I wanted to make a furry ghoul pillow to take with me to Arabic story time, for the kids to enjoy while I read the book The Ghoul by Taghreed Najjar.
I was recently sent the book by Interlink Books and I loved it. The illustrations are really beautiful, and could be made into a print for a children’s nursery. They were bright and colorful, each one depicted a Middle East village scene in a lively way. Some were so detailed that I could count the freckles on the ghoul’s cheeks.
The story line follows Hassan on his quest to go talk to the evil ghoul that has terrorized his village. No one around him thinks this is such a good idea. But honestly, he’s had enough of being afraid.
Upon arrival at the ghoul’s home, Hassan finds that not everything is as it seemed. What he (and his community) had created from their fear was not the reality but a distorted perspective.
I loved the final photo in the picture book of the ghoul with all the community children and the wide smile on his face. I wanted to try to capture that on a pillow that the kids can hold while I read the story.
- Fuzzy fabric
- 4 inch googly eye
- Red felt
- Black felt
- Brown felt
- Beige felt
- Fabric scissors
- Needle / thread /sewing machine
I cut two pieces of fuzzy fabric into a 18 inch squares. To help with bulk later when I am sewing, I went around all the edges and cut off 1/2 inches of the fur. I used a sewing gauge to show you how much to cut. You do not need this tool necessarily, just use a ruler or eye ball it.
I cut an oval shape out of the beige felt that I thought was about the right size for the head. I wanted it to be centered on the pillow and used the scissors to trim it until I had it the right size.
Again to help with the bulk later when this is going through the sewing machine, I cut off all the extra fur that was under the face.
I cut a mouth out of the brown felt, an eyebrow from the black felt and a nose from the red felt. After I took this photo, I also added two nostrils cut outs from the red felt.
The ghoul in the book does not have a full round eye, it is actually half a circle. I had to come up with a solution to cover up half his eye. First I cut out a round circle from the same color felt as the face. I used a circle cutter, but you can also place the google eye on the beige felt and cut around it, adding 1/4 an inch all the way around. I then cut out a smaller circle, but stopped half way and cut across.
There are google eyes that have sticky backs but this one did not. Even though the eyelid cover I had just made above could tuck the eye inside it, I still wanted a more secure way to attach the eye. I came up with the solution of adding two sets of holes with an awl. I used them like button holes to secure the eye to the face with the needle and thread.
Now that all my pieces were cut and the cyclopes eye was secure, it was the perfect time to play with all the pieces and make any adjustments.
I hand sewed the nose pieces, then used the sewing maching to attach the eye lid around the eye.
I attached the eyebrow and mouth, then placed the face on the fuzzy fabric and sewed it on as well.
I placed the two pieces of 18 inches fur, right sides facing and pinned them all the way around. I like to use the same color of pins and I will explain why in the next step.
Before I started to sew the pillow, I figured out how much of an opening I would need for the filling. I added two pins, from that measurement, that were a different color than the other pins above. These help tell me where to start and stop sewing.
I turned the pillow insidie out & added filling. You can also use newspaper or old clothes. I then hand sewed the opening shut.
And here is my ghoul pillow, ready for the kids at the library.
Stop by Interlake to see more books that offer a global, cosmopolitan perspective.
Please check out our other pillows we have made.
Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see other tutorials that showcases the Arab world and Muslim culture.