The Graduation Sloth

It’s been a year but I have finally decided to chronicle how I made a graduation sloth mascot for my partner last year.  Better than never, eh?

The materials

To make this mascot, I used:

  • Father’s Day sloth from ASDA (£5)
  • Remnant fabrics in black, blue, red and grey (to match the university academic dress)
  • Matching thread
  • Some leftover blue yarn (again, to match the academic dress)
  • Images from the gown hire website (to get the colours correct) and other images from Google images to work out how to make the hood

Why a sloth? Why use a toy as the starting point? And why make your own graduation mascot?

I chose a sloth because my partner is so chilled out, he has a tendency to put people on edge!  A sloth is most definitely his spiri animal!

I used a toy sloth ready-made because by pure coincidence ASDA had one in store at the time I was thinking about his gift.  This obviously saved much time and I thought it looked sweet.


I chose to make one because the ones you tend to get at graduation are generic little teddies with a black mortar board and gown.  As Phill had completed his PhD, the hat is very different, and it also meant that I could tailor the robes to the colours of the ones he would wear on the day.

Challenges and mistakes

The first hurdle was not being able to remove “chilled dad” off the soles of the feet!  I tried for ages to unpick it but I was at risk of poking a hole in the foot in the end.  I opted with covering the original sole instead and made two paw pads from felt and then embroidered his name (with Dr title) and the date of the ceremony on the other.

The major error I made was placing the tassle coming out from the top of the hat.  It should have gone round the brim of the hat!  It does annoy me but I have left it as it is.

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Overall, I am pleased with the result.  It’s great to personalise gifts and I felt that gaining a doctorate was definitely a reason to do this!  You could tell that others at the ceremony were interested in this different kind of souvenir.

Watch it on the Vlog

You can find the related video from my vlog below, where I go into more detail on how I made the pattern pieces:

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