I just love making these little felt animals. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Up next is this soft-spoken and adorable DIY felt shark. I think I’ll call him Shane. Shane the shark. He comes with a free printable pattern!
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The world may be a totally unpredictable place these days, but one thing you can count on is that I will always be crafting up new designs to share with you!
After I recently finished these new mermaid doll patterns, I decided I needed even more nautical creatures to keep them company. Starting with this DIY felt shark pattern that can be all yours to download and print for free! (Edit: I did it! The ocean animal listings are live! Click here to check out this adorable 15-piece set of sea creatures!)
This endearing little shark is soon going to have even more ocean friends to hang out with too. I’m planning another pattern set with a dolphin, octopus, sea turtle, jelly fish and more! Stay tuned for that, hopefully it’ll be ready in the next few weeks.
For now though, you can make a cutie pie sharky shark using this free pattern and easy sewing tutorial!
He can be a pocket pal, or part of a garland or mobile. You could even enlarge the pattern to make a pillow! I’d love to see what you do with this shark, so make sure you tag me on IG @yellow_birdhouse or send me an email!
This pattern is beginner friendly, but if you are new to hand-sewing, I’d recommend practicing the stitches on some scrap felt to get the hang of them.
How to Make a DIY Felt Shark
First, gather up your materials. For one shark, you will need:
Felt for body: 6.5″ x 3″
Felt for fins: 3″ x 2″
Matching embroidery thread plus dark grey or black
Polyfil or wool stuffing
Tweezers for stuffing
Small embroidery scissors
Disappearing ink pen
Printed pattern. (Scroll down to the bottom of the post to grab the pattern.)
You can make all parts of the shark in same colour of felt if you choose. I decided to make the fins in a slightly darker tone than the body and I really like how it turned out! I think it gives the shark a little more dimension and visual interest in an otherwise very simple design.
This is my favourite shop for buying excellent quality wool blend felt. I know I’ve said it a million times before, but I’ll say it again. Always use a wool or wool/rayon blend felt. Don’t use the acrylic craft felt that comes from dollar stores. It won’t give you the results you’re looking for.
The finished shark measures approximately 6″ x 2.5″
How to Cut out a Felt Pattern
Note: I’ve made my sharks single sided, but they can easily be double sided if you’re going to use them for a mobile. Just embroider the detailing on both sides, and make 2 pectoral fins instead of 1.
Remember to print the pattern at 100% (unless you are enlarging it on purpose.)
Cut the paper pieces out on the solid outer lines only. The dotted lines indicate overlap.
I like to cut out both the front and backs of a pattern piece at the same time. I simply fold my felt in half, pin the paper through both layers of felt and cut. That way, if I deviate slightly from the pattern, both sides will still be identical.
For the larger pattern pieces, use bigger scissors or shears.
For the smaller pattern pieces, you can pin or tape the paper to the felt and cut around them using small, sharp embroidery scissors
Embroider the Details
Use a disappearing ink pen to mark the embroidery details. I just eye-balled the placement, keeping in mind where the fin would be attached so my embroidery didn’t accidentally run under it.
I’ve been using this type of pen on felt for years and it works great. I’ve never had any staining or other weirdness. It just rubs out as you sew. And if any markings remain, they will totally disappear within a few hours.
Use 2 strands of dark grey or black thread to embroider the eye and gills with a split stitch. The mouth is just one long straight stitch.
(The pattern download also comes with a beautiful stitch guide if you need help with the stitches.)
Assemble the DIY Felt Shark
Next, join the front and back of the dorsal fin together using a tiny blanket stitch and 2 strands of matching thread. Don’t stuff the dorsal fin.
Join the front and back of the lower (pectoral) fin the same way, but use the tweezers to stuff the fin firmly as you go.
Use a visible ‘x’ stitch to attach the pectoral fin to the shark body.
Now you can join the front and back of the shark together. Use a blanket stitch and 2 strands of matching thread. Start sewing on the bottom edge about an inch from the start of the tail and stuff as you go.
Tuck the dorsal fin between the layers of the shark and stitch through it as you continue to join the shark together.
Look at this charming little character! He’s not a vicious shark, he’s friendly!
Did you know that a group of sharks is called a ‘shiver’? Neither did I, until I googled it. lol. But I think that’s one of the funnest facts I’ve ever learned and I will henceforth be telling anyone who will listen!
Please enjoy this adorable photo of a shiver of sharks!
And they have mermaid friends! Shane the shark just wants to be understood and for everyone to get along. <3 These mini mermaids are available as a pdf pattern here.
And more ocean friends! The beluga is another free pattern you can find in this post.
And the narwhal, otter and seal are part of a larger set of arctic animals you can get here.
Here’s the sign up box to get the pattern for this DIY felt shark:
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