Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Hooters Are Out Again

Hooray for October, one of my favorite months. I love the weather. I love the leaves. I love the cheesy Halloween decorations. A few years ago I made these owls. I smile every year when I take them out. I posted these photos last year, but I'd like to post them again and give a brief how-to for some of my newer followers and friends. Unfortunately, I did not take stepped out photos when I made them. But, they are very easy to make and do not require a pattern or a sewing machine. Here's a rough how-to.

Supplies you'll need:

  • felt (I like wool blend (20-30% wool) felt the best. I buy it by the yard, then wash in hot water and dry in the dryer. The result is a soft and nubby texture.) Regular craft felt will work too and you might have more color choices.
  • embroidery floss and heavy embroidery needle
  • thimble (sometimes you will be stitching through several layers of thick felt)
  • fiber fil 
  • vintage buttons
  • tiny rickrack trim


1) Cut the felt as follows:

-2 pieces of owl body shape. As you can see here, owls can come in all sizes.
-2 circles for eyes
-2 wing shapes. I created a variety of wing sizes too. My favorites...the tiny ones that poke out from the sides.
-1 beak
-2 feet

2) Stitch the eye circles onto the front body piece using a basic stitch. If you want your owl to have eyelashes, put rickrack pieces behind the circle, then stitch the piece down. Sew a button on top of the each circle.

Another variation is to use two buttons instead of felt circles.

 If you want your owl to wink, stitch a piece of rickrack straight across the felt circle.

3) Stitch the beak below and between the eyes.

4) If your owl has wings that rest on his body, stitch those down. Do not stitch the sides that line up with the body edge. Those will be stitched when you sew the front body to the back body.

 You can also stitch the wing onto the body and allow it to fly out to the side.

5) Stitch an outline onto the feet and wings (if they are coming out between the front and back of the owl.) These pieces will flap freely from the body and will look cuter if they have coordinating stitches.

Another wing variation... cut a half circle, stitch the edges, and fold.

6) Start stitching the front to the back. Insert feet, wings (if not already stitched down), and hair (if desired) as you stitch. When you have stitched around most of the body, stuff a moderate amount of fiber fil into the opening. Finish stitching and secure last stitch.

Please feel free to ask questions if you need help! I think you'll have fun with these!

And on another hooty note...  A few days ago, I went into the backyard for some air. I noticed that the songbirds were all making their warning chirps and flitting among the branches. I looked around for Lucky, the neighbor's tomcat. He was nowhere in sight. Suddenly a dark shadow swept through the branches. I walked further into the yard and looked up to find these eyes staring back at me.

I don't know if you have ever stared into the eyes of a live owl in your backyard. I found it to be a bit eery, like he knows that I know that he knows, you know?

Anyway... I like to think that he flew into my yard as a reminder to patiently seek wisdom a little more often and to be comfortable with uncertainty while I wait for the answer. Most of the time, I am a "go with your gut and quickly" kind of gal. Sometimes this works. Other times my gut is nothing but a
chips-and-salsa-filled blob that really has no opinion.

Here's my latest owl. He is only 2 inches tall. Perfect for that little shelf in my guest bathroom.

Any owls in your life lately?



  1. Oh my GOSH Jenny! These are GORGEOUS! So SO adorable! I would make these and put them on my Christmas tree. Thank you for the step by step- I have a LOT of felt lying around the house and I've been meaning to try to make maybe 1 or two ornaments every year since oh I don't know- 2008! Thanks for swinging by my blog today!

    1. I never even thought about Christmas ornaments, but what a cute idea! My daughter would love them in bright colors...

  2. Such personality!!! I love the winking hooter...once as I was driving in the country a snowy owl, I believe, pure white with huge black eyes, soared right in front of my windshield...amazing

    1. What a treat to see a pure white one! They really take your breath away, don't they?

  3. your owls are so adorable Jenny! I used to collect owls and have kept some-like the owl that's a radio and his eyes are the tuner and volume. How lucky to have an owl visit you-I so wish we'd get one here- we get such a great variety of birds but no owls....yet:)

    1. How cute! I would love to see your owl radio!

  4. Owls like the bard you pictured hoot all night around my yard, they are supremely eerie to gaze at directly, old souls they. Your hooters are so much cuter!!!! Might have to try some of these myself. xox

    1. Thanks Corrine! yes, you should make some... would love to see the colors you chose!

  5. I love your owls! I particularly like the winking one and the tiny one you recently made. I can't believe you saw that beauty in your back yard. I have only ever seen an owl once in the wild and that was in Costa Rica. So cool that you had your camera handy and got that awesome shot!

    1. Oh I am not that good with my camera - that one I found on Google images. But my owl looked JUST like it!

  6. I am such a sucker for anything black and cream.... so the newest owl is, turn your back, being tucked into my purse!! LOL I love that you have an affinity for sewing. On anything! Your whimsical personality shows through your creations and is just adorable! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for your kind compliments. Glad you like my little owl. He would fit nicely in your purse!