Hector, the 3D Cave Painting Stuffie!

My partner in the comfort creature swap had lots of good suggestions, but I was drawn to one in particular. It was a cave painting on her paleo Pinterest board, and once I saw that, I knew it needed to be a stuffie.

Then I was stuck. How do I make this amazingly detailed painting become 3D without having it be like a pillow stuffie where there are details on one side but flat and a pillow.

So I looked over and over and over trying to find a suitable (to me) substitute, but nothing would work because I just knew this was the one.

My partner also wanted recycled/thrifted items to create her stuffie, if possible. I respect that, because those traits are important to me too. So, while thinking and thinking about how to make this, I was also trying to figure out how to make it with those supplies.

Then, I had an epiphany! I had squares of bath towel set aside to make more cleaning rags. They were the perfect size to make a stuffie! So, I got them out and cut out the main outline (excluding legs) of Hector’s body. I chose to keep his mouth closed to make sewing easier for me, especially with the heavy towel. I sewed the two sides together and was so pleased and happy already! I sewed a piece of red felt for his mouth.

Next, I remembered my daughter put a flannel shirt in colors my partner likes in the donate pile. By this time, I’d decided that the circles by the mouth could be scales! I cut the sleeves off and sewed scales using the seam part of the sleeves. Most of the scales are sewed on with a blanket stitch.

Once I figured the scales out, I tried to envision the back half of what Hector looked like. Then, I figured out I could use the collar and made sure to salvage the seam that I could–less sewing! I added some stuffing, then sewed some bulk lines to help it look like the picture.

I kept adding scales and working on it. At this point I had stuffed him and closed him up to see his shape. I still had to figure out the small circles up top (those pom pom strips would be perfect!) and his legs tail. His legs are so small in the picture, but I needed some depth so he would stand upright. But, they look kinda webbed, so I cut out more flannel and made webbed feet!

Oh, now he’s really taking shape! Here he is with legs and the pom poms, but not all scales yet.

So, I kept adding scales. But, when he had enough scales, I could still see some towel. I noticed on the picture some “hair,” so added cream wool felt fringe all around! Even on his nose! (The eyes were also from the shirt!)

There! Now he is perfect. This is the story of how hector (named at 1030 pm.) was born!

(Everything on Hector was hand sewn. All the stuffing was reused from our chaise to couch project.)


He is perfect! I have serious FOMO from this swap-next time I’m joining!
Great job!!!

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That. Is. Amazing! I had seen him in the gallery, but love seeing your inspiration and the step by step.


He looks so snuggly and friendly. Like the drawing came to life and wants to lick your face! Great job and thanks for the play by play! It was neat to see your creative journey.


Wow, what a cool project! He’s adorable, and I love the recycled aspect.

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Hee-- you should have been here for 5 minutes of my child explaining that this was an ice age creature, and its diet (it’s an omnivore, which we know because they found fossilized poop) and that it was a mimic like a parrot… This one is a juvenile, but they grow to be “as big as the arch” (7’?), and adult males have tusks… (I think that might have been most of it, but there was a lot.) :laughing:


How great to see Hector completed!
Thanks for sharing the process, it’s nice to see how he came together.

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It turned out great!

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Really cool inspiration. Now I want to make something based on a cave painting!


Aw, Hector looks so cute! I liked the IP photos that you took and how you went through the process.

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@bethntim Thank you so much!
@wittychild Thank you! I am very proud of him!
@gozer I can attest that he is, indeed, very snuggly. Thanks so much.
@endymion Thank you! Yes, it was an interesting twist, but it was well worth it!
@thanate Oh, that is just darling! I’m glad to hear Hector is loved!
@Tanath Haha, yeah, big change from the sneak peek I shared in the Zoom meetup! Thank you.
@kittykill Thanks so much!
@steiconi It really was a really cool inspiration! Now, I want to see you do that!
@irid3sc3nt Thank you so much!

I love his origin story. I would never have thought to turn a cave painting into a 3D plushie. What a neat idea.

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Thank you. That’s why swaps are so fun. I never would have thought to do that either.

This is one of the best things I’ve seen on the internet in a long time! What a great idea! What marvelous execution!

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/blushing/ Thank you!

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Adorable! I love the creative interpretation of ancient 2D art into something so lovely and cuddly. He’s a delight. :grin:

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