Wednesday, 8 August 2012

How to Make a Felt Owl Keyring




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.




25 comments:

  1. Dear Anna
    What lovely owls - and useful too, which is always a bonus. I make my own felt, but may well have a go at some of these as they would look lovely. Please enter me in the giveaway. Best wishes
    Ellie

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  2. Very sweet and what a lovely gift idea!
    Victoria xx

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  3. Owl would love to win the materials for this! When I saw you'd make an owl it put a huge smile on my face!! xx

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  4. Amazing tutorial and giveaway! No suprises that I adore these little cuties and can't wait to make my own (and pre-starched pieces would definitely be a bonus!) Fingers crossed :)

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  5. These are super cute! I love owls and I think I may make a couple for Christmas presents.

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    Replies
    1. The word 'Christmas' has started creeping in this week, I've noticed... how scary!

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  6. GUH how adorable these are! Please count me in for the giveaway, if that's alright! :)

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  7. Hooray! The button eyes are super cute ;-)

    A lovely clear tutorial.

    x

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  8. OK so I had to go look up "trolley coin." I'm still not quite sure I get it. So you have to pay a deposit to use a shopping cart and a trolley coin can take the place of that? Help this poor confused American.

    Anyway, everyone knows that owls are one of the most adorable things on earth and your keychains are adorable.

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    Replies
    1. You got it! In some supermarkets here you need to have a pound coin handy at all times to use the shopping carts. This can be annoying when you don't have one, so a trolley coin (preferably attached to a colourful owl) means you're never without one.

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  9. so sweet! Hope I'm the winner :) You're really creative and come up with good ideas! Never stop posting wonderful crafts like these for people.
    x

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  10. I would love to make some of these - would make funky xmas tree deocations!

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    Replies
    1. They would! You could add little Santa hats :)

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  11. Fluffy_duckling8 August 2012 at 21:01

    Fab idea,! Think I know what my sister will be getting for Christmas! Or sooner if I win :-)

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  12. Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial. You know I love OWLS! Would love to have a go at making these....in fact I will be doing. PLEASE pop me into your giveaway xxx

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  13. Waiting for 15 August to come fast! Fingers crossed for the announcement of the lucky winner!

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  14. So cute, I love anything owl-y - my wall calendar this year is an owl one! Please enter me :)

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  15. w00t?! please put my name in the hat, it's totally adorable. :)

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  16. id love to win! eclairre(at)ymail(dot)com

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  17. i just saw it! loved your idea! and trolley coins? didn't know about them..
    i can't seem to find a simple one though, like the one you used for this project..
    i tried e-bay (from your link). no luck.
    any ideas?

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    1. Hello, there are all sorts of trolley coins here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=trolley+coin&_sacat=0&_from=R40

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