Great British Button Challenge: Sew a Sea Creature

We’re on a mission to get Britain sewing again, starting with our schools! As part of the Great British Button Challenge, we’re giving out free buttons to schools, and challenging teachers to bring sewing back into UK classrooms. The 2018 Hobbycraft Report found that 1 in 5 people in the UK can’t sew on a button, with 52% never taught at school, so we’re giving teachers, parents and budding stitchers creative inspiration for imaginative button makes, with projects suitable for individuals and group activities, and ideas that are both fun and educational! Find out more about the Great British Button Challenge, and the great prizes up for grabs, at

Sew these super easy sea creatures with buttons for eyes with your class this term. This is a simple, yet effective, and engaging project that will capture the imagination of any child. Read the tutorial below to find out what you’ll need!

An original design by Debbie von Grabler-Crozier.

You Will Need

Children’s socks – this is a great use for odd socks and favourites which are now too small. You need smaller socks for the fish and larger for the octopus.

Polyester Toy Stuffing »

Assorted Valuecraft Buttons »

Coloured Elastic Bands »

Felt Sheets »

Download Sea Creature Template
Craft Essentials How to Make

NB: Please read all instructions through and assemble the equipment before beginning.

1. To make a fish – choose your sock and stuff it with polyester filling. Fasten off a ‘tail’ with an elastic band and trim the sock end back to about 4cm.

2. Choose two buttons and sew them on for eyes one on each side of the head.

Top tip! If you can, sew the buttons on at the same time and draw them in slightly to give the face a bit of shape. The buttons do not have to match.

3. Cut the fins from the felt using your template and stitch this to the top of the back and also one to each underside.

Top tip! The dorsal fin is also a handy spot to hang the fish if you want to do that.

4. To make the octopus – choose a larger sock and stuff the end well with polyester stuffing material. Fasten off with a coloured elastic band.

Top tip! You will not need the whole length of the sock – trim it if you need to.

5. With your sharp scissors, cut eight legs from the sock opening almost all the way to the elastic band .

Top tip! Some socks work better with this than others and it will weaken the structure of the sock so the octopus is better in a setting where it will not be handles a lot. Perfect for a mobile!

6. Choose a couple of buttons. Sew these on for eyes. They do not have to match!

Shop the project

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