Sloths are becoming very popular animals, with their distinctive faces and big, clawed arms. Many kids love sloths, and there are some fantastic sloth crafts you can do to represent these weird and wonderful creatures.
Some are complicated, some are simple, but whichever you choose, you’ll have an opportunity to build some wonderful memories with your child.
Pocket Felt Sloth
If your child loves sloths, why not help them make a felt sloth they can pop into their pocket and pull out any time they need a hug? These are such lovely little things, and they would make great gifts too. You can scale them up or down as needed.
This is one of the trickier crafts and probably isn’t suitable for doing with young children, but older ones will enjoy helping you and even having a go themselves. If your child is learning to sew, this is a great craft for them to try.
This felt pocket sloth requires:
- Light brown felt (for the body)
- Chocolate brown felt (for the eye patches)
- Medium brown felt (for the feet)
- Cream felt (for the face)
- Black embroidery thread
- Cotton reel (tan or beige thread will look best with the browns)
- 1 mini black pom pom
- 1 needle
Step 1: Draw A Template
To get your pocket sloth looking neat and tidy, you’re going to start by drawing the slot onto a piece of paper. You will want to draw a circle for the sloth’s head, and an oval for the body.
Next, draw two long ovals for the arms. These should narrow a bit and angle to the side to create the upper part of the sloth’s arm, widening at the elbow.
Draw two shorter, fatter ovals to make chubby legs. Remember that you are going to be sewing seams into the sloth, so everything will turn out a little smaller than you have drawn it. Add a little bit of leeway in your drawing so your sloth doesn’t end up too tiny.
Step 2: Cut Out The Felt
Cut your paper templates out and draw them around them onto your felt. You want to do all the limbs in the same color felt. Draw two headpieces, two body pieces, four-arm pieces, and four leg pieces – so you should be drawing around each template twice.
Once you are happy with your pieces, cut them around.
Step 3: Sew Your Sloth
Pin the pieces of felt together and then thread up your needle and begin sewing the respective body parts together. Start with the body, and when you have about 1-2 cm of stitching left to do, pause and gently tease out some stuffing to push into the sloth’s body.
Sew the gap shut, and then do the same for each of the other body parts, stuffing each before you finish sewing it. If you’ve got a child helping you, get them to tease out little bits of stuffing and feed it in, and show them how to stop before it starts bursting the stitches open.
Step 4: Add The Face
Once you have sewn all the body parts up, you are going to add the sloth’s face. To do this, draw around your head template again on the cream felt, and then draw an inner line to this so you can make a slightly smaller face shape.
Cut around this, and then stitch it to the front of your sloth’s head. This will give you a nice, light background to fill in the face.
Next, cut two curving wave shapes out of your chocolate brown felt, and then trim the points off so that you end up with lopsided “U” shapes.
You are going to use one for each eye. Sew them to the cream background you have just created.
Take your embroidery thread and thread the needle. On each eye patch, sew a little upside-down “U” to show your sloth’s closed, happy eyes. Beneath the eye patches, on the cream background, sew a smiling mouth. A simple curve will do this, or you can add the traditional “cat mouth.”
Finally, take your mini black pom pom and sew it above the mouth as a nose. If the pom pom is the wrong size or you don’t have one, you can also just sew a black nose using the embroidery thread. Sew a circle of thread, and then fill it in by stitching back and forth with the embroidery thread.
Step 5: Sew The Body Together
It’s time to put the sloth together! You may want to pin the pieces first so that you can check you’re happy with them all, and so that the limbs end up level.
Start by sewing the head on above the sloth’s body, and then sew on the upper arms. Finally, add the legs at the bottom. Position them underneath the sloth’s stomach, not out to the sides.
Check your sloth will slip comfortably into a pocket, with his arms tucked over the edge.
Step 6: Add The Claws
Sloths have big, long claws, so take your last brown felt color and cut three slightly curving ovals from it. These can be glued to the underside of your sloth’s paws, as they may be too thin to stitch properly.
It is better to cut the fabric a little wider if possible so that it will have some durability. The claws don’t need to look sharp; you’re aiming for a cute and cuddly aesthetic.
Step 7: Add A Something To Hold (Optional)
If you want to give your sloth something to hold, such as a heart or a flower or an initial, just cut it out of felt and stitch it to one of their hands. This can be a lovely way to personalize your pocket sloth and remind the owner of you!
Moving Arm Sloth
If you want an easier craft that your little one can get involved with, you might like to do a toilet tube sloth that can be hung over things, with moving limbs – that might not sound easier, but there’s plenty on this craft that your little one can do.
To make a moving arm sloth, you’re going to need:
- 1 empty toilet tube
- Brown paint
- Light brown paint
- Glue gun
- Mini magnets
- Brown card
- Paper fasteners
Step 1: Decorate The Toilet Tube
Start by drawing a sloth’s face at the top of the toilet tube. You can just draw an oval with a dip at the top to indicate the sloth’s fur coming down between its eyes, and then make the edges a little shaggy.
Help your child to paint the majority of the toilet tube brown, and then paint this oval a lighter brown. Once the paint has dried, add a few flicks of brown paint around the edges of the oval to hint at the sloth’s fur.
Add the “mask” eye-patches, eyes, and a small nose and mouth. You can do all of this with a pen and keep it very simple if you like. If you need a guide, have a quick look at some pictures of sloths online.
Step 2: Cut Out The Arms
Cut some long arms out of the brown card. These don’t need to be beautiful. Help your child to paint some of the light brown paint at the end to represent the sloth’s claws, and once dry, draw on some individual claws. You may want to trim the ends down a little to define the claws from the arms.
Step 3: Glue The Magnets On
Use a glue gun to attach the magnets to the insides of each paw. Make sure that they are very firmly stuck, and consider gluing an extra scrap of paper over the top so that the magnet cannot come off and get swallowed by mistake.
Check the front paws will now stick to each other, and the same for the back paws. This is how your sloth will cling to the branches.
Step 4: Attach The Arms
Grab your paper fasteners and use one per limb to attach the limbs to the toilet tube. You can use a pin or the point of some sharp scissors to make a hole first if it’s easier. Push your paper fasteners through and unfold them on the insides of your toilet tube.
You now have a great sloth that your child can clip onto anything, with movable limbs! They can choose to loop all four limbs over a “branch,” or let the sloth dangle by their forelimbs.
Paper Plate Sloth
For a very simple and quick sloth craft that little ones can enjoy doing with you, a paper plate sloth is fun and super easy.
You will need:
- 1 paper plate
- Cream paper
- Brown paper
- Black marker pen
- Colored yarn
- Decoration (optional)
Step 1: Cut Out A Circle Of Cream Card
Cut out a circle of cream cards that will fit in the middle of your paper plate. You can also paint the paper plate cream, or just forgo this step – your little one won’t really care if the sloth is cream or white.
For this craft, you are going to be working in the middle part of the paper plate. You can either cut off the ridged edge or just ignore it. If your child wants to decorate it with pens, that’s another option.
Step 2: Add Eye Patches
Take your brown card and cut two curving eye patches out of it. These should be curved like waves, but with rounded tips.
Help your child to glue one on either side of the sloth’s face.
Step 3: Draw On The Features
Next, grab the black marker and show your child how to draw two curves to represent the sloth’s closed eyes (sloths are always sleeping, after all!) and help them to add a triangle for the nose, followed by a little smile beneath it.
If your child wants to add a furry effect, give them a pencil and let them draw some shaggy zigzags to make the sloth look fluffy. They might also want to write their name at the bottom, or on the back of the plate. Add a date, too.
Step 4: Hang It Up
Punch a little hole in the top of the paper plate and add a loop of colorful yarn so that you can hang the sloth up on a hook and admire it.
Step 5: Add Further Decoration (Optional)
Your child might want to glue a ribbon or flower or something in the sloth’s hair as a decorative hair clip. Alternatively, they could give the sloth some little leaves cut from the green cards (or torn out of green tissue paper) to munch on.
You can keep these extra decorations very simple, but it’s a fun way to expand the craft a bit. If you make several sloth plates, it’s a nice way to make each one individual.
Sloth crafts are great fun and can be suitable for children of any age – as simple or as complicated as you want to make them. Grab some scissors, glue, and brown card, and get creating!