Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Scrappy Owls Tutorial

I have a problem with throwing away scraps of fabric. After I've cut up pieces for a project, the scraps always look so pretty together! I figure there must be something I can do with them, so I keep the "big enough" pieces in a box or bag until I think of something. Well, here's something! I made these "scrappy owls" completely out of felt scraps I had saved from other projects. You can make them too! They are super easy, and mostly sewn by hand. Here's how.

What you need:
Lots of felt scraps in whatever colors you like
Embroidery floss and a needle
Buttons, colored fabric or other embellishments
Paper for template
White chalk

(click to view large)

1. draw a template. Don't worry if you think you can't draw (yes you can), a wonky shape gives them more character. ;) You can make any animal you like, but it's best to stick with a simple base square-ish or circular shape. Cut out your template.

2. Assemble your scraps. This is a little like putting together a puzzle. You can cut them down to the shape you need if necessary. Roughly organize them into a shape big enough to cover your template, twice. You'll need a front piece and a back.
3. Start stitching them together! Pick up a scrap, and the one next to it. Overlap them 1/4 to 1/2 inch (this is important, it will keep your stuffing from leaking out) and sew them together using some embroidery floss and the Whip Stitch. This is the most basic hand sewing stitch, just come up from the bottom and go down and up til your pieces are secured together. Then tie a knot on the back.
DON'T WORRY about making it too neat. That's the charm of scrappy owls, they're messy and unique. :)
4. Pick up another scrap and stitch it on. Keep going until they're all sewn together securely.
5. When you've got two pieces of patchwork felt big enough to cover your template with about 1/2 inch around the edges, determine which you'll use as the front and add the face or other decorations. You can do this however you want, be creative! For my owls' eyes, I cut circles out of fabric with pinking shears and stitched them on with a button in the middle.
6. Now pin your front and back together right sides facing and trace on the template with white chalk. Sew around the edges, leaving the bottom open. I used a sewing machine for this part, but if you have tight hand stitching skills, feel free to do it that way.
7. Turn him right side out, stuff, and sew up the bottom. There you go! Cute, easy, and totally unique. Make a whole family of patchwork pets!

Don't want to make your own? Ted and Martha are available in my etsy shop:


  1. You continue to amaze me with your awesome talent and creativeness! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  2. Oh, I really want to make one!!

  3. This is adorable, saw you on Craftig! I'd love for you to drop by my blog linking party every Sunday (thru Tues.) and if you link to this project I'll be happy to share it with my readers next week! Hope to see you there @creativejewishmom.com all the best!

  4. These owls are so cute, you are so creative! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. I just discovered your shop on etsy and come over to your blog and all I can say is THANK YOU! I just decided I would like to embroider and I was overwhelmed and didn't know how to start, but your projects are so easy that I have confidence enough to buy supplies now. Love these owls too!

  6. Thank you so much! ^_^ I'm happy to share! :)

  7. I love how you put a positive spin on simple things: "Don't worry if you think you can't draw (yes you can), a wonky shape gives them more character. ;)" - I always feel self-conscious when my lines aren't absolutely perfect, but you've change my perspective :) thank you!

  8. This is amazing! I cannot throw away even the tiniest piece of fabric, plus I love owls... so this is kind of my dream tutorial :)

  9. thanks Suki! I'm always looking for ways to use up scraps. :)

  10. I just wanted to thank you for all your tutorials but especially for this one! We lost our teenage daughter 12 years ago and I still have some of her old clothes (gave 98% of them away). I've wanted a way to stitch them up as a keepsake for our other three kids but never found one until I came across this! Tricia was SO quirky, she would have loved this! Thank you for making my day and I know these will turn into treasured keepsakes!

  11. That's awesome Lacey! Thanks for sharing, I'm so glad to help you out. :)

  12. I love your woodland creatures made out of felt as they are incredibly lovely and adorable! I tried to purchase the pattern on Etsy, but it informed me they were sold out. Is there any chance of more patterns becoming available in the near future? Will a pattern for the three owls be available for sale?

    Thank you so much for sharing your gift with others!

    1. Thanks so much!! I've just relisted all my patterns that were sold out. I don't have any more owl patterns but there two different ones in woodland sets 1 and 2! :)


Thanks for your comments! I love hearing from you! :)