18 December 2017

Soxy sea creatures: Mollusc edition

Time to make more DIY handmade 'plushie' mascots out of socks! As volunteers prep up for International Year of the Reef 2018 activities!
How to make plushie molluscs
Being nature people, we are a little picky about making these animals somewhat anatomically correct. Here's more tips on how to make molluscs!


Molluscs include marine snails with shells. They are quite familiar as most people have seen land snails. One easy way to make plushie snails is with children's mittens of different colours. Unpick the wrist band for a longer base, insert oval cardboard to form the flat foot. Cut and swap out the tops for more colour.
Glue or sew on thick wool for shell spirals.
How to make plushie marine snails
I tried my hand at a Spider conch made out of the heel of a colourful sock.
How to make plushie spider conch
The Spider conch has large eyes on stalks because this snail does not creep slowly along. It actually hops and needs to see where it is going.
Spider conch (Lambis lambis)
Clams are also molluscs!
How to make plushie clams
They are easy to make out of a pair of squares. Sew the base of each square, then trim to a shell shape. Stuff and sew the shapes together for a cute clam!
The file clam found on Singapore shores have tentacles peeking out between the shells. You can creat this by sewing some fluffy material along the edge of the shells.
Here's what a file clam looks like.
Swimming file clam (Limaria sp.)
The most amazing clam seen on Singapore shores are Giant clams! They have wavy 'lips' and a tube (called the siphon) which they can use to squirt water.
Fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa)
It's easy to make a giant clam plushie!
How to make plushie Giant clams
Start with a headband or other cloth with ruffled edges. Cut into strips, sew together and add a siphon and fleshy parts between the shells in a different colour.
Octopuses are molluscs too! In Singapore, we have various kinds. The Big head seagrass octopus is commonly seen on Changi. It has a big head with short arms.
Big-head seagrass octopus
The Reef octopus is commonly seen on our reefs!
Reef octopus
It is easy to make an octopus out of a sock. My bad stitching is less visible on fluffy socks.
How to make plushie octopus
You can use the toe of the sock as the head. You can also use the heel of the sock as the head. Cut the rest of the sock into 8 strips and sew the strips together into arms. Then stuff the head and sew the arms together to form the octopus.
Squids and cuttlefishes are also molluscs! Cuttlefishes have frilly 'wings' around the body edge. Squids have smaller wings at the end of the body which is more bullet shaped.
Bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)
It's easy to make a plushie cuttlefish!
How to make plushie squid and cuttlefish
Start with a strip of frill-edged material and some scraps. Although real squids and cuttlefishes have many arms, for our mascots, four arms seems enough.
The cutest molluscs, however, are sea slugs such as nudibranchs. They are super easy and fun to make out of scraps and leftover materials.
How to make plushie nudibranchs
Here's a box full of nudibranchs!
How to make plushie nudibranchs
You can make 3 nudibranchs and 1 sea star out of a single glove!


Find out more about the molluscs of Singapore on the wild fact sheets of wildsingapore.

Did you make a mollusc plushie? I would love it if you could share a photo of it!

This article is written for Celebrating Singapore Shores as part of International Year of the Reef 2018.

Celebrating Singapore shores for IYOR 2018 logo

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