Let’s talk handmade gift ideas! I’ve got a couple of friends that I love to make handmade gifts for each Christmas. As I was thinking about what to make for them this year, I was totally inspired by a cute Kate Spade NY penguin wallet I found online couple of years ago. I decided to create my own version of it as a felt tissue pouch gift for my friends.
I wanted my gift to be something practical and unique. I decided on tissue pouches instead of a wallet–felt more practical for the season. I’m a crafter more than a sewist, so I went with felt as my fabric of choice. It feels more like crafting than sewing when I work with it.
I found a great tutorial online for easy tissue holders HERE and got started! If you’d like to make one for yourself, or as a gift, you can click to download a free pattern for the Penguin Pouch below.
I started by cutting a 6 3/4 x 5 7/8 inch piece of white felt. I folded the short ends toward the center of the felt so they touched each other and then pinned them down.
I sewed each end about 1/4 inch in from the edge with my Stitch Happy sewing machine and some white regular thread. Cut a 1 1/2 x 5/8 inch strip of black felt for your loop to attach a key ring. Fold it in half and hot glue the short ends together. Then center the loop and hot glue it in between the double edges of the tissue holder.
Next, I cut a 3 3/8 x 5 7/8 inch rectangle from black felt. I used a dinner plate to cut a curve in one of the long edges. Then, to create the beak, I folded the felt in half with the short edges together, and cut a 1/2 inch slit at an angle just above the curve.
Cut a 1 inch yellow square from golden yellow felt and adhere it to the back of the black felt over the slit you cut for the beak. (I used my USB Power Mini Hot Glue Gun, but you can also use fabric glue or tacky craft glue). Place adhesive along the edges of the square only so your beak isn’t attached and can fold upward. Using black Stitch Happy thread, handstitch around the shape of the beak to add some detail.
Next, create your eyes by cutting two 1 3/4 inch circles from white faux fur (or felt). Then cut two 1 1/4 inch circles from black felt, two 3/4 inch circles from white felt and two 1/2 inch circles from white felt. Cover the 1/2 inch circles with silver glitter using clear glue as adhesive. Set them aside to dry. Hot glue the 3/4 inch white circles in the center of the 1 1/4 inch black circles. Then hot glue those in the center of the 1 3/4 inch white faux fur circles. Once they’re dry, glue the 1/2 inch white glittered circles in the center of the 3/4 inch white circles and hot glue black enamel dots in the center of the glittered white circles.
Tip: you can cut the circles for the eyes with scissors using the free template, or you can cut them with the a cutting and embossing machine and some circle dies.
Hot glue the black curved rectangle to the back of the tissue holder (opposite side of the slit). Hot glue the eyes on either side of the beak. Add a key ring to the felt loop.
I added a waterfall tassel to the key ring for a touch of style, and because tassels make everything cuter…right? To make a water fall tassel, use the Tassel Loom and some silver Stitch Happy metallic thread to make three 2 inch tassels, leaving the ends for hanging extra long (8-10 inches).
Thread the ends of the first tassel up through the band of the second one and tie the ends tight so the top of the first tassel comes up under the bottom of the second tassel. Do the same thing to the third tassel, so all three are connected and overlap. Use the ends to tie the waterfall tassel to the key ring.
Fill the tissue holder pouch with pocket size tissues, wrap it up and gift away! Your recipient can attach this adorable Penguin Pouch to a purse, backpack, keys or a brief case, and they’ll have tissues ready to go for cold and flu season or any time they need them!