Simple Hand Embroidery Owl Softies

Sometimes I just like a simple, no-frills project, that I can put together quickly, that has a charm all it’s own. So why not make some quirky little owl softies? You could actually do any type of critter or monster. This is one of those craft projects where you can just let your imagination run wild and create anything that comes to mind. But since I happen to love owls, I think I am going to create a few, using hand embroidery for their features.

Style isn’t Necessarily in the Details

There’s a certain elegance in minimalism that I like, so I’ll be keeping things clean and simple. As a bonus, there’s usually less work involved in minimal designs because a lot of the detailing can be left out entirely. These types of projects have turned out to be some of my favorites in the past, so it makes sense for me. Your design may be differ from mine, and that’s the beauty of design.

If you would like to follow along, here’s the supply list:

  •  A template or freehand drawing of your owl, or critter shape (decide on your project size, allowing for seam allowances such as 6″ tall, plus 1″ for your seams)
  • Muslin fabric
  • Small embroidery hoop  (4″ was used for this tutorial)
  • Embroidery needle and embroidery floss
  • Polyfil  Stuffing (you can actually use rice or beans if you want more of a bean bag effect, but if they’re going to be around kids, be sure your seams are extra secure)
  • Sewing machine (mine is a Brother SE 400)
  • Fabric marker (fine point) (or a regular pencil) This is a bit tricky.  You can erase a pencil mark carefully, and some fabric markers are permanent, and disappearing ink will make your design disappear before you complete the stitching!  If anyone has any other suggestions I would be very interested.

How to Sew Owl Softies and Embroider their Faces

How to Sew Owl Softies

  1. Begin by laying your paper template on your doubled fabric, like you would a pattern. Pin in place, and cut out two pieces (one for the front and one for the back of your owl).
  2. Next, use your marker to draw your features, such as eyes, nose, beaks, etc. on the front of the fabric you cut out.
  3. Hoop your fabric on a small embroidery hoop, and decide what hand embroidery stitches you want to use for your owl softies features. I chose to use the stem stitch for the eyes on one of my owl softies. I used the backstitch for the wing outline and beak. Be creative, and use whatever stitch you are comfortable with that will give the effect you want. I added random feather effects on the chest area using the fly stitch.
  4. Once you have completed all of your embroidery stitches, place your front and back fabric cut-outs with right sides together, and pin.
  5. Machine stitch all the way around, except for leaving a small opening for your stuffing, either on the side, or at the bottom.
  6. Stuff your owl softies with Polyfil stuffing. Or, you can use beans or rice if you want more of a bean bag effect. Your owl softies will stand alone better,  but be sure to stitch securely if this will be around children.

Watch this video to see how I used the simple steps above to make my owl:


I made a set of two owl softies, with different, simple shapes, and features. I really love them and wouldn’t change a thing. I feel like they’ve developed their little personalities while I was busy sewing. Do your own thing and see what happens! I think I need to make a third owl softie!

About Bonnie

Bonnie has been sewing since she was a child, and her love of playing with thread has only grown since then. She continues to sew, but has a newfound love for all things embroidery.

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