Friday, April 4

Wise Owl Cushion with Make Thrift Love Life

I write a frugal, creative lifestyle blog called Make Thrift Love Life. I started writing my blog to share my experiences, to learn something new and to explore a culture which already fascinates me- living well on a budget. It is not about spending no money- it's about spending what you have more wisely, being less wasteful and getting more from your life.

Crafting is a fabulous way of saving money- I now enjoy up-cycling, giving handmade gifts, adorning my home with gorgeous, unusual and eco-friendly items, and giving old items a new lease of life.... all on a budget. 

Visit the blog at Make Thrift Love Life, or follow on Bloglovin'

Today, I would like to share a tutorial on how I made this gorgeous owl cushion... perfect for the novice crafter, easy and cheap to make from fabric scraps!

Wise owl cushion

You will need:

2 pieces of fabric (big enough for the owl’s body)
Small fabric scraps (feathers, wings, beak, ears and eyes)
Needle, thread, scissors, pins
Sewing machine (not essential). 

Step 1: Body. Draw the shape of your owl’s body on the back of your fabric. Cut this shape out twice, so you have two identical pieces.

You should have 2 pieces like this.
This is an easy shape to cut and sew.
Step 2: Feathers. Choose a fabric scrap for your feathers. If your fabric frays, you will need to iron on some interfacing at this stage- I used an off-cut from curtain fabric, which doesn’t fray! Use the bottom of your main fabric as a template, and cut across the top in a wavy/ bumpy pattern, to create the look of feathers.

Take one of your body pieces, and pin your feathers into place at the bottom. This will be the front of your cushion. Iron it flat if you need to, and hand-sew along the bumpy top part of your feathers to secure. Don’t worry about sewing the outside edges yet.

"Feathers" from teal curtain fabric.
Step 3: Eyes. Appliqué can be tricky if you choose fabric prone to fraying, but here is how you can create great appliquéd circles every time. Cut a circle of fabric a little larger than you want the eye to be.  
Running stitch.
Sew a loose running stitch all the way round the circle, pulling tight as you go. You will see that the fabric starts to gather up. Secure your thread with a knot to prevent it from coming undone. 
Secure once gathered all the way round.
Add a pale felt circle and a small dark felt circle, completing your eye. Flatten it all out with an iron, and hand-sew into place on to the same body piece as your feathers. 

A perfectly owlish eye!
Step 4: Beak, wings and ears. Try to choose non-fraying fabrics for the final details if you can, but otherwise, make sure you fold the edges well under as you sew, to prevent stray threads coming loose over time. I chose felt for the beak, scraps of spotty non-fray fabric for the wings, and I folded the edges under when sewing on the triangles for the ears. 

Adding details to the owl.
Step 5: Sew the body pieces together. Pin your body pieces right side together (so the back of the fabric is facing out the way). Sew your pieces together, around 1/2" from the edge. Using a sewing machine is quicker here, but you can hand sew if you prefer- just keep your stitches small and tight. Leave a gap of around 3", so you can turn your cushion inside out. 
I use my trusty Singer machine.
Step 6: Stuff your cushion. Once you have sewn all the way round, turn your cushion inside out through the gap you left. Toy stuffing can be bought inexpensively from haberdasheries and fabric stores, or for a really thrifty option, why not use the stuffing from an old cushion or pillow? 
Make your owl cushion as plump as you like!
Step 7: Finishing off. Once you are happy with the amount of stuffing, hand-sew the gap closed. Remember to fold your edges in as you go, to neaten the finish. 

Closing the gap neatly.
Step 8: Display your new cushion! Find a space for your beautiful owl in your home, and snuggle up. 

My finished owl on the sofa.
If you liked this tutorial, hop on over to read more at Make Thrift Love Life, or follow on Bloglovin'

1 comment:

  1. An adorable project! Thank you for the tutorial :)