french hens

handmade blue hen

Suddenly a chicken appeared! Or more specifically  a hen, a french hen. It occurred to me that maybe the merry wobbler sewing pattern could be modified to make a hen – and it can!  Of course they need nesting boxes too and I created a little template and tutorial on how to make the box and modify the wobbler. Both are super simple – find the template and instructions below after lots of hen pictures –  I couldn’t help it  – I love them.

handmade hens

handmade french hens

hen house

blue and white hen

french hen posteriors

You can download the template for the nest box and hen parts here.  

bird sewing pattern


And you will also need the merry wobbler sewing pattern or, if you like, come up with your own bird to chickenize.

Other supplies are:  felt for hen parts and the nest, a glue stick, cardboard  and embroidery thread- I’m using dmc 8.

nest box 1

Beginning with the nest box – cut out 2 of the felt shapes for the nest and one cardboard bottom – cereal box weight cardboard. 


Optional – trim the edge of the corners with pinking shears.

nestbox 2

Glue-stick the cardboard to the center of one of the felt pieces and then add glue to the felt sides and on top of the cardboard. Place the second felt piece on top and press firmly together.

nestbox stitch

Whip stitch the  felt pieces along the edges.

nestbox corners

And finally pinch together the corners and whip stitch – be sure to stitch through both layers. That’s it! Finished and hen inspected.

hen inspected

hen 1

And for the hen – sew the wobbler according to directions but leave off the wings and I added red felt to the tail. I made little guides for the hen parts – the comb and wattle – that you can trace onto your felt and cut out.

hen 2

Fold the wattle in two and stitch under the beak.

hen 3

Stitch the center of the comb to the head just above the beak.

hen 4

Fold the comb  sides together and stitch.

hello little chicken!


  1. Hello I am Helen from Athens,Greece and I love your chickens! I will try to make some and I will add a mum hen. Thank you for showing us your beautiful inspiration.

  2. Love these sweet little hens.

    Thank you for sharing…

  3. Ann, Your chicks are so cute! I once had a little farm, and decided to ‘get some chickens’. We modified the barn, after I refused to cage ‘my girls’, and my flock blossomed to 200 laying hens! They were free range, and loved to sleep up in the cedar hedges around the barn! I became known as ‘the egg lady’, and had a stall and fridge for people to come in and get eggs. My favourite hen( yes, they are like a bunch of old women…!) was one I named ‘broody girl’. (When a chicken wants to have a clutch of chicks, they get all sullen, and puffy, and won’t leave their nest- it’s called brooding)She was very protective of her eggs, and did not wish to conform to the norm of giving up her eggs! She’d puff herself up and dig into that nest! I just let her do her thing, the ‘mothering instinct’ was deeply ingrained in her! I miss my small farm and barn, and will whip up a few girls and make a nice nesting box for my ‘ broody girl!’ Thanks for bringing back some happy memories!

    • I live on a small farm now and have a broody that I love too
      I sometimes am broody myself and get puffed up even though I’m way pass the mothering stage
      Love these little chickens.

      • Thanks Janice. I too get quite broody and puffed sometimes!

  4. Penny Baugh

    These are adorable. I especially love the fabrics you used for them. They are distinctly an Ann Wood design!

  5. Laurie Sharp

    Love the hens, perfect for springtime! Thank you for sharing……

  6. Marsha Kay

    I absolutely love these adorable tiny hens with their nest boxes!!!! I’ve been making several. They are so fun to bring to life. Thank You Ann for creating this pattern!!!❤️

  7. Can’t find the pattern for the hens, only the wattle and the box.
    What do I need to do to find it please, its so cute I want to do lots of them.

  8. I have been very ill this past 6 months and have been looking for small projects I can complete in bed. Seeing this little mouse sailing immediately had me realize that I found my first small project, thanks for the free pattern, you certainly have made yourself my new good friend.

  9. Patsy Hatton

    I thought when you said free pattern you meant one I could print off!

    • Hi Patsy – The merry wobblers is not a free pattern and it does not say so in the post and I don’t list it among my free patterns and tutorials. I frequently post about other ways you can use my patterns, other things you can make and this is a variation on the merry wobbler bird pattern.

  10. Alexis Ramirez

    Thank you for the free patterns and creativity!
    I can’t wait to try your lil hens!

  11. Le dantec Ghislaine

    J’adore ce que vous faîtes. Merveilleux.Merci.

  12. Hi Ann, these are beautiful. I bought your pattern last year and made them as Easter gifts with little mini chocolate eggs in the nesting box. Great idea !! I also bought your tiny rag doll pattern and that’s going to be my next project.
    I love your blogs and really appreciate the advice and little “free patterns” you have included !
    Thank you so much,
    Sue in North Wales UK

  13. Cynthia Myers

    So adorable. I’m a new subscriber to your newsletter and just ordered the wobbler pattern today. I plan to turn this little hen into a pin cushion.

  14. douglas bagguley

    My how you warm my heart and cheer me up
    And thats just from looking and reading
    Have made a mouse for a friend that moved into a small house she called the mouse house.
    May I wish you and all a Merry Christmas
    And Happy New Year

  15. Love all you make.
    Have made several of your little toys.
    these hens are sooo sweet.
    I make felt toys for Foster Children.

  16. Do you have a shop where one can purchase your creations? They are heaven!
    Sorry to read you have been ill, get better soon.

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