I often get asked what toy-stuffing I recommend, and I’d have to say… it depends!
Depends on WHAT?
WELL, sooooo many things!
For example, it depends on WHO the toy is being made for – a baby/young child or an adult? This is the FIRST thing I consider when choosing my toy stuffing!
Baby and Toddler Safe Toy Stuffings
If you want your home made toys to be 100% safe for babies and toddlers, you need to consider that NOT all toy fillings are suitable!
Some contain toxic and harmful materials/ chemicals.
Toy stuffing containing small bits like pellets are dangerous because of the possibility of choking. If the stitching isn’t strong and the toy-stuffing ‘escapes’, the baby might swallow it and choke.
Other things to consider when choosing your toy stuffing.
It also depends on the particular ‘feel’ you want for the finished toy, and other practical considerations like the availability of the stuffing material (locally or online) , as well as the cost – how much you want to spend on the toy stuffing…
Different Toy Stuffing Materials
These days we have the choice of Organic, Synthetic or Eco friendly toy stuffings…
Organic Toy Stuffing is made from things that grow, and processed by following a certain standard, while Eco friendly Toy Stuffing is either harmless or less harmful to the environment and most of Eco friendly toy stuffings are biodegradable.
Synthetic toy fillings are man-made but some are mixed with natural fibers like cotton, linen and wool.
Okay, let me get on with it!!!
Here is the full list of ALL the toy stuffings I have found…
( – as well as places for you to get them all online.)
Also called beads, these give your toy a bean-bag ‘feel’. Pellets give weight and stability to your toy, and will help you achieve the desired pose for your stuffed toys. Pellets can be used for the whole toy (like Prince Charming Frog) to make them a bean bag toy, OR only in certain parts – eg in the arms, legs and how do I say this… sitting area!!!! (bottom?).
There are LOTS of types of toy stuffing pellets:
Plastic Pellets are NOT suitable for children’s toys. They are relatively light weight as far as pellets go and so these are perfect for adding just a little it of weight to your soft toys.
I get my pellets online from bearycheap.com
Glass Pellets are medium weight and also NOT suitable for children’s toys. These fine beads are perfect for adding weight in smaller areas of your toys. I have used these for making teddy bears as they are great for adding a fair amount of weight in small areas of the toy.
I also get these glass pellets from bearycheap.com
Rubber pellets are also called soft pellets. They are light weight. They are NOT suitable for children’s toys.
These are available online from Shamrock Rose.
Ceramic Pellets are medium weight. They are NOT suitable for children’s toys.
You can find these online from www.edinburghimports.com
Steel shots provide heavy weight with a small amount of stuffing. These pellets should NOT be used in making children’s toy.
These steel shots are also available online from Shamrock Rose.
Steel Balls are super heavy weight and commonly used as base. Should NOT be used for toys intended for children
These are available online from www.christiebears.co.uk
POLYESTER TOY STUFFING
Polyester toy filling is now the MOST COMMONLY USED toy stuffing for manufactured as well as home made dolls and stuffed animals. It is a synthetic fiber derived from coal, air, water and petroleum. Extremely light weight which makes it suitable for children’s toys and especially great for baby toys which you want to be very light.
I have found a good High quality polyester toy stuffing from www.worldofwool.co.uk
Polyflock Stuffing is a slightly different version of Polyester filling.
This is a a little more dense than normal polyester toy stuffing. This makes it a medium weight filling that can be stuffed firmly or loosely. Polyflock gives a more traditional feel to toys and I prefer using this for stuffing my teddybears.
Polyflock is available online form bearycheap.com
COTTON TOY STUFFING
Cotton is a natural fiber of vegetable origin. It is a soft and fluff, Light weight stuffing material. Good quality cotton will have been preshrunk. Cotton fiberfill is available online from www.mohairbearmakingsupplies.co.uk
Organic cotton is an environment friendly material and is biodegradable. It is made by removing the seeds and pods. I found natural and raw cotton available from www.feltpro.net
WOOL TOY STUFFING
Wool posseses qualities that are great for children’s toys. It is natural, soft, durable and elastic. However, this toy stuffing material cannot be machine washed or dried in heat, as the wool tends to become uneven and compressed.
Wool fiberfill is available in 250g, 500g, 1kg and up to 10 kg bulk from www.worldofwool.co.uk
KAPOK TOY STUFFING
Kapok is from the silk cotton tree Ceiba pentandra, which has a silky feel to it. Normally used in stuffing mattresses, pillows and upholstery. It was once a top material for stuffing teddy bear but became unpopular since the arrival of polyester stuffing which is inexpensive and easy to find.
Kapok is available online from www.feltpro.net.
BAMBOO TOY STUFFING
Bamboo fiber is biodegradable, anti-bacterial, and has a lovely soft feel on the skin. This can be pure, which is 100% organic, or mixed with polyester stuffing.
This is avaliable online from www.fabricandart.com.
CORN TOY STUFFING
Corn stuffing is one of the newest eco-friendly stuffing material. Fibers are derived from corn statch sugars. Like the other organic stuffing materials, this is best for children’s toys because it is light weight, hypoallergenic and washable. It is available on few craft stores online.
Corn stuffing is available online from www.tomnidesign.com.au
It can also be found online from fabricandart.com
FABRIC SCRAPS as TOY STUFFING
Fabric scraps are also used for stuffing toys. This kind of stuffing can create an uneven look and if this happens, the fabric scraps must be pushed harder then it will become less lumpy.
Fabric Scraps are available in local fabric stores in a very inexpensive price, or use your own recycled fabric scraps from your other sewing projects!
WOOD WOOL TOY STUFFING
Wood wool is also called excelsior. Made from thinly shredded wood, this was once became popular for teddy bear stuffing. It can be dusty and is NOT washable. It is categorized based on thickness and width of strand as super fine, wood wool, extra fine, fine medium and coarse. It also comes in different colors.
You can find different grades of wood wool from www.woodwool.co.uk.
It is also available online from www.christiebears.co.uk in 500g pack and 2.5kg bags.
OTHER TOY STUFFING MATERIALS
Some fillings can be found around the house or workshop…and needn’t be bought …
- Acrylic Yarn
- Saw dust
- Dried Lavender
WOW! It’s quite incredible – there are just so many choices of toy fillings that can be used.. and like I said – it depends on the preference of the toy-maker! I certainly learnt about some new toy stuffing options while putting this list together and I hope it has given you some more ideas too!
Do you have a favorite toy stuffing material I haven’t mentioned???
Please let me know and I can share it with everyone too!