My best friend, Brook, originally sent me the tutorial that this is based on probably over a year ago. I've made well over 10 owls since then and will be making many,
I want to thank Christina from Italy for posting the original tutorial on CO&K. I've used some of her sketches in the tutorial of my version below. I must say that her original pattern for the owls was the best available online!
NOTE: Be sure to read through the entire tutorial before beginning. This will help you understand how the owl is put together and finished.
IN ORDER TO MAKE A ZAKKA OWL, YOU WILL NEED THE PATTERN.
PRINT THIS PATTERN AT 100%.
Step 1: Gather supplies.
You will need the following materials:
- Two (2) square pieces of coordinating cotton fabric measuring about 13cm each (for the Owl’s Body and Belly)
- 3x7cm of white felt (for the Eye Whites)
- 6x12cm of felt in a color that matches the 2 cotton fabrics (for the Owl Bottom and Eye Patches)
- 2x2cm of orange felt (for the beak)
- Two (2) small black buttons that measure 7mm or less.
- Embroidery floss (or thread) in black, white, orange, and a color that goes with the fabrics and other felt color
- Poly-Fil or some kind of stuffing
Step 2: Cut fabrics and felt.
Trace and cut the Owl Body out of the simpler fabric and the Owl Belly out of the more decorative fabric. Trace and cut out two (2) Eye Whites, two (2) Eye Patches, and one (1) Owl Bottom.
Step 3: Begin sewing the body.
With the wrong sides of the fabric facing each other, sew the edge of the Owl Belly (B) to the
right edge of the Owl Body (A) starting at the bottom corner (see image to the right). Tie a knot when you reach the upper point of the Owl Belly (B) and cut your string. I like to use 3 of the 6 threads in embroidery floss and I use a backstitch for this step, but you’re welcome to use a sewing machine instead.
Step 4: Continue sewing the body.
Repeat Step 3 on the left side of the Owl Body (A), just as you did on the right side, but do not tie a knot or cut your string. Fold your fabric down the center as in the "fold/sew" image and continue sewing up to the top of the Owl Body (A). Tie a knot and cut your string. When finished with this step, unfold your piece and it should look similar to the second image to the right.
Step 5: Creating the owl’s head.
Turn fabric right side out. Fold near the red line and stitch the top point (red dot) to the owl’s belly. When sewing the point to the belly, make sure it is centered, left-to-right, otherwise your owl will have a crooked beak!
Step 6: Sewing on the eyes.
- Prior to sewing on the eye patches, pin them in place so they will be level and equally apart. When sewing on the felt eye patches, I prefer to use 3 or more of the 6 threads of embroidery floss to do a blanket stitch around them. This gives the owl a really wide-eyed look as shown in the picture to the right.
- Place the whites of the eyes close to the inside edge of the eye patches, but don’t cover your nifty blanket stitch. When sewing them on, I just use a really rough running stitch around the edges with white thread.
- Depending on the look you’re going for, you can sew the black buttons in the center of the eye whites (for a wide-eyed look), towards the inside (for a bit of a cross-eyed or confused look), or even out to the sides (for a crazy look).
Step 7: The beak.
If you like the way your owl’s face looks without a felt beak, leave it just the way it is! If you prefer to have a traditional beak, you can sew on a felt one. The easiest way I’ve found to get the perfect beak shape, is to take the corner of a piece of orange-colored felt and cut the corner as
shown in the image to the right. Once you have your triangle cut out, place it on your owl and trim any excess felt.
Sewing the beak on is super easy! Just put a single stitch in each of the three corners going from the point towards the center of the triangle.
Step 8: The bottom.
- Sew a running stitch around the base of the owl, about 4mm away from the bottom edge. Pull the thread in order to create a hole that's only about 10mm across. Tie a knot, but don’t cut the thread.
- Using a rough running stitch, sew the Owl Bottom to the base of the owl making sure to cover the cinched stitches (see the photo to the right).
Enjoy your owl!!