Back before all of the kids came along, I kept a little Etsy shop with crocheted items for sale. These were mostly hats, with some amigurumi, iPod cases (remember iPods?) and ornaments. All of these items were generally owls or owl-themed.
I can trace with absolute precision my love of owls back to a college trip to Japan in 2004. At the time, owls were very big as a decor motif over there, but they hadn’t really begun to be very popular in the states. I saw owl mugs, owl umbrellas, owl plates, owl juice glasses, owl teapots–I was hooked.
I think it’s the big eyes, slightly squat shape, and grumpy expression that make owls so lovable to me. I decided to make this tutorial for the owl ornaments I used to sell in my shop–they’re relatively quick and easy, endlessly diversified, and just plain cute. I am assuming some basic crochet and sewing skills from the outset, but if you don’t crochet, felt pieces could work in place of the crocheted bits.
for this ornament, you’ll need:
a crocheted rectangle for the body (I used one about 2″x 5.5″, but you can adjust your size if you want)
two white crocheted circles for eyes (mine are each about the size of a penny)
a pair of small black buttons
a small piece of yellow fabric or felt for the beak
material for stuffing
needle & thread in colors to match your body, eyes, and beak
As you can see from the photo, I used a chunky yarn for the body and therefore used a larger hook.
assembling the ornament
Sew your buttons to the white circles. You can put them smack in the middle, or move them around to have your owl looking around, or put them one up and one down like “googly eyes” (which is Clive’s favorite at the moment.)
Then sew the circles to the front of your rectangle, near the top. I think they look more owlish if they’re touching in the middle. These crocheted spirals hide thread pretty well, so if you can’t find any white thread (like I couldn’t) you’re probably fine just using whatever.
For the beak, I took my little rectangle of yellow linen and rolled it into a tornado shape, then sewed a couple of small stitches to hold it in that shape. After it’s together, sew the beak between the eyes. Don’t put it too low! Start it with the top of the beak at about the middle of the eye circles. (Now, you’ll notice in these pictures that I didn’t put the beak on until I had stuffed and sewn the owl closed. It’s not harder to do it then, but it probably makes more sense to do it at this point. I just forgot!)
Fold your rectangle in half so that the eyes are inside, and sew the sides together. Then flip right side out, fill the body with polyfill or material scraps or whatever you’d like to use, and sew the top closed.
To make the ears, pinch the corners of the top and sew a little stitch to hold them that way. I sew it at a 45-degree angle, putting the needle through basically exactly where my fingers are.
Then, using your crochet hook, thread a piece of yarn or ribbon through the top of your owl, then tie together to make a loop for hanging.
That’s it! You have your own little owl to sit in your Christmas tree.