Funky Friends Factory Blog

How to re-size a toy-pattern?

Posted underA day in my lifeBlogToy-making TIPS & TUTORIALS on2011-06-08 10:06:02

I often get asked how to re-size my toy patterns so I thought it would be great to show you what some re-sized toys look like AND how you can easily re-size a toy pattern yourself! Once you know the basics of re-sizing patterns, it’s EASY!

It can be lots of fun to make an EXTRA LARGE soft toy… or two!!!

TIP: A much bigger toy will need heaps of toy stuffing –
so buy an extra large bag!!!

Kylie’s EXTRA LARGE Horse and Unicorn Pattern just look extra huggable!

large horse and unicorn soft toy

Shirley made a whole herd of small, normal and EXTRA LARGE versions of the Raff the Giraffe Pattern. You can see more of her re-sized Funky Friends toys on her website which is called Pets by Shirl. Her giant Giraffe took a 1 kg bag stuffing – no wonder she called him ‘Gigantor’!

Sara enlarged the Baby Bunny Pattern 200% so that his body measures about 12 inches long  (that’s about 30cm!) plus his legs. She says he is almost as big as her 2 year old nephew!

HOW to re-size a pattern BIGGER?

Method A. Enlarging a PDF pattern with a Printer:

If you have purchased an Instant Download pattern it is very easy to re-size it BIGGER using your own home printer! When you print out the pattern, simply choose a larger percentage (%) to print the pattern pages out at a larger size. All you have to do, is decide how much bigger you want to re size your toy pattern, maybe just a LITTLE bit bigger (Print at 120%) or a LOT bigger (Print at 200%).

Method B. Enlarging a printed pattern using Photocopying:

  1. Fold the pattern page in half. ( I actually cut the pattern page in half so I can put them in the photo copier one at a time).
  2. Use the photocopy machine to re-size the one half of the page to the next size up. (eg. A4 – A3 or ANSI Letter – ANSI Ledger)*
  3. Do the same for the other half of the pattern page.
  4. Stick the photocopies together and the resulting page will be the next size up!

NB: This is NOT double the size… One page size up is only about 141% so that’s about one and a half times as big!

If you want your toy to be TWICE as big:

Repeat Step 1 – 4 again, and once you have your pattern re-sized to the next paper size up… It will be 198%. So again it’s ROUGH, but it’s about 200% or TWICE as big!

* A note about what paper size to use:

Internationally the most frequently used paper size is the A4 paper size, except in the United States and Canada, where the American National Standards Institute’s ANSI Letter paper size is in use. It seems silly that we use 2 systems as these 2 sizes are VERY CLOSE in size. In a nutshell, when you fold one of these official sizes in half, you get the next size down, and when you put 2 pages side by side, that will be the next size up!

NB* I have made sure my pattern pages are designed so that all the pieces fit within the ISO A4 and the American Letter size paper too, so they will ALWAYS print out properly! Just in case you were wondering which size I use! : )

IMPORTANT TIP When you are printing my PDF patterns – make sure you print them at 100% or “Actual Size”. Don’t use the setting “Fit to page” because it may resize the pages different amounts and the pattern pieces may not fit properly!

Method C. Manually enlarging a pattern using a Drawing Grid:

If you DON’T have access to a photocopy machine, you can re-size your patterns MANUALLY. It can be intimidating for those who can’t draw and you need to be patient as it is time-consuming too, but it will work!

  1. You will need a pencil, ruler, the original pattern.
  2. First you need to mark every inch (or use 1cm for metric) of the original pattern on the top, bottom and the sides left and right.
  3. Connect every mark from top to bottom and from left to right. This will create a one inch grid (or 1cm grid for metric) on your pattern.
  4. Next, you must know how much bigger you wanted to re-size your pattern. If you want to double the size of the pattern, you must re-draw the pattern pieces on a 2 inch grid(or 2cm grid for metric).
  5. On a larger piece of paper, draw a 2 inch grid(or 2cm grid for metric) making sure you have enough blocks! Now you’re ready to draw your pattern.
  6. Copy the pattern from the original size to the larger grid one square at a time.

TIP: It is helpful to cross out/shade each block after you have transferred it to the larger grid. That way you won’t loose your place!


It’s also fun to make a EXTRA SMALL toy!

Novita from has made Plattie the Platypus 200% larger for her husband’s 40th birthday and a Mini Plattie for her son…

a Papa and Bubba Platypus!

Alison made this adorable little Ellie Elephant Pattern, who looks so sweet…

next to his big sister!

HOW to re-size a pattern smaller?

Tip: If you re size the pattern and make it VERY, VERY SMALL, it can be very difficult to sew. So don’t shrink a pattern too small. I don’t recommend going smaller than 20% because there is a limit to how small a piece you can actually hold to sew!

Method A. Shrinking a PDF pattern with a Printer:

If you have purchased an Instant Download pattern it is very easy to re-size it SMALLER using your own home printer! When you print out the pattern, simply choose a smaller percentage (%) to print the pattern pages out at a smaller size. All you have to do, is decide how much smaller you want to re size your toy pattern, maybe just a LITTLE bit smaller (Print at 90%) or a LOT smaller (Print at 20%).

Method B. Shrinking a pattern using Photocopying:

Place the full size pattern in the photocopier. Print the size you want eg. half size – print at 50%, quarter size – print at 25%.

Method C. Shrinking a pattern using a drawing grid:

This is done the same way as Method C. for enlarging except the new grid is smaller! For example, to make the pattern half size you would draw a 2 inch grid (or 2cm grid for metric) on your original pattern and copy the pattern to a 1 inch grid (or 1cm grid for metric). Read the full instructions in Method C for enlarging above.

Have an EXACT SIZE in mind?

What if you want to make your toy an EXACT SIZE? Say you want your finished toy to be exactly 10inches (25cm) in size…

You can use mathematics to work it out! 

resize a pattern


First you need to know the size of your existing pattern and what is your desired size.  You can get the percentage to enlarge or shrink the pattern by dividing the SIZE YOU WANT by the SIZE YOU HAVE and then multiplying this by 100. For example,  the toy SIZE YOU WANT is 3 inches and the pattern SIZE YOU HAVE is for a toy 5 inches in size…

This is the formula to use:

For shrinking the Pattern:
3 / 5 = 0.60
0.60 x 100 = 60%
* So you must print out your pattern at 60% (or program the photocopy machine to produce a copy that is 60% the size of the original.)

This can also be used for enlarging if you have a large format printer or on a photocopy machine!

For enlarging the Pattern:
6 / 5 = 1.20
1.20 x 100 = 120%
*So you must print out your pattern at 120% (or program the photocopy machine to produce a copy that is 120% the size of the original.)

TIP: If you don’t like mathematics, I found a helpful table at The Online Quilt Block Pattern Library .

Well, I’m sure that one of these methods should work for YOU and if you know of other ways to re-size a pattern – please drop me a comment!

Have you made a toy bigger or smaller? Tell me how you did it in the comments below!

Pauline McArthur - Funky Friends Factory

Happy Sewing,

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  1. When resizing a pattern, do you need to also adjust the seam allowance? Or am I just making it too complicated??

    Comment by Tanya on April 5, 2012 at 10:18 am

  2. Hi Tanya, sorry I only saw this now… yes I do adjust the seam allowance if I have enlarged or shrunk a pattern quite a bit. 😀

    Comment by Pauline on December 17, 2012 at 1:32 am

  3. That looks so easy – I’m going to try it!

    Comment by Barbara on September 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm

  4. Thanks for this great info, Pauline – I was wondering how some people had made GIANT versions of you toy patterns. Now I want to try some too.

    Comment by Brenda on January 19, 2014 at 6:51 am

  5. I often wondered if you could do this but was too scared to try making something to find out halfway it didn’t work!

    Comment by Cathy on February 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm

  6. Thanks for this post, I wanted to reduce the size of your patterns to make baby toys for my newborn baby!

    Comment by Angie on September 24, 2014 at 5:15 am

  7. I am using a silhouette cameo software to enlarge mine wish me luck if it works I will let you all know as I know a lot of people have cutting machines so will have the software I also think pdf factory will work but need to try this too

    Comment by angela moody on November 23, 2014 at 8:28 am

  8. Thanks Angela… sorry I just saw this now… I wonder, did the silhouette cameo work for you” 🙂

    Comment by Pauline on December 17, 2014 at 1:28 am

  9. So cool… I wonder what’s the biggest Funky Friend ever made?

    Comment by Cherrie on April 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

  10. I’ve seen some ginormous hippos and giraffe’s made by Sherry Cuddle Critters, I think she’s made the 200%. Scary how much stuffing they need!!!! 😀

    Comment by Pauline on May 5, 2015 at 10:30 pm

  11. I like bigger plushes for cuddling. Smaller ones or normal size ones are great for gifts for friends!

    Comment by Trinity Perona on June 15, 2015 at 9:34 pm

  12. Is it okay to stuff children’s toys with rice? These toys are for 6 to 9 year old children. Small bean bag frogs.

    Comment by Ann on June 29, 2015 at 3:40 pm

  13. Hi Ann, there’s a simple rule I like to stick to for toy-stuffing – “nothing smaller than 3cm for children under 3” 😀

    Comment by Pauline on July 6, 2015 at 10:32 am

  14. Thanks for all your tips to help us make cute soft toys. I am going to try an extra big hippo next. Cheers Nicola

    Comment by Nicola on March 11, 2016 at 3:35 pm

  15. Please put a photo on my Facebook page for me to see.. and to be in the MAKER OF THE MONTH draw and so you could win another Funky Friends Factory Toy Pattern of your choice! 🙂

    Comment by Pauline on March 13, 2016 at 11:10 pm