Have you ever picked up a stuffed animal with a nice, weighty feel? Ever wondered how to achieve that feel in your handmade animals?
Use Poly Pellets!
Poly Pellets are small plastic-y beads that can be used to weight your stuffed animals. Today, I’ll tell you how to use them effectively.
How to use Poly Pellets
The trick to using Poly Pellets with a crocheted stuffed animal is to put the pellets inside a stocking or some other container. You see, the pellets are quite small:
If you simply pour the pellets into your amigurumi, then they will work their way through the stitches over time… not good! I’ve heard that there are larger pellets (that won’t come out) available in Europe, but I haven’t been able to find them on the American market.
Fortunately, it’s easy to put the pellets into a little stocking. I bought a pair of really cheap knee-high stockings (a light color is preferred if your animal is a light color), but you could also sew a little pouch if you desire. Once you have your vessel, poured the desired amount of pellets inside, and close up!
With the stocking, I tied a little knot… easy!
Now, place the bundle inside your amigurumi, and fill the remainder of your animal with stuffing, as usual!
Tips for using Poly Pellets
- Use a stocking or some sort of fabric to keep the pellets contained.
- Use the pellets sparingly. A fist-sized bundle is enough for an 8″ stuffed animal. Filling the entire animal with pellets will make it too heavy.
- Try using pellets in the bottom of an animal, so that it will sit upright more easily. Use plain stuffing for the head.
- Try using a small amount of pellets in dangling-style arms.
- Remember that Poly Pellets are not recommended for use with small children.
Update – Wendi designed this free Squishy Monster pattern especially for the fun feel that poly pellets can give. Have fun with it!
I always use the cheaper version of dried pinto or navy beans and they work the same way. You just have to have the weight to give the critters more character.
Where do you buy these pellets? I have looked for them at Michael’s and Jo-Ann’s but couldn’t find them.
I bought mine at Jo-Anns… you might have to ask for them. They’re kept near eyes & notions, not in the stuffing section.
You can also order them on Amazon… they’re heavy, so you want to keep an eye on shipping. But, if you order a certain dollar amount, Amazon will give you free super-saver shipping!
I found some in Walmart
Order polly pellets from Amazon. Michael’s has them as well.
Using beans or rice as weights will invite crawly things and will breakdown and mold in damp areas.
That’s a really good point, Barbara!
Yep, I found them today at Jo-Ann’s. I had been looking in the wrong place. Thanks! I have used balloons before to hold lentils or popcorn for stuffing items. I use a small funnel to help fill the balloons which are easy to tie off. Of course now I have the pellets so no more lentils.
Yay, happy you found them!
Balloons sound like a great idea, because you can buy small ones. Is there a danger that the balloons could pop or tear and let the pellets out? Thinking of small children who can be rough on stuffed animals.
Thanks for posting this! I had recently asked this very question on the FreshStitches Ravelry board. I’m going to make a Nel the tiny owl for a xmas present this year, and will give it a try!
What types of fabric would you recommend to fill with the pellets besides stockings?
@Amanda- I think any fabric would work! Cotton muslin, quilting fabric… anything that has a tight weave to keep the pellets in, and is a color that won’t show through your ami.
I use mismatched socks!
Wow. Amigurumis look incredibly fun. How did you discover these? I know a few knitters that might like a project like this.
It’s actually a crocheting craft. The knitting counterpart is mochimochi. They’re great for quick crafts and presents!
Do you mean the word amigurumi?
It’s not actually true that it’s exclusive to crocheting. You can read here a blog post about what amigurumi means in Japanese: it doesn’t differentiate between knitting and crochet, although many people think of crochet at the ‘stereotypical’ amigurumi.
The word ‘mochimochi’ doesn’t refer to a style of knitting, it means ‘squishy’ in Japanese. (You can verify this in MochiMochiLand’s FAQ).
Can you heat the pellets? Or will they melt?
It would take quite a bit of heat to melt them. I’ve run softies filled with them through the washer and dryer with no problem – but I wouldn’t let the iron touch them.
What can I use instead of the pellets for Nellie’s feet that can go through the washer and dryer? The pig is for a 1 year old so I don’t want to use anything that could possibly end up in her mouth, but I am sure will need to totally washable and dryable.
Poly pellets can go through the washer and dryer. If you’re worried about them spilling out if one of your seams pops, you can always put them in a little fabric baggie. I don’t usually worry about this – but sometimes if I want to keep them in one compact space (or in a crochet amigurumi which has tiny holes) I’ll pour them into the toe of an inexpensive nylon knee high and tie a knot just above them.
Wow, thanks for posting this!
I try to avoid buying plastic and wondered if anyone has a possible suggestion for recycling plastic into pellets… In the past I’ve used rice but the mice liked that …and you can’t wash! Some kind of shredder would be good or a hole punch???
Do you have to tack the pouch of pellets in place when your stuffing?
I don’t. The weight tends to keep it at the bottom – which is just where I want it. 🙂