Big Projects

Fabric Polka Dot Owl Doorstop

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Hello everyone, welcome back! This week I’ll be sharing with you a great sewing project! Perfect for keeping your house cool during Summer!

What you’ll need:

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  • Fabric shears
  • Black and white thread
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Glue
  • Small needle
  • Template
  • Pattern drafting paper or thin plain paper
  • Pencil
  • Stuffing
  • Sand – I used 1kg
  • Hot glue gun
  • Four different fabrics: main body, wings, eyes & feet and beak)

Let’s get started!

  1. Our first step is to draw out the template. You can make this whatever size you like but mine measured 25cm down and across the body. To do this I got some thin paper and folded it in half. Against the fold, I drew out a rough owl like shape including the ears and feet. Cut around your shape and then unfold it.
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2. Once your owl shape is unfolded, roughly sketch out the rest of the features. I included ears, wings, eyes, feet and a beak. You’ll also need to make templates for these and cut them out.

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3. Using your templates, cut out all of your pattern pieces out of fabric but leave a seam allowance of 1.5cm all around the edge. You’ll need 2 main bodies, 2 wings, 4 feet, 1 eye piece and 1 beak.

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4. This next step isn’t necessary but helps to stop the pieces fraying. Using some PVA glue, paint a small amount along all of the exposing edges. Leave them to dry for a few minutes.

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5. Moving on to the owl’s eyes. Pencil an outline onto the fabric to make sewing them easier. Using doubled up black thread, follow along your pencil lines using a normal straight stitch.

6. Time to stitch everything together, starting with the wings. Pin the wings onto one of the main body pieces and using a sewing machine stitch along the inner edge. Just bear in mind that this stitch will be visible in the end.

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7. Pin on the eyes to the main body as well and carefully stitch around the edge using the sewing machine again. Try to go as close to the edge as possible; this will also reduce fraying.

8. Using the same method, stitch both the beak and ears onto the body.

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9. Now that everything is secured to the owl’s body we can attach the back of the owl to the front. To do this lay the other body piece, wrong side up (so the pattern is facing down) straight on top of the first piece. Match all of the sides up and make sure that all of the sewing we have already done is on the inside and pin this in place.

10. Using your sewing machine again, stitch all along the edge but leave a fairly big opening at the bottom.

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11. Once you’ve finished stitching, turn the owl inside out so that your previous stitching is now on the outside.

12. We’re almost there! To make the feet, take two of the four foot pieces and match them back to back. Stitch close to the edge and leave a little gap near to the top. Repeat the same steps for the other one.

13. Turn them inside out so that the pattern is on the outside again.

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14. Now we can stuff the owl. Take small pieces of stuffing at first to fill out the ears and feet and then bulk stuff the body but leave enough room for a bag of sand. We can also stitch up the openings on the feet as well.

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15. When using the sand, make sure that it is fully secured in a bag and will not leak out! As it can be very difficult to sort out after everything is sewn up! Place the sand in the base of the owl and stuff around it.

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16. Using the glue gun, glue the bottom edges together securing both the stuffing and sand inside the owl. Time to glue the feet onto the bottom of the owl! I’ve also added an oval of felt just to hide the seams and glue.

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And we’re done! Just prop the owl up against a door to keep it open! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial!

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If you have a go don’t forget to share your makes with us on Instagram @aboxofbuttons or on Twitter @aBoxofButtons! See you next time!

2 thoughts on “Fabric Polka Dot Owl Doorstop”

  1. Hello. This is a cool idea, but it looks like there might be some places where time and effort can be saved. For example, measuring the sizes and weights of other fabric door stops, on manufacturer web sites, in person at a store using a tape measure app on your phone, and a scale, which many stores also have in store, might be a big help when deciding on the size for your own fabric template. For sale fabric doorstops in stores are typically the size, both height, width and length, and weight, that they are from research done by a manufacturer before they sell any doorstops, so that what they produce can best be sold to and be useful to, the widest amount of potential purchasers and users of the product as possible. Including a seam allowance before cutting out the template is a time saving step, too. Then, if you forget to include the seam allowance on any step of construction, you can still make the rest of the project, knowing you’ve already assumed and put in place, a seam allowance before you’ve begun to cut out your pattern pieces. For the making of the eyes of the owl as a separate piece, it looks roughly the shape of an eye mask, traced around, yet you don’t mention that tip in your directions. Is tracing the shape of a standard or child size eye mask what you’d suggest in making the eye template? Cutting the mask with pinking shears, for a feathery look or using a non fraying cloth such as felt, seem like they’d help the longevity of the finished product, is that what you’d recommend? Also, doll eyes could be used, they are typically sold in packets of different sizes and shapes. If using doll eyes, they’ll need to be reinforced where they are sewn with a piece of something like felt on the inside of the owl, to make sure the eyes stay in the project where they are placed, if someone wanted to make an owl with eyes open. When sewing, using fray check made for cloth might be better than using glue, as even dried glue can gunk up a sewing machine needle, and even a hand sewing needle. It would add the the cuteness of the owl if the wings were made with wadding or batting, sewn, then turned out. It gives the project another cute and more of a 3D look, with wings with light stuffing in them, and keeps the wing fabric from fraying as they could then be turned, leaving the stitch line inside when the owl pattern is turned out after sewing, leaving the wings sewn into the fabric on the sides. The pattern pieces for the wings would then need kind of a fabric tab at the top of the pattern piece where they can be sewn into the sides & still be able to lay in a flat looking manner on the outside. Decorative stitch, using machine or hand sewing would also add to the overall cuteness of the wings, holding the batting in place and giving the wings a quilted stitch look. Beak, wings and ears can be made using felt. It’s easy to cut and does not fray. Plus it can be bought in small pieces in a wide range of colors. Reminding people to use a matching thread where stitches will show can be a useful tip in making the finished project as cute as possible. With 3D wings, the opening for stuffing and turning the owl can be on the side, under a wing where it will not show and will then not need a stabilizing base piece of fabric on the bottom of the owl. If the feet of the owl are made 3D using wadding or batting, that can be your reinforcing part, feet that are sewn with the rest of the body pieces, and perhaps made of slipper gripper or a similar fabric, made to stand up to hard use on floors. That kind of fabric adds practicality and cuteness to the owl’s feet. When giving sewing directions, it is helpful to explain the fabrics to be placed as either right side or wrong side of the fabric together, right side being the side where the fabric pattern is most boldly printed and seen. No need to glue the feet to the bottom of the owl, either, they can be sewn in when the rest of the body is sewn and hand tacked or sewn to the base, letting the toes show to the front, maybe even hand stitching something that looks like owl toenails or claws to the front top of the feet pieces. Making the feet and toes larger to be the base of the owl, sewing them in with the body and using a grip type fabric for the base, the extra size the feet would need to be can be a great base to make the project more long lasting. Then, with one side of the owl open under one of the wings, it can be stuffed, filled with a bag of sand and sewn closed, the wings could then be hand tacked with small, matching thread sewing stitches, to the side of the owl, both the make them more secure, hide the place where the owl was stitched closed. and to make it easy to lift as one piece once completed. Another option would be to use batting or wadding right where the owl’s ears are, and decoratively sew stitching on top of the batting or wadding, once the owl is turned to the right side, to give the ears a more solid, separate looking and owl ear like appearance, adding another layer of cuteness to the project. Whoa, I’ve written so much here! Sorry about that. But, as someone who has made many cute and practical projects such as this, I had so many ideas in my head about how I might attempt such a project, I really wanted to share them with you. Thanks for the cute tutorial! I will for sure be making an owl doorstop of my own!


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