/ / Adorable Owls – Free Sewing Pattern & Tutorial

Adorable Owls – Free Sewing Pattern & Tutorial

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These owls are one of my favorite projects ever! Have you ever sewn something that makes you so excited that you just want to sew another and another? Well that happened to me with these owls!

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And I’m not the only one who loves them at our house. I experimented, putting rice, beans, or wheat in the bottom of each one to give them a nice heavy feel. Now they can be used for a pincushion, doorstop, bookend, and much more…

Turns out, my kids decided they are to be played with! Every time I turn around, our little ‘flock’ has moved.

These owls are 'basic' size.

These owls are ‘basic’ size.

You asked me to give you a pattern for 2” owls, 4” owls, 6” owls, 12” owls… even huggable sized owls, lol! I decided to draft one basic pattern and then show you how to make any size owls with it.

{click here to download the free Adorable Owls templates.}

The finished owls will be approximately 1/2 the height of the pattern pieces. My basic pattern piece is a little bit less than 10” tall (so it will fit on a regular sheet of paper). I sewed the three owls above with the basic pattern and you see that they are all different, between 4-6” tall. The height will depend on how much of the top you fold down to make the beak, and how much you stuff it.

You will need:

  • 2 different fabrics (scraps for pincushion size, about a yard total for ‘huggable size)

  • black and white felt for the eyes

  • 2 buttons

  • needle and strong thread for hand sewing (optional, but highly recommended)

  • polyester fiberfill for stuffing the owl

  • rice, wheat, beans, or plastic pellets to give it some weight (place in a zip lock bag)

  • hot glue gun and hot glue

There is a typo on the tummy template above. Do not cut your tummy piece on the fold.

There is a typo on the tummy template above. Do not cut your tummy piece on the fold.

These are the two pattern pieces. One is for the body (place this one on the fold of fabric). And the other one is for the tummy (do not cut on the fold). You’ll see a line halfway down from the point of the pattern pieces, this is the cutting line for a pincushion size owl.

Make the pattern pieces bigger by taping them to some tracing paper (this is what I use) and drawing lines to extend the sides. Both the sides should be the same length.

Then measure down the center of the piece from the tip and make a mark at the bottom. Join the sides and the bottom mark with a nice gentle curve

Repeat this process with the other piece. Note that the shape of the top part of the pattern pieces will stay the same no matter what size you make them.

The pattern pieces above are what I used for my polka dot owl ‘Booger.’ They are 15” tall (and the sides are 15” long).

I used 24” tall pattern pieces for my largest (huggable size) owl.

Feel free to make any size you want, and I hope you show me in a Show Off Saturday post!


1. Fold your main fabric in half and cut 1 body piece on the fold of fabric.

2. Cut one tummy piece from coordinating fabric – not on the fold of fabric.

3. You will want to make something to cover the opening at the bottom of the owl. A circle of felt anywhere from 1” (for the pincushion size) to 6” will work great. If you want something sturdier, cut a circle of cardboard the desired size and a circle of fabric about twice that size (I used thread spools, CDs, and bowls to trace my circles).


Use a 1/4” seam allowance.

1. Place the two large pieces right sides together along one straight edge.

2. Start sewing 1/4” from the top and continue all the way down to the bottom edge.

3. Turn the piece over and pin the other straight edges together. Start sewing 1/4” from the top again and sew to the bottom. Sometimes a pucker wants to form at the top. If that happens, no worries. Just keep going.

4. Trim close to the stitching at the tip. Turn the owl right side out. I like to press the seams outward, but it’s not really necessary.

5. Fold the tip down (about 1/3 of the way for an owl that’s about 1/2 the height of the pattern piece). Use a safety pin to attach the folded down ‘beak’ to the body underneath it, but do not pin all the way through to the back – just pin the beak to the top layer.

6. Thread a needle with strong thread and hand sew all the way around the bottom edge with long stitches. Leave long ends for pulling later.

You can try this with long basting stitches on your sewing machine, but the thread will probably break because it is not long enough (it can work okay with the pincushion size).

7. Stuff the owl with polyester fiberfill – as full as you like it. You can adjust the length of the beak at this stage to make it just right. Start to pull the thread tight.

8. Before you close up the owl all the way, insert the bag of rice, beans, pellets, or whatever you want to use as weight.

9. Pull the thread to close the opening and tie the ends together.

If you are using a felt circle on the bottom, you can hot glue it on now.

10. To make a sturdy circle for the bottom, sew around the circle of fabric with long stitches as before. Place the cardboard circle against the wrong side, and tie the thread ends tight around the cardboard.

11. Apply hot glue all over the gathered side of the bottom piece and stick it to the owl.

12. Unpin the beak and hot glue it in place.

13. To make the eyes, pick out the buttons that you want to use. Cut circles of white felt that are 1/4” to 1/2” larger than the buttons. Cut circles of black felt that are 1/4” to 1/2” larger than the white circles. 

Sew or glue the buttons to the felt layers.

Then glue the eyes on and you’re done! Don’t mind this owl’s boogers!

Happy Sewing!

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  1. Thank You so much! These are adorable!!! OWL always remember I got these from you!!!!! LOL! Luv you’re site immensely! xo… Peg

  2. Thanks so much for the pattern and tutorial. I’ve been waiting for this one. I’ll get right on it.

  3. Janice King says:

    Caroline, maybe I’m just not getting it, but do you leave the beak pinned down? Don’t understand that part of making these cuties! My daughter will have a fit as she is an avid collector of all things "owl"….lol. thanks for the pattern.

  4. These are so cute Caroline. And a great pattern. Thanks for the work you put into these freebies.

  5. Lesley Gilbert says:

    Love the owls – thanks for the free pattern – I want to make one in Christmas fabric when I find the time ๐Ÿ™‚ …I was wondering – on the tummy pattern piece is printed ‘cut 1 on fold’ but I can’t see you mention this in the instructions?

  6. Gee I have one of these owls made by someone else years ago…..not an original pattern.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I just got your owl pattern. it downloaded 1 owl body(basic size) and 1 owl tummy(little buddy size)?? should there be other pieces? for each size? thanks

  8. Hi Caroline…From the instructions one understands that only the body part of the project needs to be cut by doubling the fabric whilst the stomach part (template) as is…then why does the diagram of the tummy has โ€˜cut on foldโ€™ written on it ..Am I missing something here?

    1. Hi Wendy,
      There is a typo on the pattern piece. Please follow the instructions in the post and do not cut the tummy piece on the fold.

      1. Maybe you can make a note in your You Will Need section stating that the tummy section does not need to be cut on fold? It would help for those of us that don’t read the comments before starting!! Thanks.

  9. Sheila Coon says:

    Love the owls they are adorable but the Christmas owls I can’t get over how cute they are wish I could so like you I can sew but not like you do your sewing is very professional thank you so much for the free patterns I have quite a few of them I just need more time so I can do them the owls I will take time they will be nice for Christmas thanks again. Sheila Coon

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