Upcycle Final Report 2020: Aery Plush


When I first started this project, I wished to make a plush, and my original inspiration began with Hello Kitty [1] and recycling the old fabric that I kept from my youth and from what my sister did not need anymore, mostly because I did not keep much to upcycle other than old clothes that I use to patch my new clothes.

Image result for hello kitty plushies
[Hello Kitty 45th Anniversary]
However, as I kept digging through my materials, I found that the majority of my fabrics ended up majority black or grey tones, and I had very little color in general. Hello Kitty is defined by their pop, childish styles, with minimal blacks and more pastel colors. So I went for a more gothic style, similar to the collaboration between Dollskill x Hello Kitty and Skelanimals [2] instead.

Image result for skelanimals
[Skelanimals by Toynami]
I was also inspired by the colorful designs of BeeZeeArt [3] and their plush bats to help flesh out what I was going to make.

[BeeZeeArts Galaxy Bat]

Design Process

This design was mainly based on trying to figure out what I could theoretically with my sewing skills, and go from there. Unlike traditional design projects (which are usually based off the designs of a customer), this was mostly a trial and error and sketching design, sketching out various patterns and trying to figure out how I would design this plushie. I didn’t want to do too many “limbs”, because those were intensive and take time. I ended up designing no limbs at all, and instead just make a giant body.

[Initial sketches]
[Final Aery Design]
Once I figured out what my design was going to be, I decided to begin sewing.


  • Plastic grate sheeting
  • Fleece white fabric (from old shirt)
  • Black fabric (from old scarf)
  • Ribbon (assorted, from various clothing)
  • Jewelry pieces (assorted)
  • 2 Safety Doll Eyes (12mm)
  • Polyester Filling
  • Polyester Filling Beads (for weight)
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Glue (for touch up)

Fabrication Process

First, some patterns were cut out onto paper and the fastened to the plastic grating to create the patterns in which to cut fabric out.

[Patterns for Aery]
[Old clothes used as fabric]
After the patterns were cut, the pattern was sewn together by hand. Unfortunately, I did not have the foresight to actually photograph my fabrication process, which is a mistake, and something I will always document for later projects.

As this project did not require much fabrication other than sewing, the fabrication process was very simple.

Final Product

[Final plush of Aery!]


Functionally, the plush functioned exactly as I wanted it to. It was soft, and I had plenty of fabric to create interesting designs on its stomach. It was soft and playful, and did not fall apart after triple stitching.

Artistically, the plush came out a little strange, but nothing that I didn’t like. I wished for the “wings” to be bigger, but unfortunately it compromised wing stability; therefore tiny little wings were left on its back like flippers. The ears were a little flat, so I ended up overstuffing them to give the plush a more rounded shape.
I also really enjoy the pear-shaped design of the plush, as I am not skilled with forming limbs (as seen with the wings), but it gave the plush an almost rotund soft figure to contrast its rather macabre design choices of skulls and broken jewelry. Elegant, cute, but a little edgy at times, and I ended up enjoying this final product.

The name Aery was given to invoke a sense of “air” and lightness to the plush.

What’s Next

I attempted to create a bat companion to this plush, unfortunately it ended up not working out as I pleased, and therefore was scrapped due to the small details. In the future, I would like to be able to experiment with more designs and shapes, and perhaps different, contrasting aesthetics.


[1] Hello Kitty 45th Anniversary: https://hellokitty45.com/

[2] Skelanimals: https://www.toynamishop.com/skelanimals/

[3] BeeZeeArts: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeeZeeArt?ref=l2-shopheader-name

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14 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Emi! I really impressed by how you hand-sewed the entire thing. I like how you combined both the cute Hello Kitty aesthetic and the goth aesthetic

  • Benjamin Robles
    February 28, 2020 11:27 am

    Presentation Comment: I love the contrast between the cuteness of the plush and the fact that it has lots of blacks and has skulls on its belly. Also, wow very professional looking! (as in, very well sown)
    -Ben Robles

  • Hello Emi,

    This plush is very cute. I thought it was impressive that you recycled old clothing. It really brings out the recycling aspect of the upcycle project. I love that you added bells, beads, and more to the plush. It’s clear that a lot of planning went into the plush because the form is spot on. If you could change any aspect of the plush, would you go into detail about it?

    This is a wonderful project and well done.

    Justin Lim

    • I’d probably tried to experiment with a different form, honestly? Smaller body and bigger wings, and maybe different textures!

  • That’s insane that you actually hand sewed the whole plush. Its really impressive that you did that. I’m also a big fan of the way that the skulls worked with the plush style. It’s a really cool contrast!

  • It was a great idea to use old clothes. Wow – I can’t believe you sowed this by hand! It came out great. All the seams look extremely professional. I really like the aesthetic too. In a way, there is this irony of adding the skulls and “gothic” look to a stuffed animal, and I think that is really interesting. I would love to see a big version of this. Great job.

  • Emi,
    I like your use of images in your presentation, your visual focus clearly laid out your design process in an engaging manner.
    Question I asked:
    do you have a lot of experience with sewing? The seams seem very well sewn together.

    • I have a lot of experience with hand sewing (although I am quite slow) but I can’t figure out a way around a machine. XD

  • I love that you were able to sew this all by hand! I used sewing in my Upcycle project as well, and can confirm it is no small feat! In addition, the hand sewing is incredibly well done. How long have you been sewing for? This looks like something I could buy off the shelf. Well done!!

  • Hailee Pritchard
    February 28, 2020 11:18 am

    Emi! I love this so much, it looks like something that you bought i am so impressed with how you made this! I think it was such a good use of the recycled material and turned out so well. Good job!

  • Patrick Bodine-Ellison
    February 28, 2020 11:18 am

    I really appreciate how much documentation you took of every stage of your design. You have solid sketches and good lists for your materials combined with excellent images. This is the sort of documentation that can seem silly or tedious to do at the time but you will greatly appreciate if you put together a portfolio in the future.

  • Miles Radakovitz
    February 28, 2020 11:18 am

    I really like the quality of the piece the sewing is very impressive.
    I really like the thoughtful placement of the skulls on the piece.

  • Hello Emi!
    Loved reading your report because of the effort and detail that went into this project! I think your plushie is so cute and it honestly looks like something I would find at a Hello Kitty or Sanrio store. I loved how you used recycled clothes as your material because it probably made your plush softer and more familiar. Aside from the actual artifact I liked how in depth you went into your process and all of your documentation! great job! Is there a reason why you chose the fox-like plushie instead of another creature? Did you gain more sewing experience through this?

    • I honestly chose a fox-like plushie because it is the easiest form for me to sew into a 3D shape. I’m not good with the smaller details of ears and the like, and I wanted something with some body.
      I did, honestly. I’ve been sewing for about 15 years but being able to sew satin, something that frays, is something new!


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