How to make plush owls

Dec 10, 2012 at 11:31 a.m. ET

Owl accents are all the rage in home decor. Sure, you can pick up an owl accessory at your favorite store, but why not make a customized pillow to fit your own decor? This easy DIY owl pillow project will have you saying "hootie hoo" in no time.

How to make a DIY owl pillow

When I saw these DIY plush owl pillows, originally created by Kim M. Byers of The Celebration Shoppe, I knew I had to try them out for myself. Perfect for a nursery, kids room or simply to bring a little whimsy to any home, making your own owl pillow is an easy way to bring a current trend home and give it your own custom spin.


  • Fabric for the owl body — 2 pieces approximately 10 x 10-inch each (one for the front and back)
  • Coordinating fabric for the owl wings — 2 pieces approximately 5 x 3-inch each
  • Coordinating felt for eyes and nose (amount will vary depending on desired design)
  • Batting
  • Owl body template (to ensure that both sides are equal, print the template out and trace it side by side on wax paper)
  • Sewing machine (or fabric glue for a no-sew version)
  • Pins
  • Needle and thread

Note: To make a larger pillow, print a bigger template by increasing the scale on the printer. Adjust fabric measurements accordingly.


DIY Owl pillow: trace template


Step 1

Print owl template and trace it side by side on wax paper. Cut out template.

DIY Owl Pillow: cut out front and back fabric


Step 2

Hold the template in place by pinning the wax paper to the fabric. Cut out the front and back of owl body from coordinating fabric.

DIY Owl Pillow: Making wings


Step 3

To create a template for the wings, place a small piece of wax paper over the cut fabric and draw an oval wing shape (you can also cut wings that are just the bottom corners of the owl body shape). Use the oval shape as a template to cut out two wings on coordinating fabric.

DIY Owl Pillow: cut out eyes and nose


Step 4

Using coordinating felt fabric, cut out desired owl eyes and nose shapes. To create an owl with sleepy eyes as shown here, cut out one large circle, one darker small circle and a half circle to serve as the eyelids. For wide-open eyes, simply use the larger and smaller circle.

Cut a small diamond shape for the nose.

To minimize the amount of sewing in this project, I ironed on fusible interfacing to each part to hold in place, but this is optional if you plan to sew each part directly on the pillow.

DIY Owl Pillow: Pin accents and sew into place


Step 5

Arrange eyes, nose and wings on the owl body and pin into place. Sew the parts to the front fabric body piece. For a no-sew option, secure parts with fabric glue and let dry.

DIY Owl Pillow: Pin right sides together


Step 6

Pin the right sides of the owl body fabric together. Sew the owl body inside-out with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Leave the bottom open to allow room for the batting.


Step 7

Turn the owl right side out. You may need a point turner to help the ear points stick out all the way. Hint: A pencil, chopsticks or the flat side of a bamboo skewer can also work.

DIY Owl Pillow: Stuff batting


Step 8

Stuff the owl with batting. Make sure that the batting reaches the ear tips and creates a full pillow.

DIY Owl Pillow: Stitch bottom close


Step 9

Turn the bottom of the fabric in slightly to create a hem and pin close. Hand stitch the bottom of the owl with a needle and thread.

DIY Owl Pillow

And just like that you have your very own customized DIY owl pillow.

Happy crafting!

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