Friday, November 3

Ewok/Bear Cave Altoid Tin Playset (perfect stocking stuffer!)

I love hunting down the perfect stocking stuffers for my boys, and this might be one of my favorites ever. It's the perfect size for a stocking, and a great travel toy for little hands (which will be perfect for holiday traveling).

Our biggest boy is really into Star Wars, which means our second boy also thinks it's the bees knees, and the little one wants whatever his big brothers have. And so I ended up making three sets! But if the little ones should decide they aren't interested in Ewoks the hood comes off to leave a fuzzy little bear. It took a few hours to make all three, but they were super affordable so it was worth the effort!

You can find more of our DIY Christmas gift and decor ideas by clicking here:

I styled my set off a super cute Ewok set I found among many similar projects on Etsy, but for $35 each and three stockings to fill, I didn't have the budget for it. Thank goodness for DIY! My bear is inspired by one bybido made for an altoid set using this mollie makes template. But I altered it to look more Ewok-ish so I'm including that in my printable pattern as well.

You can change the shape and placement of the ears to make all kinds of animals! Or make it all white for a polar bear or black and white for a panda bear.

Here's what I used to make mine (feel free to switch out any colors you want!):
  • Altoid Tins - I ordered this set of 6 on Amazon for $11 and still have three left over
  • Felt colors (usually about $0.25/sheet at craft stores):
    • light blue  - sky
    • medium green - tree tops
    • dark green - ground
    • medium brown - tree trunks, logs, and bear body
    • light brown - log ends and bear accents
    • dark brown - cave back and inside
    • dark gray - cave outside 
    • off-white - blanket
    • red - fire
    • orange - fire
    • yellow - fire
    • whatever color you want for the hood - I used red, green, and blue
  • matching thread - I used light brown, dark brown, yellow, and colors to match the hoods 
  • black embroidery floss
  • E600 glue
  • the pattern
Start by printing the pattern. I don't have the computer skills to make it all fancy - I literally just traced my pieces with a sharpie. But it should do the job. :) Cut out the sky (light blue), tree trunks (light brown) and tree tops (medium green).  Lay the tree trunks on the left side of the sky and set the tree tops on top of them. Sew down the middle of each tree with light brown thread (I hand-sewed this but it would be easy to do with a machine if you prefer).

Cut out the cave back (dark brown), cave inside (dark brown) and cave outside (gray). Stack the cave outside on top of the cave inside, and wrap those pieces around the top of the cave back. Sew along the edge through all three layers.

Cut out the blanket (off-white) and sew one end to the cave (so it' can't get lost!) like this:

Cave is done!

Cut out the logs (medium brown). Fold each log in half and sew along the open edge.

The log and fire is inspired by the full-size set from Big Little Felt Universe (read about the book here!) Cut out the log ends (light brown) and sew one to each end of the log.

Logs done!

Cut out the fire from the red, orange, and yellow felt. Stack the three pieces and sew through all three layers to combine them.

Sandwich the base of the fire between the two logs and sew through the bottom of each log and bottom of the fire to combine them into one campfire unit.

It should look something like this:

Now for the bear/Ewok. Cut out all the bear body parts (medium brown) and the face, tummy and ears (light brown). Place the face and tummy on the front body and sew around the edges.

Make the eyes and nose with the black embroidery felt. I'll tell you now, this is probably not the way to do it but I don't know how to embroider and it worked. I cut a piece of floss a few inches long and tied a triple knot in the middle:

Then I used an embroidery needle to feed each end through on either side of where I wanted the nose:

And tied the ends together on the back:

I did the same thing to make the eyes.
Then I used regular brown thread to make a little smirky smile on his face.

Now you can put the whole bear together. Lay out the bear back and stack the arms and legs on top of it (each arm and leg is two pieces of felt stacked together to make them a little thicker). Also put the light brown ears over the back ears, even though I don't show it here.

Stack the bear front on top. Make sure he has a face. I make this mistake on my first bear and he did not turn out so good when I tried to add the face at the end. 

Use a needle and thread to whipstitch around the edge of the front body. This will join all the limbs and the ears to the body.

Then stitch around the arms and legs.

To make the hood, stack the two pieces and sew the edges between the two ears, and between each ear and arm. You need to leave the ear openings open, and leave the the part that goes over his arms open. I put it on the bear while I did it to get a good fit, but you have to be very careful not to sew through the bear if you want the hood to be removable.

This was the bad face I tried to add after I made the bear.

To finish the set, use the E600 to glue the sky into what would be the bottom of the Altoid tin, and glue the cave onto the sky. Glue the grass to the lid of the tin, and glue the fire to the grass. Make sure the fire sits to the side of the cave, if the pieces push on each other too much the lid will spring open, and you need to fit the bear into the cave when you close it.

That's it! Now go get started, Christmas will be here before you know it! And don't forget to check out the rest of our Christmas projects here:

What gifts are you making this year? Have you started yet?


  1. Dear Georgia, This product and pattern is © 2012 Kathleen Tinkham, all rights reserved. Not to be reproduced, duplicated, manipulated or transformed in any way. I would appreciate your taking down its content. This is a specialty item from my shop that has been offered on a limited basis from my shop since 2012. Made from 35 pieces and hundreds of tiny stitches you can see why I need to protect my work. Making it for yourself is flattering but offering a tutorial on your blog, showing your version which clearly copies mine while mentioning my shops name goes against my copyright. I would appreciate your taking down this item from your blog. Kathie Tinkham

    1. Kathleen,
      I have nothing but respect for you and your work, and after looking this over again I am going to rework the project to be less similar. I will also take down the link to your Etsy site that is driving traffic to your store.
      However, I hope you know that both your business and mine depend on the fact that Copyright law doesn’t protect ideas, concepts or even “expression”, we all build on the work of those who go before us. Even in its current state, my project is a combination of ideas from your shop as well as others (which I’ve made clear in the tutorial). Having never seen your work in person, I assure you I used my own number of pieces and method of applying stitches.
      A law you may not be aware of, however, renders it illegal to sell “trademarked” works created by others as your own. That’s why it would be illegal to sell, say, toy Stormtroopers or Jawas without the permission of Lucasfilm/Disney. Just something to keep in mind as you try to raise the specter of intellectual property rights. Sites like Etsy take those violations seriously when they are reported.
      Love your store, and I wish you all the best in the future.