Last week we shared a tutorial on how to turn a tree stump into a wooden stool and hinted that it was destined for greater, llama-ish things 😉 Drum roll please, coz we did it!!!!! We managed to turn that wooden stool into this “No Drama, Llama” chair for one extraordinary little girl.
It’s not the first time we’ve DIY-ed something for this young lady. A while back we made her a giant pencil-legged table but I cannot tell you how much fun we had putting her llama chair together. It’s something that’s been on our to-do list forever and just seeing that crazy vision turned into reality makes this crafty heart of mine so happy. It’s even more special seeing how much Rory loves her new chair.
Isn’t she just beautiful? Her mom’s a professional photographer, so Rory appears in a lot of photoshoots and fantasy portraits. And since you’re here I’m guessing that you have a special little person in your life too that needs a “no drama, llama chair.”
What you need to make a “no drama, llama” chair
A round wooden stool with a wide base. You can find the tutorial to make your own here or, you if you’re lucky enough to stay in South Africa 😉 you can buy one just like this on the side of the road. Make sure the stool has been treated so it doesn’t start cracking over time.
You’ll also need:
- A wooden plank, at least 20cm (8″) wide
- Wood screws and glue
- L-shaped brackets
- Furry material (long pile and short pile)
- Contrasting fabric for the ears, bow, and pillow (optional)
- Teddy bear nose
- Black and white felt
- Black and white wool
- Large sheets of paper to draw a template
- Batting and foam
- Sewing machine
- Needle and thread
- Drill and jigsaw
- Downloadable Ears and Eyes pattern
Making the wooden stool look more llama-ish
First things first, we need to put a back on that round wooden stool to make it comfier and to create the bare bones for the llama’s neck. To get a feel for how long the neck needs to be, flip the stool onto its side and eyeball it. The “neck” runs all the way from the base of the wooden stool upwards.
A dinner plate makes a great “template” to get a rounded shaped at the top 😉 Just trace around the edges before cutting it with a jigsaw.
Creating a “furry” pattern for later
Before adding the neck to the body, make a pattern by tracing around the seat ……..
…….. and the neck. Since our wooden stool wasn’t perfectly round, I made sure to mark which way the pattern needs to go, before saving the pattern pieces for later.
Putting the bones of the llama chair together
back neck piece up neatly with the base of the stool .
And drill a few pilot holes before gluing and screwing the
To make sure the neck can handle whatever a little person decides to throw at it, like big fat hugs and wild rides 😉 add two L-Shaped brackets.
I think that should do it 😀
Fleshing the llama chair out
To flesh the llama bones out a little and make it softer use the pattern pieces you traced earlier to cut foam pieces to cover the neck and seat.
For some extra padding, I added a small round pillow first, before stapling the foam over the pillow and the seat.
Cut a wide strip of foam and staple it all the way around the base of the seat.
And to finish off, glue foam to the llama’s neck using a spray adhesive.
Making a tummy, snout, and ears
Okay, so now that “dem” bones are all covered, we can start making those bits that will give the “no drama, llama” chair some personality; a tummy, snout, and ears.
I used a bread knife to carve a small foam tummy for the llama. You can skip this step if you like, but it does make the finished llama look more curvaceous and cuddly 😉
And foam is surprisingly easy to cut and form into different shapes. Just slice away until you’re happy 😀
boob blob rounded cone shape for the llama’s snout.
Cover the snout in a furry fabric. I didn’t use a pattern, just cut a piece of fabric to fit comfortably over the foam with a little extra. Those extra bits were tucked in at the back of the snout, and hand-stitched together. I’m hoping the piccy below explains it better than I can in words 😀
Did you know that one of the ways to tell the difference between a llama and their furry cousins, the alpacas, is by looking at their ears?
To make the ears, cut two banana shapes from the short pile fabric and two smaller bananas from a contrasting fabric. Pin the wrong sides together and stitch closed. Leave a gap at the bottom so you can flip the ears
inside out outside in. You can download a rough pattern for the ears here.
You can stuff the ears with some foam off-cuts to firm them up a little. I wanted to give the llama some curly bangs that Rory could play with. You probably noticed that she’s got a curly mop of hair and it just seemed right somehow. To make the bangs, cut thick wool into equal strips.
Making the llama all warm and cuddly
I’m no expert when it comes to upholstering
things chairs. It’s mostly trial and error and trying my best not to stab myself with all those pins 🙂 Fortunately; the llama chair isn’t as complicated as the mermaid chair we made for our daughter, and long pile furry fabric is pretty forgiving when it comes to hiding any mistakes 😉
Using the pattern pieces you drew up earlier, cut out two neckpieces and one round-ish circle for the chair seat. Cut another long wide strip to go around the base of the chair. Pin the neckpieces wrong side facing inwards onto the back of the chair. Remember to add the ears and hair on the inside as shown below.
Remove the pinned neckpieces from the chair and sew along the pins. Flip the neck, right side out, and slide over the back of the chair making sure that the ears point forward (away from the seat).
Place the snout about a hands-width from the top of the llama’s head and hand stitch around the sides to hold it in place. Where you position the snout will determine your llama’s “expression”. If it’s too high up, she could end up looking like a snob, and if it’s too low, she’ll have this long horsy forehead. So take your time finding the right spot.
Now I quickly need to apologize. I could have sworn I took photos of how I covered the seat, but for the life of me, I can’t find them. I’m so sorry. Please bear with me while I try and explain it as best I can.
To cover the seat, place the round-ish circle, right side facing up, on the chair seat. Take the long, wide strip and pin it all the way around the outside edges of the circle. Very much like we did when we covered the seat with foam.
When sewing the seat cover, leave a gap where the cover and the neck of the llama meet as shown above. It makes it easier to slip onto the llama chair. You can hand sew the gap closed once it’s on.
Alrighty, we’re almost done. All that’s left is adding a nose, mouth and, eyes. I used a teddy bear nose and glued it onto the snout. The mouth is hand-stitched with black wool, and the eyes were cut from felt using this pattern and glued on just above the snout. You could also embroider the nose, eyes and, mouth. It’s entirely up to you. Just be careful with buttons and other bits that could be a choking hazard for tiny people.
Add a pretty bow on top of the llama’s head.
And you can make a small cushion to mimic the cloth you normally see draped over a llama’s back.
I’m really happy with how she turned out. And to think she started out as a tree stump just a few weeks ago.
But I would love to know what you think. Was she worth the effort?
Would you make one for that special little person in your life?
Pssst…. if you like the idea, why not pin it for later
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
Thanks so much for sticking around to the end of this long post. Until next time, wishing you love and happiness.