I featured these felt owl keyrings - or trolley coin owls - on the blog a while back. I often make them as gifts and the feedback is always really positive. I think this is because trolley owls are terribly wise and give you advice on bargains when you're doing the dreaded supermarket run. Also, there are woodland creature motifs everywhere at the moment! Anyway, today I thought I'd show you how to make your very own owlish friend.
You will need:
- A keyring or trolley coin, depending on which you want to make. You could make one owl have both, so you always have him with you
- 3 colours of felt
- A 5cm length of thin ribbon
- Either two or four buttons, depending on preference (see image above)
- Spray starch or PVA glue
- A small amount of polyester toy stuffing
- Embroidery thread in your chosen colours
- Pencil, paper and scissors
- *Optional* Glue gun or superglue
Time to make: 1 hour plus drying time. (That's a Creatives Unite! session!)
1. The owl itself is made of of five felt pieces, so we need to make the templates for those first of all. Once you have you can use them again and again. Draw the shapes you see in the image below onto your paper. Draw no. 1, then fold the paper and cut two pieces to make sure they match. Then cut the semi-circle out of both body pieces. Use your buttons eyes as a guide for proportion, especially to help you with number 4. Number 3 will be the owl's tummy, so you don't want it to be as wide as the body. Number your templates as below, then cut them out. Pin the templates to your felt - in the colours you like - and cut them out.
2. Coat all of your felt pieces with spray starch, or very watered-down PVA glue. This will stop your owl going fluffy and frayed as you handle him, will add some structure, and acts as a barrier against dirt. Either leave in an airing cupboard overnight to dry, or you can speed things up with a hairdryer. Be careful, though, those bits of felt blow away easily! (Beatrix ate my beak and I had to make another one).
3. Now to put Mr. Owl together. We'll assemble the front first, then add the back. With embroidery thread, use a running stitch to sew no. 3 onto 1 - no need to bother with the top edge.
4. If you have superglue or a hot glue gun you can skip this next step. If you don't, the next thing to do is to sew your button eyes onto piece no. 4. A different colour thread will give the eyes pupils.
5. Now we're going to sew no. 4 onto the body. Stop sewing just before you reach the bottom upside down 'V', tuck piece no. 5 into place, then finish sewing all the way round.
6. Time to finish putting your owl together! Take your ribbon and double it over. Trap it between pieces 1 and 2, and use your running stitch to sew it in. You may wish to use ordinary cotton thread or invisible thread to reinforce it, as it will be taking the weight of the owl. Sew around the edge of the owl, leaving a gap at the bottom to lightly stuff him, before finishing off.
7. If you didn't attach your eyes in step 4, glue them in place now (if you're using two buttons for each eye sew them together with contrasting embroidery thread first). Now all you need to do is attach the ribbon to the keyring or trolley coin, and you have your finished felt owl keyring!
And with that, owl be seeing you.