Happy Monday! As promised, I’m back with the new freebies for my email list! These felt masks were so much fun to make and even more fun to watch my nieces and nephews running around in. My sister-in-law and I had been admiring all the felt masks on Etsy for quite some time. This year we decided we’d try our hands at making them for the kids for Christmas gifts. I’m so glad we did! They were such a hit and we were able to make so many more than we could have afforded to buy. They were a bit tedious to sew, but you could use fabric glue if you like. The hardest part was designing the templates… how big should the whiskers be? What about the ears? How many of each could you fit on a sheet of felt?
So I’m taking the guess work out of it for you. I’ve taken my hand drawn sketches that we used and created templates for all six animals that we made: Fox, Wolf, Gorilla, Tiger, Deer, and Bear. I’m so thrilled with how they turned out guys… if you look closely my sewing is pretty rough. I’m not a seamstress by any means. If you know how to use a sewing machine and have some patience, you can do it. In fact- some of these were made by my sister-in-law who hasn’t sewn in years and her five year old daughter did some. Seriously. You can do it too!
Do you love all these poses my niece (our lovely model) is giving? She’s pretending to be the animals. Bears hide in caves, foxes are sneaky and she thinks the wolf is a raccoon and they like to hide in tight spaces… like under the stool. So cute!! By the way, the deer is her favourite.
Anyways… Let’s talk about how I made them… Here’s what you’ll need:
- Mask Templates
- Felt Sheets
- Thin Elastic
- Sharp Scissors
- Craft Knife & Cutting Mat
- Sewing machine with coordinating thread (or a whole lot of patience with a needle and thread… or fabric glue)
- Fabric Pencil
UPDATE: The printables have moved to my Etsy shop! You can find them all RIGHT HERE for one low price. Even still, I’d love if you would subscribe to Lemon Thistle- I love to send my email friends freebies like these masks from time to time!
You can download all six free templates by subscribing to Lemon Thistle by email. What’s the email list for, Colleen? Why, I’m glad you asked! Every week, I send out some weekend reading- a short recap of all the posts from the week and often include fun freebies for you. I know that you guard your email with your life- I promise I won’t send you any spam or ever share your email. Just Lemon Thistle goodness.
Alright, so you’ve got your templates… now print them out and cut them out. Then, lay them over top of your felt sheets. On the templates, I suggest the colours I used for each piece. You can make them whatever colour you like though! The store where I bought my felt- Christmas Keepsakes on Etsy has also been kind enough to offer you-
Lemon Thistle readers- a 15% discount off your order by entering the code lemon15 at check out. Pretty awesome, right? UPDATE: Code expired (but their felt still rocks!)
Use a fabric pencil (or a marker) to trace out the pieces and then cut them out. I cut around the edges with the sharp scissors (fabric scissors are best if you have them! I use these guys and they’re amaaazing) and then I cut the eyes out using a craft knife. Craft knife blades dull pretty quickly when you’re cutting felt, so you might want to get a pack of refills (cheaper than a new knife itself). When they’re all cut out, you can lay them out how you’d like them to look (because how can you resist?) to make sure they’re all the right size. The one thing I’d like to point out is that these templates are hand-drawn. So they’re not perfectly symmetrical and I really like that about them. If you prefer symmetrical, you could fold your template in half first and cut them out that way.
Before you start sewing the two pieces of the mask base together (I used two pieces to make a stiffer mask, I’m sure they’d be fine with just one layer of felt- but I love how quality they feel with two), cut your elastic. I just wrapped it around my nephew’s head to guess how big to make it. They’re a bit loose on my babies (photos above), and a bit tight on me if you’re looking for reference. When you place the two layers of the base mask together, slip the elastic ends in each side level with the eyes. You could pin them, that would probably make for more even positioning, but I just held it in place while I sewed.
Sew around the edge of the mask, then around the eyes. My sister-in-law chose not to sew around the eyes and her masks work perfectly too. I really like the look of stitching around all the edges though. I’m just going to assume that you’re picky, picky like me and recommend you do this.
Now you have your mask base! Feel free to try it on… again, who can resist? Then, position the next pieces on top and sew around the edges of those. Each template gives instructions on what order to sew the pieces on. Switch between thread colours as needed, and trim your threads as you go. That’s really all there is to this! Just for reference, I’ve taken a photo of each of the masks laying flat for you: (except for the deer… that one was gifted to my niece and I couldn’t pry it from her hands to take a flat photo… but she models it really nicely for you!)
These masks are so satisfying to see come together- they come to life as you add the details! I’m not usually very patient at sewing… you might have noticed all my projects include straight lines so I can go really fast. These took a bit more time, but they really were so rewarding to make!
What do you think? Will you make these guys? What’s your favourite? I think mine is the gorilla! We only made one of him because he uses the most felt… when our kids start playing with theirs more (the tiger and the wolf) I might have to order more felt to make them the rest of the animals!