David is a huge Star Wars fan, so we watched The Mandalorian as soon as the first episode was available. He was hooked from the first second of the first episode because… it was Star Wars. I was hooked by the end of the episode, when we got our first glimpse of “baby yoda”.
I wanted to hug baby yoda from that moment on, and certainly the rest of the internet shares my feelings. But it wasn’t until David wondered aloud, “I wonder if you could make a baby yoda,” and “maybe for my birthday,” that I really began to plan the plush version in my head. I mean, was that a challenge? Of my plush-making abilities?!
Baby yoda took a lot of planning, sketching, and practice sewing. First his head was too big, then too small. For my first ear prototype, I lined the ears with a furry fabric to give him some ear fuzz, but that immediately turned him from baby yoda into just… regular Yoda.
And I have a newfound respect for the Muppet/Yoda sculptors because it is alarmingly easy to turn baby yoda from cute into horrifying – just a few millimeters difference in eye placement or ear size could transform him from that cuddly frog-snacker into some kind of Furby-monster.
All of this tweaking, cutting, and stitching happened in secret, because I forbade David enter the sewing room by telling him I was working on my wedding dress. I would have known if he tried to peek, too, because I’m sure he would have been horrified to see the green fleece and tan fur as part of my “wedding dress” progress.
There are many stuffed baby yodas on the internet, but the pièce de résistance of my version is, in my opinion, his little mug. My favorite scene (and corresponding gif) featuring baby yoda is when he is holding his little mug, and casually takes a sip as he stares at the world with his adorable giant bug eyes. I knew my version needed a mug, but I didn’t want him to have the mug all the time… so of course the answer relies on the magic that is magnets.
Each of his little hands has a steel washer sewn inside, and the mug (filled with blue milk, which I thought would be appropriate) has two hefty rare earth magnets sewn inside.
I filled his base with poly pellets, the little plastic beads used in Beanie Babies, so he has enough heft to stand on his own… most of the time. When I took these photos outside, the wind buffeted his giant ears more than once, causing the poor little guy to faceplant on the ground.
When it came time for David’s birthday, back in late January, I wrapped baby yoda in a box with his mug to the side, the “accessory kit”. (I’m still meaning to make a frog with magnets, too, to complete the collection). David loved it. He was completely surprised and very impressed, so it’s safe to say that I’ve defended my custom-plush-making crown.