/ / / DIY Fall Owl Pillow

DIY Fall Owl Pillow

Autumn | Free Sewing Patterns | Pillows | Thanksgiving

 Create a cute owl pillow for the autumn season! Grab my free sewing pattern and create the owl pillow with or without the ruffle wings. A fun project for beginner and experienced sewers!  

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Owl pillow lays against a wooden table with cute ruffle wings.

Hello Crafty Friends! Today I am excited to share a new free sewing pattern with you, this time for a fall owl pillow! This cute pillow is perfect for autumn. The plaid wings combined with the harvest-colored fabrics make this pillow look warm and cozy. 

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a new pillow pattern. My unicorn, polar bear, and rainbow pillows continue to be popular and I thought it was time for a new little pillow friend to join the group. This pillow is made with cotton quilting fabrics and a little bit of felt for the eyes. 

You can make this pillow with or without ruffled wings depending on your skill level and time available. I recommend the ruffled wings for more experienced sewers as they do take more time and can be tricky to attach.

The stitching for this pillow can be done entirely by machine though you could choose to hand stitch the felt eyes with embroidery floss to add a nice detail. It is totally up to you!

Owl pillow made from fall-themed fabrics with cute felt eyes.

For my owl pillow I used cotton fabrics from Joann Fabrics. I found them in their seasonal fabric section and just love the colors and how they all coordinate so well together. Last week I shared a Pumpkin Embroidery Hoop that used these same fabrics since I had enough leftover from my owl pillow. 

Owl pillow made from autumn fabrics lays on a table next to folded fabric, the pillow has cute plaid wings.

The picture tutorial is below and at the bottom of this post you can enter your email to receive the free sewing pattern. I hope you enjoy making this sweet owl pillow!

DIY Fabric Owl Pillow

Supplies Needed

Cutting the Fabric

Start by cutting the fabric needed for the owl pillow. I chose to line the front of my pillow with fusible fleece interfacing. It adds an extra softness to the pillow!

Cutting List

  • Owl Head – gold 5″ x 13″
  • Owl Body – tan 11.5″ x 13″
  • Owl Feet – orange 2.5″ x 2.5″
  • Branch – brown 2.5″ x 13″
  • Ruffles – plaid 8 pieces that measure 2.75″ x 15″
  • Pillow Back Pieces – gold 2 pieces 9″ x 13″
  • Fusible Fleece Interfacing – 13″ x 13″
  • Wings – plaid – Use the free printable pattern

Cutting guide shows the pieces cut with dimensions listed.

Pillow pieces with dimensions listed.

Cutting the Eyes and Beak Appliqué Pieces

To cut the eyes and beak, use the printable pattern along with fusible interfacing to create the appliqué pieces. Lay a sheet of fusible interfacing, paper side up, over the printable pattern and trace the eyes and beak. Bubble cut around the pieces, leaving about 1/4″ around them. Iron them to the wrong side of the felt or fabric, then cut them out directly along the traced pencil lines. 

I used cream and brown felt for the eyes and orange fabric that matches the feet for the beak.

Owl eyes and beak appliqué are cut out using fusible interfacing.

Sewing the Front of the Owl Pillow

Owl Body and Branch 

The font of the pillow is formed by sewing the owl body to the owl branch. When these pieces are sewn together they will measure 13″ x 13″ and form the front of the pillow. 

Start by sewing the feet onto the branch. For each foot, fold under two opposite edges 1/4″ and iron. Pin them to the branch 3.25″ from either end and top stitch them to the branch using coordinating thread. 

Two small orange rectangles are sewn to a strip of brown fabric.

Stitch the branch to the owl body using 1/2″ seam allowance. Press the seam down towards the bottom of the pillow. When stitched together this piece should measure 13″ x 13″.

Cream fabric is sewn to the strip of brown fabric.

Flatlining with Interfacing

Lay the owl piece on top of the fusible fleece interfacing and iron the two layers together. My fusible fleece did not fully adhere to the fabric so I also pinned the layers together and stitched around the edges. This process is called flatlining. We are combining two layers of fabric to act as one as we finish the rest of the pillow project.

When flatlining, it’s important to stitch each edge from end to end about 1/4″ from the edge so your stitches are hidden in the seam allowance. Turning corners while sewing can shift the fabric so finish one edge at a time, rotate your fabric, and stitch the next edge.

Collage showing the fabric being cut and the background sewn.

Adding the Wings and Owl Head

Now it’s time to add the owl wings and head. Start by finishing the curved edge of each wing by folding the edge under 1/4″ and ironing. Pin each wing to the owl body and top stitch along the curved edges.

The edge of the fabric wing is folded over and ironed then stitched to the front of the fabric pillow.

Finish the bottom edge of the owl head by folding the edge under 1/2″ and pressing. Pin the piece so it lines up with the top of the pillow and top stitch along the bottom pressed edge. Stitch around the edges of the pillow like you did when flatlining, attaching the edges of the wings and the head piece.

A piece of gold fabric is sewn to the top section of the pillow front.

Fabric pillow front sewn together.

Adding the Eyes and Beak

Peel the paper backing of the fusible interfacing off the back of the eyes and beak and iron them into place. Stitch around the edges to appliqué them to the pillow front. You could also hand sew these pieces using embroidery floss and a simple running stitch or backstitch.

Felt eyes and beak are sewn to the front of the owl pillow.

Finishing the Back of the Pillow

Create the “envelope” backing to the pillow using the two backing pieces. Finish one edge on each backing piece by folding it under 1/4″ and then another 1/4″. Press and top stitch.

Pin the backing pieces to the pillow front, right sides together, allowing the finished edges to overlap. Stitch around all four sides of the pillow using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip the corners then turn the pillow right side out. You can use a corner turner to gently poke out the corners if they need a little help.

Two pieces of fabric are layered on top of the owl pillow and sewn around the edges.

Back of the envelope pillow.

The owl pillowcase is now complete. You could insert your pillow form and use the pillow as is! It’s a cute fall pillow perfect for the season. If you want to add ruffles to the wings keep continue reading! 

Owl pillow turned right side out.

Owl pillow made from fall-themed fabrics with cute felt eyes.

Adding the Ruffle Wings

Adding the ruffle wings is a cute addition to this pillow. It may be better suited for intermediate to advanced sewers. Making the ruffles is straight forward but stitching them on the finished pillowcase can be challenging. 

Start by making eight wing ruffles, four for each side. Each ruffle strip measures 2.75″ x 15″. Start by finishing the bottom edge of each ruffle by folding it under 1/4″ and then another 1/4″ and pressing. Finish off the top of the ruffle by folding it under 1/4″ just once and top stitching. 

Finish the short edges the same way you finished the bottom edge by folding them under twice and top stitching.

Strips of fabric with edges finished and a gathering stitch added to the top of the pieces.

Next, add a gathering stitch to the top of the ruffle and lightly gather the ruffles. Pin them into place following the guide on the wing pattern. I used a ruler to measure where each ruffle should go and used a few pins to mark a horizontal line to follow as I pinned the ruffles in place.

Each ruffle wraps from the front of the pillow around to the back of the pillow extending 4″ onto the back pieces. I marked 4″ on the back of my pillow with pins so I knew where to end my ruffles.

Top stitch the ruffles on 1/4″ from the top of each ruffle. This is the tricky part since it can be awkward to stitch this on the machine. I thought about hand-stitching them but was able to do it on the machine by going slow.

Once the ruffles were sewn in place, I stitched the back edges of each ruffle down on the back side so they created a neat, straight line.

Strips of plaid fabric are stitched gathered and sewn to the owl pillow to create ruffled wings.

Owl Pillow with ruffles sewn on the wings.

The owl pillow is finished again – this time with ruffles! Even though they took me a bit to figure out, I love how the ruffles turned out! They are so cute! At first, I tried adding the ruffles to the front of the owl before sewing the front and back pieces together, but they didn’t look as nice because they couldn’t wrap around the sides of the pillow and fluff out. Adding them after the pillowcase was completely assembled worked the best. 

Owl pillow lays against a wooden table with cute ruffle wings.

I hope you enjoyed this pillow tutorial! This cute owl is ready for Autumn and was so much fun to make. You could make this same owl in any color palette you’d like to create an owl for other times of the year or for someone special who happens to love owls. :) 

Happy Crafting! -Kim

Get the Owl Pillow Pattern

Fill out the purple form below with your first name and email! The free file will be sent straight to your inbox! If you have already filled out the form below, don’t worry – you won’t be added to my list twice! This freebie is for personal use only. I hope you enjoy crafting something special. Please let me know if you have any questions :)

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