Make it Yourself – Cuddly Critter Foam

Finding a great gift for a child can be difficult. And the smaller they are, the more careful you have to be, to ensure you don’t purchase anything that will hurt them, or be dangerous for them.


These blocks were initially made when my children were young. Since then, I have made sets for nieces when they were young, and even given a set to my kindergarten to use as a raffle prize.

Any little one will love these blocks. They are a great way of learning animal names, colours, numbers and shapes.  Create one set for loved ones, and another set for a charity.


  • 40cm white homespun
  • 5 fat quarters of different coloured fabrics (I used brights)
  • 10 10x10cm foam blocks (available from Clark Rubber)
  • Threads to co-ordinate with your fabric choices
  • General embroidery supplies such as Stabiliser, Bobbins & Scissors.
  • Rotary Cutter/Matboard & Ruler
  • Sewing machine with a ¼” sewing foot
  • Hand sewing needle & thread
  • Cuddly Critters CD collection (see end of article for ordering instructions)


  1. Load the designs from the Cuddly Critters collection onto your embroidery machine.
  2. Using your 4×4” hoop, hoop together stabiliser and one of your bright coloured fabrics.
  3. Stitch out 10 animals using the white background fabric.
  4. For the remainder of the designs, stitch out one design each using the bright fabrics – You should end up with 10 Animal pictures, 10 Animal Names, 10 colour blocks, 10 shape pictures, 10 shape names, and 10 numbers. (Use different coloured fabrics for each of the squares, to give the blocks a colourful look)
  5. Using your rotary cutter, matboard and ruler, trim each square to a ¼” from the stitched seam.
  6. Lay out the blocks in the sets that you wish to join them in. My children are quite young, and not yet up to matching up words, so I have put the animal picture and name together, and the shape name and picture together. If you are making them for children that are older, break them up and use the blocks to assist in matching up pairs. I find it easiest to lay all of the designs out on the floor to ensure that everything matches up, and that each block will have an even distribution of fabric colours.
  7. Using the layout above, join the designs together to form a cross. You will need to use your ¼” sewing machine foot to accurately create this join. I also recommend using a 2.0 stitch length to hold the edges together.
  8. Fold the sides of the cross together to begin forming the cube. We need to leave two sides open to place foam into.
  9. Insert foam into the cube.  You may need to squish the foam into the cube, and rotate it around a little to get the foam cube in correctly.
  10. Once the foam cube is in the box, use a sewing needle and thread to stitch the two sides closed.
  11. Ensure that there are no pins or needles in your blocks before you gift your blocks.

Cuddly Critters Embroidery Collection is available through Julie Hall Designs at for $29.95 for download, or $34.95 via CD  Collections can be ordered securely online via PayPal using Visa, Mastercard or PayPal account.

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