Introduction: DIY Owl Soft Toy (for Beginners)!!
I am back again with another tutorial for potterheads!
This time I will show you how to make this really adorable and extremely simple owl soft toy. This companion is sure to deliver all your letters safely and keep you connected to all your friends when you are not at Hogwarts! And you don't have to be a pro at stitching either to make this! So let's start!
Back story: Last few weeks I was really busy with school work and all. So I didn't quite get the time to do the entire project at one go. It took me over a few days to finish it and so all my photos may not be very good (sorry :/). But I still wanted to share it so I did!
Let's get started!
Step 1: Materials
Here is what you will need for this project:
- Soft fabric for the body: I used a "Micro-fibre car cleaning cloth" because (a) it was lying around pointlessly and I wanted to give its life a purpose and (b) I loved the texture and it reminded exactly of a baby owl's feathers. You can also buy some fabric from a soft toy store. I chose grey but you can try it with white, brown, black or any other colour you want. (The pink fabric is for my next project: A pygmy puff!)
- Soft toy eyes: I got these from a craft store. I chose a slightly big pair of brown eyes. You can try yellow, green, grey, black or blue.
- Stuffing: I think the one I used is polyester cotton. I actually went to the craft store and asked for soft toy stuffing and this is what they gave me.
- OPTIONAL: Claws: I had an old plastic battery-ed bird that flapped and sang when I was a kid. But it got spoiled over time and so I pulled out the feet out and used it here. I am not sure if you can find this craft stores, but you can search. Or you can sculpt it out from clay or 3D print it or something. But its not compulsory as the owl looks cute even without it!
- Beak: I found a few in the craft store but none of them matched my idea of my owl. So what I did was cut out a dried piece of caramel coloured Thai clay in the shape of a small triangle. You can sculpt this out of polymer clay or print it out. Just remember to have a small hole along the top of the beak so you can stitch it on later.
- OPTIONAL: Red fabric and paint: I used a old sleeve from a red shirt for the scarf. You can use any cloth representing your house colours.
- Paper: For making the blue print.
- Thread: Choose the thread of a colour close to your fabric. I used a dark grey to match my grey fabric.
That's pretty much all you need for this project. Let's begin!
Step 2: Blue Print
What you need in this step:
- I just drew out a simple blue print of how my owl would look like. You can try sketching it out from the first picture or use the template I have provided.
- Then cut out those pieces from the paper.
- Take your fabric and trace the shapes out. In case your fabric is too furry to hold the trace marks, try using pins to hold the paper cut outs on the fabric and then just directly cut the fabric.
IMPORTANT: ALWAYS cut the pieces bigger than you actually need them. Like if you see the template, You need to cut only the second set of grey lines. This will give you a buffer for stitching! But for the wings, don't leave a buffer as we wont be stitching it like the other pieces.
Once all the pieces are cut, we can proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Basic Stitching Guides
Well let me tell you that I am an absolute beginner in stitching.
I have never had any formal learning and all i understand is that the needle must go in and come out and the pieces should stay together. So I may not be able to teach you to be the best, but in this step I will tell you all that you need to know for this project.
- Knotting: Wrap the end of the thread after you needle it around your index finger about a couple of times. Slide the threads off your finger and pinch it between the index and thumb. Then move the fingers back and forth a few times. Then pull in the entire thread-mess down gently and voila! You have a huge knot! Always remember to knot your thread before you start stitching!
- Stitching: Well, every fabric has two sides, the desirable side and the non-desirable side. If your fabric was red on one side and blue on the other, and you wanted to have the red outside in your final model. Then you need to ensure that the red for both the fabrics face each other and both the blue sides are facing outside. This way later when we roll the whole thing over like a sock to hide the stitches, the red side will be outside. Get it? Then all you have to do is pinch the buffer zone out and make your needle go through and fro. Remember to pull after each round!
Step 4: Body
You we will need:
- the back of the body piece (type 5)
- Two of the wing pieces (with the buffer)(type 4)
- Needle and thread
- Take the back piece and one wing piece. Just like how I explained before, take two pieces and stitch it together. Your piece at the end of this step should look like the second picture.
- Similarly add the other wing piece to the other side of the main piece. The third picture shows hoe the entire thing should look from front (The side that will be outside finally i.e. the side without stitches).
- Then, join both the ends of the wing pieces. and stitch them too along the straight line. It should look like the fifth picture.
- Then roll the whole thing over like a sock! It will look like the sixth picture. There will be a small gap between the two sides like shown in the seventh picture.In case there is no gap, it's okay. You can skip the next step.
- Stitch both the corners together. You can turn it over again to the stitching side if you want but if can stitch it without doing that, that's also great.
After your done with that, and your bird's body looks something like the last picture (Even if it looks different but you are satisfied its okay ^^) we can go to the next step.
Step 5: Head
You will need:
- The face piece, side pieces, and the top piece. (Type 1, 2 and 3)
- Needle and thread
- Take the face piece and the side pieces first. Just like how you stitched the body piece, attach the side pieces to the face. (refer to first two pics)
- Then begin attaching the top piece. Stitch the top piece along the top of the side pieces and the top of the face. The piece should look like the forth and fifth picture after this step. You will notice that there is a bit of excess left over.
- Cut the excess like a triangle as shown in the sixth picture.
- Then stitch the side pieces along the edges of the triangle. This way the edges of both the sides will come together as well. Like in the seventh picture. Then join both the edges as well.
- Roll the entire thing over and you have yourself a owl head! (Like the last two photos)
Let's attach both the pieces now!
Step 6: Attaching the Head and Body
What you need:
- Already stitched body and head
- Needle and thread
- Roll over the pieces again to the side with all the stitches.
- Then align the back of the head and the body like in the second picture. Pinch out a bit of the ends (picture 3) and stitch them together (picture 4).
- Then continue stitching the front of the face and body as well. Just remember to leave a part of it empty for (a) turning the whole thing over and (b) for stuffing in your stuffed toy.
- After you have stitched 3/4th of the neck-head joining, turn it over for one last time. (the previous times you turned over to make sure that there were no holes in between in case you are wondering.)
Done? Let's move ahead and fill the owl up! ^^
Step 7: Eyes and Stuffing
What you need:
- Your stuffing material,
- Your body+head piece
- Needle and thread
- We need to add the eyes first because we can't do it after the stuffing. So unscrew your eyes (the doll eyes. Not your eyes)
- Using the scissors, make the holes in the face part. But make sure they are in one line. I messed up that and my (owl's) eyes got a bit lopsided. But it still looks dam (Percy Jackson ref alert!) cute.
- Then push in the eye through the hole and attach the back part of the screw from behind. The pictures 2,3 and 4 shows this step. Do the same for both the eyes.
- Now take small pieces of the stuffing. Push it through the small hole you left un-stitched and keep pushing it inside until there is not enough place to put more or when you think the owl is fat enough.
- Make sure you have stuffed all the corners before you stitch up the hole.
- Take the gap and bend both the edges inwards. Then slide the entire needle through the edges. Refer to picture 10 for this step.
- Then pull tightly and knot the thread.
You are almost done!
Step 8: Attaching the Wings
What you need:
- You will have two pieces left, the wing pieces.
- Thread and needle
- Now let's wingardium leviOsa the bird! Take one wing piece and place it on one side of the bird.
- Slide the threaded needle through both the layers (wing and body) like shown in 4 picture.
- Pull tight and the thread will just get hidden in the fur.
- You can knot this thread just below the wing so it remains hidden by it.
The last part!
Step 9: Beak and Scarf
What you need:
- Red fabric
- Yellow paint
- Beak: I just cut out a piece of dried thai clay. I made a hole along the edge of the beak and sewed it on the bird. I passed the thread through near the neck so that the knot will be hidden by the scarf.
- Scarf: Take a strip of the cloth and paint on yellow (or other house colour) strips along the fabric. You will need two strips of the same width almost- One for going around the neck and one the other small flap thing I don't know what to call.
- Then wrap the larger piece around your owl's neck and the other one just perpendicular to it. I actually got tired of stitching, so I glued it to place.
You are done!!!
Step 10: Finished!
You're owl is ready to take flight!
I really hope you enjoyed this 'ible and found it useful. It would be very nice if you could send your owl telling me what you thought of this tutorial. Or you may just leave me a comment below! I would also really appreciate any feedback to improve my writing!
Plus you can suggest a few names for my owl! I can't decide what to name it!
Oh and if possible, please do vote my entry!
Thanks a lot for reading!
Loads of love,