Felt woodland animal mask - the owl

Make these easy woodland owl masks (with free template!)

These woodland animal masks are a great option for encouraging your kids’ imagination and creativity. They work well for a wide range of ages and personalities, plus they make gorgeous handmade gifts as well! Kids will play with these for hours (just make sure to follow my tips below).

A finished woodland animal mask - the owl.

Making your felt owl mask

What you’ll need:

  • Five sheets of felt in different colours (rainbow owls look cute too!)
  • Owl mask pattern
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Fabric chalk
  • Needle and pins
  • Sewing thread in dark grey
  • Soft elastic, 20mm by about 32-36cm (measure your child’s head for a good fit, but if it’s a gift, or you ‘re unable to, stick with 34cm)
Woodland animal mask - The things you'll need to make this felt owl mask.

Getting started

This is easily the kind of project you could do in an afternoon, but if you’re making a few of these (perhaps for a kid’s party) or a set of woodland animals, I’d probably give it the weekend. Although I am a bit of a slow crafter! 😝

Cutting the template and felt pieces

Print the template using the ‘actual size’ option. If you print it ‘fit to printable area’, it will make it a little smaller than intended. Then cut out each of the shapes on the template. Each piece will tell you how many of each you need, and when you are cutting them out it doesn’t matter which side of the felt you are cutting because there is no right or wrong side (unless you are using a patterned felt – in which case make sure you flip the template between items to get shapes that mirror each other).

Pro tip #1 – Once you have cut out the paper face, hold it up to your child’s face to see if the eye cutouts are placed well. If it doesn’t fit well you can either trim a strip out of the middle and tape it back together, or similarly, you can cut down the middle of the face and tape in some extra paper if you need it wider. It will make the world of difference to whether the mask is played with for hours on end or thrown into the toy box to gather dust.

At this stage you are cutting the eye cut outs from the paper template BUT NOT from your felt piece just yet. That will come later.

Preparing the face of the mask for sewing

Now we are ready to sew the mask together. Start with just one felt piece of the face mask – this will be the front face piece. Place your outer eyes onto the mask – making sure they mirror each other (if you’ve folded your felt and cut them out at the same time, flip one over now). The straight edge goes at the bottom, and the most curved edge will be facing outward. Next, position the eyebrows on top of these and pin in place. Sew a line just inside the edge of the outer eye, making sure to catch the eyebrow in your stitching so they are fixed in place (see photo below).

Measure out the elastic for your felt owl mask

Take your elastic and if you are able to, measure it around your child’s head. If you can’t (perhaps it’s a surprise, or a gift), just go with 34cm. Using soft elastic has two benefits; firstly, it is gentler on the head and more comfortable, and secondly it has some good stretch in it so should suit a range of heads.

Place the end of the elastic just inside (about 0.5cm) the edge of the second face piece (which will be the back of the face). The idea is to have it roughly in the middle so that it pulls evenly across the mask, but you also want it across the top of what will be your eye cut-outs. If it’s perfectly in the middle of these it will pull the eyes shut a little and the little ones will be squinting!

Pin together and sew

Next, position the cheek feathers on top of the elastic and then the front face piece on top of that. Pin it all together. When I’m sewing these, I prefer to just pin the elastic on one side until it’s sewn in, and then sort out the other side when i come to it, but you can pin them both to start if you like. Take time to make sure everything is far enough inside to be caught up in your sewing edge and that there are no twists in your elastic. Slowly and carefully sew around the outside of your mask.

Making sure your cheek feathers and elastic are both in place is probably the fiddliest bit – so well done if you’ve managed that! If the elastic is twisted or you haven’t put it in far enough, just remove the stitches and try again.

Making the eye cut outs

Place your paper template back over the front face piece and trace the eye cut-outs with fabric chalk, or even a ballpoint pen if you have nothing else on hand. Sew around your tracing, just 2-3mm outside of the eye shape and THEN cut out the eye shape. This gives a neater finish than the other way around (cutting first and then sewing) and is a little more forgiving with where you place your stitches.

The final touches to your woodland animal mask

To put the final touches on our mask, first we are going to fix the top feathers in place. I’ve used a hot glue gun, but you could also use fabric glue or PVA for this. You can create a different look here, depending on what you like. Place them wider for a friendly look or pointed down in the middle for a sterner look. Stagger the white feathers just a little on top of the blue so that you can see both colours clearly.

And the last piece is the beak. Make a small cut at the top so you can overlap the pieces slightly. This gives a little 3D look to the mask and just adds some detail to elevate the mask. Using the same thread that you’ve used to sew the mask together, hand stitch the beak into place.

Playing make believe with owl masks are a hoot on their own, but the whole woodland animal gang is fun too. You can find the owl’s friends below:

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