Felt Robin Pattern and Tutorial

Robin bird made from craft felt with a gold ribbon for hanging on the tree

Felt is an easy craft material to work with and ideal for kids and anyone who is a beginner at sewing. You can enjoy using this free felt robin template along with some easy instructions on how to make a bird ornament that you can hang on the tree at Christmas or give away as sweet gifts to teachers, friends and family. Even if your sewing experience is limited, you can still make this English robin redbreast which is created from just 3 small pieces of material.

These easy but cute Christmas crafts are an ideal way to keep the costs of your Christmas gifts down. If you start your crafting early enough in the year, you can make lots of handmade items that are very inexpensive and that drastically reduce your Holiday budget. My daughter and I made a whole range of hanging ornaments as thank you presents for her teachers last year and they were really appreciated. So come and learn how to make these easy little birds.

Note: This post contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated. Please refer to my FTC page if you need more info.

Step 1) Make Your Felt Robin Template

Paper hole punch and pattern template from card

The first step is to print your robin bird template out onto a piece of cardstock or paper. It is quicker to print your robin onto card if you have any and then cut out the individual template pieces. Even if you only have paper to print on, you can still make your template by using a glue or adhesive to stick the template pieces onto any spare card you have such as a cereal box, coffee pod box, packing box, or the back of an old Christmas card. Then cut them out.

Free Robin Template Here on JustChristmasCrafts

For this robin bird, you only need Template A which is the main body of the bird and Template C which forms the robin's famous red chest. If you want to add the wing on as well, you can. I've used the wing for the Robin Christmas Cards I make but I find it looks a bit much on the felt plush version. I also use a hole punch to mark out where the eye is on the bird. This makes it quicker when you use the template over and over.

Step 2) Cutting Out Your Felt Fabric Pieces

Using a water soluble marker pen to draw out the pattern pieces

You need to cut two pieces of felt for the main body of the robin bird: one for the front piece and one for the back which means you can stuff your robin with polyester toy filling or even cotton balls which is what I used to use when I was just getting into making felt plush items. A proper toy stuffing will normally hold its shape better and last longer. Plus, if your finished piece gets wet, any cotton balls inside your sewn item will go hard and lumpy and spoil your finished piece. Cut out the circle from a red felt.

My preference is to use cream felt for the main robin bird shape but you can also use a shade of brown felt to look more like the color of the bird. Trace around the template pieces you have with a water soluble pen because then you can remove the lines you have traced with a little water once the felt is cut to shape. When I was a beginner, I used a normal pen and made sure the ink lines were cut off. That's a bit more work and it's just easier using the proper water soluble variety.

Use Water Soluble Pens for Tracing onto Felt

Embroidery transfer or water soluble pens allow you to trace around templates onto fabric and felt and then remove the lines when you want simply by using a small amount of water or a damp cloth. Perfect for tracing out embroidery designs to stitch, drawing around templates onto felt and marking out sewing patterns onto fabric. I keep lots of these handy pens in my sewing box and they last for a long time too.

Learn more about tracing designs with my complete guide to craft felt.

Step 3) Sewing on the Eye of the Bird

Hand sewing a bead onto the craft felt fabric

If you used a hole punch to make a hole in your template for the robin's eye, then you can simply use your water soluble or embroidery transfer pen to quickly mark a dot onto just one piece of the robin body which you cut from felt.

On the completed project, I used a dark brown embroidery thread to sew a french knot for the robin's eye. You might not want to embroider an eye or you may find making a french knot too tricky. There are other alternatives that you can use. Look for a small brown or black button to use as an eye, a bead or a sequin which is what I have used in this photo. You could cheat and just use a marker pen if you want.

Step 4) Sewing the Robin's Red Felt Chest

Pick out the front piece of your felt robin bird which is the one you just sewed an eye onto. On the front of the robin, you will add the red circle of felt to make its red chest. You want to position the red circle so that most of it is placed bottom middle of the bird but a small part of the circle is overhanging. This unwanted part will be cut away once you've stitched the red chest on.

Using hand embroidery to sew the felt pieces together

Use any sewing stitch that you like to sew the red chest onto your bird. I like to use a fly stitch but you could use a plain running stitch, a chain stitch, blanket stitch or another type of decorative embroidery stitch. Use whatever stitch you are comfortable sewing. The beauty of sewing with felt is that the edges do not fray, so you are free to concentrate on just sewing the fabric in order to loosely attach it rather than having to worry about anything else. It is the perfect beginner fabric and beautiful in its own right.

Step 5) Turning Your Design into a Hanging Ornament

If you want to turn your little hand-stitched item into a hanging ornament such as a Christmas tree ornament or something else like a keychain or brooch even, now is the time to add on the attachment that will allow you to make your felt fabric bird functional. Attachments to look for include keychain clips, lobster clasps, split rings and brooch pin backs.

For making a hanging ornament for the Christmas tree, you simply need a piece of strong ribbon which is folded into a loop. Make a loop with your ribbon and the sew this to the inside top of the back piece of your robin felt. You can see in the photo where I have placed the loop - and that is where it needs to be stitched or even glued into place if you have a strong fabric adhesive.

Making a robin keychain is a similar process because you can loop some ribbon around your keychain and fix it in the exact same place as I have shown for the ornament. For a brooch pin, you need to sew the brooch pin back onto the reverse side of your bird before you sew the front and the back of the bird together.

Ribbon can be sewn inside the plush for hanging

Add Ribbon for a Cute Christmas Tree Ornament

Sewing a simple loop of craft ribbon to the inside of your felt plush project will quickly turn it into a decorative Christmas tree ornament that you can use to give as teacher thank you gifts and small handmade gifts that will be appreciated. Why not make a bunch for a charity craft stall.

Step 6) Fill Your Ornament to Plump it Up

You could just place the two robin pieces on top of each other, the front piece positioned exactly over the top of the back piece, and sew around the edges to fasten them together. Some people do this to make flat felt items and decorations. For my taste, these look nice but are too flat.

Polyester fiber is what you need if you want to turn a flat craft project into a nice plump one. And a plump birdy looks a whole lot better than a thin one! Although you should not wash felt, the polyester filling you use to stuff your craft project is actually washable and can be used to make plush toys, pillows and more.

To make a plush, place the two robin pieces on top of each other with the front piece at the top and start to sew around the edges using whatever stitch you like. I normally use a blanket stitch but you could use running stitch quite close to the edge of the felt. Once you are about two-thirds around stitching the edges, that is when you need to start adding small pieces of polyester filling or fiberfill into your robin. Use the end of a pencil to really push the filling in and pack your little plush out to make it plump. Continue sewing and filling all the way to the end. I hope you've enjoyed reading my justchristmascrafts page today, thanks for your visit. Check out the finished design below.

Make a hanging bird ornament for the tree from felt and ribbon

Related Content You Should Also Love:

The Guide to Using Felt Fabric for Your Crafts

Make the Matching Robin Greeting Card

A More Challenging Felt Project to Make a Fairy House

Range of Bucilla Felt Advent Calendar Kits to Make

Page Last Updated: 18th August 2016