Tribble Craft

io9 recently mentioned a tribble sale, wherein props from the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations” were being auctioned off.

If you don’t have the wherewithal to purchase a real one, furry objects rather similar to tribbles (but only coincidentally, as I don’t need a visit from a ravening pack of Paramount lawyers) are easy to make.


  • A scrap of faux fur approximately twice the size of the desired finished size
  • Matching thread
  • Polyester batting or bits of foam rubber for stuffing
  • Plastic pellets (optional)

(Click thumbnails for larger images)

Fur circles Cut two circles of faux fur, one about 1.5″ smaller in diameter than the other. The ones used here were 8.5″ and 7″. (Making the circles uneven sizes means the seam will be hidden on the underside of the furball.)
Pinned Circles Mark each circle at four equidistant points around the edge (the easiest way to do this is to fold them into quarters and mark the folds). Run a long basting stitch 1/4″ inside the larger circle, and a second basting stitch 1/2″ inside. With right sides together, pin the circles together, matching markings.
Gathered Circles Gather the top circle by pulling on the basting stitches, easing the fabric around to distribute the fullness evenly. Pin edges to bottom circle. Stitch with a 1/4″ seam around the edge, leaving a small opening for turning.
Turned Furball Clip the edges at intervals to the seam, then turn right-side out. Add a small amount of plastic pellets (the sort used for stuffing beanbags) to give the furball a little weight, then stuff the rest of the way with polyester batting. Stuff tightly for a tribble-like effect. Stuff loosely for a Martian Flat Cat-like effect. Versatile!
Stitch Seam Turn under the raw edges and hand-stitch to close.
Finished Furball All done! Display your furball with pride. (You may wish to make several; Shadowboy absconded with the one shown here seconds after I was finished with it, and he’s Not Giving It Back.)

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