ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Make a Felted Wool Stuffed Owl From an Old Sweater

Updated on August 5, 2017
Dolores Monet profile image

A long time crafter Dolores has created sewing projects for private clients, including pillow covers, linen pillow cases, and sink skirts.

Felt Owls

Source

Old sweaters that no longer fit or are damaged can be used to create a variety of easy craft projects. For this simple project, I felted three old sweaters and made several stuffed owls. To add a touch of nature and a unique twist, I used balsam needles as a stuffing so the felted owls can double as a sachet.

I love the scent of balsam and the dried needles retain a pleasant aroma for years. Dried herbs work well too. As you can see from the photograph, each owl is slightly different than the rest. But the process is essentially the same. You can make them in many sizes and colors depending on what wool you have at hand.

How to Felt a Wool Sweater

Source

Felting creates a material that will not unravel so is easy to work with. Use only 100% wool. As with many crafts you will have to practice and may have to attempt several different materials. Some sweaters contain various yarns or colors that will not shrink uniformly and can come out a bit lumpy. If this happens, you can dampen and block dry the felted piece, snip off floating fuzzies, or press with a warm (not hot) iron.

  • Wash sweaters in hot water with a small amount of soap - not detergent. One teaspoon of Ivory Soap will help the fibers to absorb water. If you are going to felt a lot of wool sweaters, you may want to launder them inside a pillowcase to avoid wool lint from clogging hoses or drainage pipes.
  • Top loading washing machines work best as they agitate the fabric more than a front loader.
  • Remove sweater before the final spin. Gently squeeze out water and toll in a towel.
  • Run the sweater through the dryer on hot setting.
  • You may have to do this several times. If you can see individual threads of yearn, the felting process is not complete.
  • Flatten or press the sweaters as they may be a bit bunchy. I st a chunk of granite on mine and let it sit overnight.

Now you will have a tough, durable fabric that will not unravel along cut edges.

How to Make a Felted Wool Owl

I used three sweaters for this project - a brown checked design, a dusty rose floral, and a plain tan colored sweater. Some fine details of a pattern may be lost in the felting. Since the owls are quite small, I can make a lot of owls. Of course you can make them any size that you want.

It may be helpful to look at pictures of owls, real owl photographs as well as artistic images for inspiration. Of course, this is all in fun, so you can go crazy and make pink, striped or plaid owls. The shape of the bird can vary too - a head with ear tufts, or a rounded head and owl in profile or face front. You can make a heart shaped face or a squared off mask - whatever suits your fancy.

Unlike many sewing projects you don't have to hem the edges or worry about turning things inside out.

This owl is very simple, a good idea for a first attempt. You can create a template or just cut free hand.

  • Cut the owl shape, front and back. If the wool has an inside and outside pattern, cut appropriately so that the pattern faces out on both sides.
  • Cut the mask of a plain or contrasting color. Make sure you leave enough room between the edge of the mask and the edge of the owl for when you sew the owl together. (I did not cut a separate mask or face for all the owls)
  • Cut 2 circles for eyes.
  • Cut wings - you don't have to double the fabric for the wings, but I did. If you used 2 pieces of the felted wool for each wing, make sure the outside pattern faces out.
  • Embroider, hand sew, or machine stitch the eyes onto the mask.
  • Embroider, hand stitch, or machine stitch the mask onto the front of the owl. Apply any decorative features such as button eyes, eye lashes, or lines now.
  • Cut out and sew on a beak. Or, you can embroider a beak.
  • If you cut 2 pieces of felt for each wing (4 in all) sew them together. You can sew along the outside of the felt. Since it won't unravel, you don't have to turn it inside out like you would with most fabrics.
  • I made some of the wings a bit curvy by stretching the felted wool as I machine sewed.
  • Pin the front and back pieces together, right sides facing out, wings pinned where you want them.
  • Sew the owl, leaving an opening in the bottom for stuffing.

Felted wool owl - cut shapes
Felted wool owl - cut shapes | Source
The embroidered eyes, red beak, and mask are are attached to the front of the owl before sewing it together
The embroidered eyes, red beak, and mask are are attached to the front of the owl before sewing it together | Source

The sleepy owl below was cut in profile with an embroidered beak, eyes and face design sewn onto a heart shaped mask.

Felted Sweater Owl

Source

The owl below does not have a separate mask, but an embroidered face and button eyes. The sweater buttons were so pretty, I thought they would make nice eyes. If you are giving the owl to a young child, you may not want to use button eyes.

Felted Sweater Owl

Source

Stuff the Owl

Stuff the owl using any stuffing material that you like. For the sachet style owls, stuff with dried balsam needles. Dried herbs are nice too. I stuffed one with dried rosemary, another with dried lavender from my garden.

Sew the opening closed.

You can add a loop at the top to hand the owl. It would make a nice ornament for a Christmas tree, or for a rustic style room.

A first owl make look a bit off but with practice, you will improve. As you work, you may come up with some fun new ideas for embellishments.

Have fun!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)