Saturday, 6 April 2013

Felt Unicorn Tutorial

EDIT (Jan 2014): This post has proved to be my most popular post ever! So to make it easier for you to try out this project, I have put together a printable PATTERN. Please let me know in the comments if you try it out!

As promised, the Felt Unicorn Tutorial. But first, a little disclaimer... this is the first tutorial I have EVER put together.... I love to craft, but am by no means an expert and my stitching technique is probably highly questionable - so I hope it's alright, please feel free to make suggestions on how to improve it! The project is based on the Felt Horse design from the book Creative Play for Your Toddler by Christopher Clouder and Janni Nicol (a gorgeous book). The basic pattern is almost the same, but I have altered the body and head gusset slightly and added a horn. I had made the Horse for a friend's little boy and it was very well received. My girls have been getting really interested in Unicorns lately - and as I had planned a 'Rainbows and Unicorns themed birthday party I thought I would alter the pattern and make some Unicorns as gifts. Even though the party plans changed the girls still loved their Unicorns! These unicorns were customised to align with my girls' VERY specific favourite colours please feel free to choose your own colour combinations!.

You will need:
  • An A4 sheet of white felt (for the body)
  • Scraps of coloured felt for the horn and inner ears
  • White embroidery floss
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Wool Roving or Polyester cushion filling for stuffing (I used Polyfill, because it was what I had on hand)
  • Knitting Yarn in your chosen colour (my girls chose the yarn - probably because there was glitter woven through it!)
  • Cotton Thread in a contrasting colour to the felt you are using for a horn.
  • Sewing needle
  • Pins
Begin by cutting out your pattern pieces. The Unicorn body should be roughly 16cm head to tail and 10cm head to hoof. You will need: Two body pieces. Two inside leg pieces. Four hoof pieces. Two outer ear pieces. Two contrasting inner ear pieces. One head gusset/forelock. One horn piece. You could cut out eye pieces too, but I didn't bother...

Two leg pieces are already sewn together in this picture!
Sew the two inside leg pieces together, along the top using backstitch. Now oversew the outside leg edges of the body sections to the inside leg piece.

 Oversew the hooves in place and stuff the legs firmly, using a knitting needle/pencil to pack down the stuffing.

Sew up the back of the Unicorn, leaving a gap at the back for stuffing, until you reach the top of the head, where the horn and the gusset will be inserted.

 Now, make and insert the horn!

To make the horn:  Fold over the triangle and stitch down the length to create a cone shape.

Turn the cone inside out and stuff with a small amount of Polyfill. A knitting needle is really helpful for this.

Next, take a sewing needle with contrasting cotton thread and thread through the middle of the cone and out through the point.
Wind the thread around the horn, making tiny stitches at the seam and pulling tightly to make indentations all the way to the bottom. Stitch in place at the base of the horn.

This one turned out nicer :)
Sew in the horn using a tight running stitch and then continue on, to oversew the gusset.

Then stitch up the neck and chest, making sure to stuff the body, head, neck and chest firmly before closing.

Stitch the inner ear to the outer ear, (or glue with PVA, if you prefer) and sew firmly onto the head on either side of the horn. You can add eyes now too, if you like.

To make the tail, wind a length of knitting yarn around four fingers 12-15 times (depending on how thick your yarn is). Sew this loop to the rear end of the horse. Wind a length of yarn around the sewn on area and tie off. Cut through the loop at the end of the tail and trim to neaten.

To make the mane, Repeat this process with smaller loops and trim to neaten - or leave all wild 80's Rockstar like I've done;)

And that's it - You have made a magical Unicorn! Now, go play!!

By the way, this is how the horse turned out, if you fancy making one of those instead!
I used cotton yarn for the mane and tail on this one and a contrasting embroidery floss. He was lovely and soft.


  1. Ahhh, when you mentioned the no-comments, it was like a red flag to a bull!!!! And I cannot figure out how I ever missed this one: I've a unicorn obsessed girl in the house; she's growing tired of my fairy obsession so a unicorn would be a welcome relief!! I've all the materials, I'll have a Go tomorrow. Thank you!!

    1. Yay! The first ever comment here! Thanks so much! Please let me know how you get on - I have a mind to draft a proper pattern and add it as a PDF, seeing as this is my most popular post EVER! I hope your little one likes her Unicorn. My girls have had a lot of fun with their 'Unicorns with no eyes' as they are known here :)

    2. Oh, do! A PDF would be brilliant: I was going to try my hand drawing it freehand (cue disaster!!)

  2. Thank you. I made a dragon for my son, my daughter now wants me to make a unicorn for her.
    This is the best on I have seen

    1. You're welcome! Thanks so much for your kinds words. I'd love a link if you found a good dragon pattern, my girls have a castle that could do with a dragon invasion!

  3. How do I do the mane and tail again? So I wind the yarn around my fingers to make several loops and then sew that to the pony and cut the far away end of loop-- but how do I do the wrapping a length of yarn around the sewn part? Am I tying it around the bunch of "hair" like a pony tail? Sorry for the lame question- I'm a bit slow at these things!

    1. Not slow at all! That's exactly what you do. Tie it just like a ponytail. If you don't the 'hair' eventually slips out of the stitches you've made.

  4. I am so excited to find this pattern - I've been looking at my little ponies for my daughter but they are way creepier than I remember them being - these will be much cuter! Can't wait to try this out!!!

    1. I can't believe I'm only spotting this comment now! Yes, they ARE way creepier these days. I remember them as being much more 'homely' in shape. Hope your little one enjoys her unicorn xx

  5. Ahhh I need to get me some felt :)

  6. Squeeeeaaaallllll..doing this today!

  7. My 4yr old daughter has a project to do for school.. to make a pet. She chose a unicorn. We are going to try your pattern. Thank you for sharing x

    1. Fabulous! Who wouldn't love a pet unicorn?! I hope you enjoy making it together :)

  8. I'm really not clear on how to attach the mane and tail. Never done anything like this before. Do you happen to have a picture you could attach to the original tutorial showing how you did it? I have a request for a unicorn for a December birthday! All the ones in the stores have massive scary eyes. EEek! This is so sweet, really want to make it. Please help!

    1. Hi Eileen! I think I'm going to re-do the entire tutorial soon with better pictures, but I don't know if I'll get to it in enough time for you! Instead of using wool for the mane and tail you could cut a few strips of felt and sew those on instead. I've made some like this and they look really nice. You can see some here that a friend made:

      If you really want to use the wool, I'll try to explain it really simply:
      1. Wind some wool around your fingers a few times and snip off the ball of wool when you are happy with the thickness.
      2.Remove it from your fingers and you'll have a loop.
      3. Sew one end of the loop to the horses bum.
      4. Get a short piece of wool and tie it around the end you've just sewn - like a ponytail.
      5. Snip through the other end of the loop and trim the ends until they are the length you want.

      Follow the same process for the mane - but only wrap the wool around three fingers for a shorter length.

      I hope this helps!!

    2. Hi Sadhbh, thanks so much for the 1,2, helped me visualise what to do. And now to work...Hi Ho, Hi Ho!! :) Have a Merry Christmas!!

  9. My daughter wants to make her friend a horse for her bday. Was thinking of doing this pattern sans horn. It's so cute! Thank you!

    1. She made it an it came out so sweet. Thank you!


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