird is at the time I was making it, I found out my good friend Jessica's daughter requested her own tooth pillow Ballerina Fairy at the same time, so our kids must've been channeling from some snaggle-toothed girly collective unconscious. Weirder still, when I found that out by chance, Jessica and I had both already made one unsatisfactory version and were each working on Ballerina Fairy Tooth Pillow 2.0.

Which is creepy. In a good way.

95 comments:

  1. wow, larissa! Your tooth pillow is super cute!!

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  2. That is so cute. I have made 2 tooth ferry pillows so far - both for boys. I have 2 more to go and I am glad that one of those needed is for a girl so that I can make this very cute pillow. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Very nice! I'm afraid to show my girls your version - might have to make another.

    My first had the 5 o'clock shadow thingy going on. Kevin was nice enough to point it out. :P

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  4. It is so adorable!

    And your daughter has a wonderful imagination... just like her lovely mother. :)

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  5. That is just too cute for words! I hope I remember it when my 2-yr-old granddaughter gets closer to the tooth-losing stage!

    Thanks for the tutorial!

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  6. I love this! I'll have to make it for my daughter! Very cute, Larissa!

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  7. Thank you so much for posting the pattern, its wonderful!

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  8. Bookmarking this - I love it, thanks for the tute. I'm not sure when kids start losing their teeth but will be sure to make this for my 3 year old and as gifts to other kiddies when they get closer to the age.

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  9. This is adorable! I think all have to make tooth pillows when my kids get to that age of loosing teeth. I have this thing with teeth and I don't think I'd be able to touch them...definitely NOT going to save any of them! Thanks for a great tutorial.

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  10. Everyone, man, thanks so much! i'd love to see pics of your Ballerina Fairy or whatever form your tooth pillow takes.

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  11. This is probably one of the fineste tooth fairy pillows I have ever seen...and there is even a tutorial as well. Wonderful!!! :0))

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  12. Oh my! The tooth fairy pillow is so super cute! I'd love to make one for a dental office that I used to work at. Thanks so much for taking time to share with us your patterns and the tutorial!

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  13. it's adorable! I can't wait until my kids start loosing teeth

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  14. That's about the cutest tooth fairy pillow I've ever seen! I would love to make one of these for my girls.

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  15. My son just had two tooth pulled out at the dentist..I think that I NEED to make this toothfairy! I love her mouth..so cute!!

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  16. I really love this and all your fantastic ideas! I just found your blog through How About Orange? and it's a pleasure to be here!

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  17. That is just too darn cute! MAybe someday I'll be good enough to try something like that .. and have it actually come out looking right :)

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  18. Okay, that's just too cute for words!!! Blogged at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/sew-a-tooth-fairy-pillow-with-this-free-pattern/2009/02/11/

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  19. She turned out so cute! (As did Jessica's.) Thanks for the updated pattern and instructions. I am looking forward my kids their own. (Although it will be awhile, considering Chloe has still only gotten 2 teeth!)

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  20. *__*

    soooooooooo cute, Larissa!!

    Kisses from Brazil!

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  21. I am bowing down to your tooth pillow greatness. That is awesome!

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  22. You are super genius! A tooth pillow is buckteethed! I love it! I love the slit that you make for its mouth!

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  23. I don't think I ever saw the fairy version of this. RIDICULOUS cute, I love it! Thanks so much for sharing, I'll be linking to this.

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  24. you guys crack me up with your ever descriptive comments! thanks so much.

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  25. This is the sweetest tooth fairy pillow I've ever seen!!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial :)

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  26. This is one of the most adorable things I've ever seen. :o)

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  27. this might be the cutest thing i've ever seen.. wonderful, just wonderful..

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  28. Thanks! This was a perfect first project for my six year old- perfect timing, too! Her first tooth came loose on Monday.

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  29. I love this pillow and put it on Craft Gossip Felting and hope you stop by and leave a comment and say "HI"

    http://felting.craftgossip.com/2009/02/26/felt-tooth-fairy-pillow-tutorial-by-larissa-of-mmmcrafts-blog-spot/

    Linda
    Felting editor

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  30. Thank you so much!
    My daughter is about to have her first tooth pulled-I' sure this will dry up any tears afterwards!

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  31. Thanks soo much for posting this. I made it for my duaghter and it only took 2 hours and that's with me not doing anything crafty in years. It turned out wonderful!

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  32. I loved this so much I made one of my own, not as polished as yours :) Also, because my daughter and I just finished reading Coraline we had to satin stitch the eyes.
    http://yfrog.com/0ltoothfairypillowqj

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  33. Ooh! Those are awesome! Spacify offers Kids Pillow and more at reasonable prices.

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  34. I finished this project this morning and it is AWESOME! SO CUTE I can't stand it. I wish I had a way to link to a picture of it. I'd love to see how other people added to theirs. I made a flower out of the skirt scraps and it gave the skirt some Flamenco style flair!

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  35. Darren, it would be AWESOME if you shared a picture! I have a flickr group just for that here:
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/mmmcraftsprojects/

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  36. Hi there! Thanks for sharing this pattern and for the clear tutorial. I used your pattern but twisted it (quite a bit) into a Tooth Zombie Pillow. :) I added a pic to your Flickr group and if you're interested, I blogged about it here: http://laveganloca.blogspot.com/2009/06/boy-new-tooth-zombie-pillow.html

    Thanks again!

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  37. Marni, your tooth zombie is PRICELESS. Thanks for sharing the link!

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  38. Precioso!!!!!!
    Thank you for the tutorial!

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  39. If you'd like to hide the stuff seam next time, you could make a horizontal cut where the shirt will be placed.

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  40. I loved making this! Just in the nick of time too as my daughter is set to lose her first tooth any day. I struggled a little bit-made the pocket too small as I had limited pink felt and my ribbon went askew. Still very pleased with the result. Thanks for sharing. I'll post my photo when I get a chance.

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  41. I made my own "tooth officer" yesterday for my son who is on the verge of losing his first tooth. He loves it! Thank you so much for sharing your pattern. Link to Craftster post here (I linked your blog in my post): http://bit.ly/YXckF

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  42. Kathryn, I totally dig your tooth officer, and thanks for the linkage on Craftster! I attempted to comment on your post there but didn't see an obvious button anywhere. Thanks again!

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  43. This is adorable! I am adding a link to your blog onto my blog post today so that friends can pop over and learn how to make one too. My topic today was "a golden tooth". Thanks for your great blog, I love it!

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  44. Dear larissa,
    You are so creative, congratulations for your idea and tutorial, amazing!!!
    All the Best!!!
    Carine

    I posted a link to it on my blog at http://feltroaholic.blogspot.com
    Thank You!!!!!!!!

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  45. Oh my goodness this is the cutest idea ever! I can't wait to have kids so I can try this out and they can have their very own pillow! Love it and thank you so much for sharing!

    - Elizabeth
    Co-Owner
    www.missimagination.com

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  46. I am surgeon dentist ... this is beautiful and creative!
    Ale

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  47. I love this tutorial and made two of my own based on your adorable pattern. I linked back to your site. Thanks so much for sharing your pattern.

    http://dudeimadeit.blogspot.com/2010/01/tooth-fairy-pillows.html

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  48. um, this is so freakin' cute!!! i have been meaning to make something of the sort for lily...she's on loose tooth #3 (i think. is that terrible that i don't know? yes, it is). my dear mom+dad gave all 3 of the girls la-de-dah sterling boxes from tiffany's, which i am sure that they will appreciate in time. ;) the tooth fairy actually leaves the teeth in the box. i can't think of a better place, though, for the kiddos to leave their teeth for the toothfairy than in a softie tooth's cutie-cute mouth! and it looks to be the perfect size to fit a $1 coin...in our house, the t.f.'s preferred form of payment. :)

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  49. Cathy, thanks! Man, Tiffany boxes! Swank! And I forget how many teeth my oldest has lost, so you are not alone there.

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  50. That is the cutest thing I have ever seen!

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  51. Hi there,
    I wanted to thank you for your wonderful tooth pillow tutorial!!! it is so cute and practical. If you are interested, here is a link to one I just made for my middle daughter. She lost her first tooth last week. Thanks again,
    Jenny
    http://www.sunboxstudio.com/blog/jenny/?p=900

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  52. Your creations are amazing! The faces are so adorable and the patterns are easy to follow. I'm a BIG fan! Keep the patterns coming.
    Robin Horaist

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  53. Howdy howdy! I wanted to share with you that for my first Crafternoon gathering, I chose this pattern. Thank you so much for creating and offering it:) You can see the post at http://www.thecrafties.com/2010/07/crafternoon/

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  54. I love your little tooth pillows, and can't wait to try one of my own one of these days! I featured you here. So clever!

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  55. I finally had a reason to make this. I linked in my post back to you.

    Here is my super tooth pillow:

    http://tiffany-simplycomplicated.blogspot.com/2010/09/its-birdits-plane.html

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  56. Parabéns pelo tutorial, e que Deus lhe recompense por tanta generosidade! Faço artes com tecido, feltro, patchwork básico, pinto e bordo. Visite meu blog http://marizeartesdipano.blogspot.com e meu Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/marize_artes_dipano
    Felicidades, muito sucesso, e fique com Deus!
    Abraços e bjs.
    Marize/Maceió-AL/BRASIL

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  57. Thank you so much for this. I have very basic sewing skills and I managed to make a very good looking policeman pillow for a friend. Next, I'll be attempting the ballerina. Great idea to hang the pillow as well.

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  58. Thanks for the inspiration!
    All of your tooth pillows are outstanding!
    I loved them so much I made one for myself.
    I blogged about it and mentioned your post. :)

    Thanks again!!

    http://simpsonizedcraftsandthensome.blogspot.com/2010/11/tooth-fairy-pillow.html

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  59. Great tute! Here's my fairy:
    http://partypuff.blogspot.com/2011/01/tooth-fairy-pillow.html

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  60. This is ADORABLE! Just what I was looking for!

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  61. I LOVE this. Even though my son is only 4 months old, i may just have to make one to hold for him until he loses his first tooth! Can you tell im a little anxious? Great idea!

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  62. Hi, I love this tooth fairy pillow and have made one and it turned out great. The only problem I have is that I don't know how to make the skirt. I am a new sewer so I don't have those skills yet. Would anyone be willing to tell me how to get it to stay on the body please?

    Thanks!

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  63. Stacy Hite Avalon,
    Hi! The skirt is basically a flat donut, a circle with another circle cut from the middle. The hole in the middle needs to be the same diameter as your tooth, and then you hand stitch it on from underneath using a whipstitch. Does that help? If not, there's always fabric glue.

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  64. Thanks so much! My 6 year old lost her first tooth two days ago. She left it under the pillow and got her money. Yesterday she wrote the tooth fairy a letter requesting it back! So, I'm going to make the pillow to put it in, back under her pillow!

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  65. I fell in love with this project and scrambled through some scraps of felt and fabric, because like everyone else, I was in a pinch for a tooth delivery system. It was used last week and no injuries incurred to the fairy that came and exchanged the tooth. Thank you so much for the pattern!

    My tooth fairy pillow

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  66. Janelle, you tooth turned out so cute! I have to say, what I love best about the pillow is the fact that we can hang it on the OUTSIDE of their door. The tooth fairy really really appreciates that, not only because less stealth is needed, but it is a visual reminder to the sleepy tooth fairy to actually leave the dollar in place of the tooth before she goes to bed and forgets it. Now I need to look through your paper tutorials...

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  67. Hi there, I found your super cute pattern awhile ago and found the perfect person to make it for! My little niece is at the age where she can start making money on losing teeth! I posted pics here: http://coquetabonitacreations.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for sharing!
    Ashley

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  68. These are so precious. Any chance I could order one? My daughter would absolutely love it & has a wobbly tooth right now! :) Please let me know - I would love to buy one from you! Thank you!

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  69. Raven, hey! Couldn't access your profile, so I'll answer here. No, unfortunately I can't take orders right now. No time! I may make some girl versions for the shop at some future date, but not sure when. Which is completely unhelpful! Sorry to disappoint.

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  70. Larissa, this is absolutely gorgeous! I'm determined to give it a go although with the lack of patterned felt available in Australia, I might try it in fabric instead. Your generosity of spirit is much appreciated. If I succeed, I'll send you a link.
    Di x

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  71. I love this! I'm featuring it on my site right now!

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  72. Yay! I love these cute little pillows! I made a princess one for my daughter and a police man for my son. They both loved it and my daughter got to use it TWICE in the first week!!!

    My sister in law was so jealous so I need to make her 2 boys some next lol.

    http://sunnysewing.blogspot.com/2012/02/tooth-fairy-pillows.html

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  73. Love this so so much! Made one for my little Lily. Thanks for the pattern and tutorial! I can't tell you how happy my daughter is to have this!

    http://holidaysnobs.blogspot.com/2012/06/tooth-fairy-pillow.html

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  74. Oi Larissa, eu fiz a fada do dente e coloquei no meu blog http://umquartodeartesanato.blogspot.com.br/2012/10/fada-do-dente-em-feltro.html

    Obrigada por compartilhar o molde.
    Abraço

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  75. Hi. İ loved your tutorial. But I can not download the pattern. The links doesn't work. I tried to download from three different computers. Could you help me download. Thank you. idilko@gmail.com

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  76. Hi, Atolye, I just tested the download and it seems to be working well. Not sure what the problem could be, but would suggest you download the latest adobe reader software to see if that will help. It is free.

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  77. Larissa hi again,
    Sorry for the hassle but my problem doesn't seem to be about the adobe reader software. The problem is something else. Because every software I have has the latest version. I'm using Firefox, Google Chrome, my husband has explorer. My friend has Safari and all of us have the latest version of Reader :) We can not download anything. Nothing happens on both links. If you don't mind would you mail the pdf document to my e-mail? Which is idilko@gmail.com This way everything will be solved easily. Thanks again.

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  78. First tooth lost today--check. Adorable tooth fairy pillow made today--check. Thanks a bunch!

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  79. Thank you for this awesome tutorial! SO CUTE!!! My mother in law used it to make a pillow for my daughter yesterday. I blogged about it here:
    http://thelarsonlingo.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-tooth-fairy-came-to-visit-tutorial.html

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  80. I love them.. soo cute... Greetings from Turkey.

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  81. Just a suggestion. Don't cut a slit in the back to turn your tooth right side out. Instead leave an opening at the side seam it will look more professional and save you the step of having to sew around the back slit before turning your pillow right side out.just use small stitches to close up the side seam so they aren't noticible.

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    1. Hi, Christy! Thanks so much for the suggestion. I actually did it like that at first, and I prefer the straight slit in the back because turning in the seam allowance on wool felt is less easy than with fabric, and when you do the stitching on the side, sometimes the curve looks a little wonky. That's my preference, but of course you can do the closing as you like!

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  82. hi, i made your tooth and my family and friends love it! http://oi39.tinypic.com/309hd6x.jpg
    made the tooth her pink tutu <3

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  83. Thanks for the tutorial, I love how it turned out! My daughter can't wait to lose her first tooth!

    blogged

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  84. Last night I made the tooth pillow with my seven year old nephew. He was in charge of the design (added pirate eye patch), cutting, hand stitching, stuffing and the sewing machine pedal. We didn't do all the hand stitching suggested, but my nephew was so proud of what he accomplished! will try to add to flickr

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  85. Here's my photo
    http://feltwerker.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/about-a-boy-and-sewing-a-tooth-fairy-pillow/

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  86. Thanks a lot for the pattern !! I love it !! Have a good day !!

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  87. Hi there! I'm not finding instructions on how to attach the tutu - can you advise? Thanks so much! Absolutely adorable craft!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Mom!
      I used a whip stitch from underneath.

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