2 pieces of felt in cream and blue, each measuring 8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.4 cm)
- Embroidery floss in coordinating
and accent colors
- 12 buttons, preferably shank or 2-hole
buttons measuring roughly 1/4 inch (6 mm) or smaller
- Stuffing (scrap wool, polyester
stuffing, or other)
- Jute, hemp twine, or narrow ribbon for
the hanging loop, at least 20 inches
(50.8 cm) long
- Fabric glue (optional)
What You Do
1 Copy and cut out the templates, and arrange them on the felt, making good use of space so you are able to cut all the pieces you need. You’ll need two body shapes and two wing shapes for each bird on your garland.
Cut three birds from cream and three birds from blue.
2 Organize your birds, putting two body pieces, two wings, and two buttons together into groups, alternating the color of the bird body and the wing color. You’ll be decorating all of the pieces before you begin to assemble the garland.
3 Place a wing shape on a body shape. With three strands of embroidery floss, stitch the wing on using a whipstitch or running stitch. Using a contrasting color of embroidery floss, make a few decorative stitches to suggest feathers. Sew the small button eye onto the bird securely. Repeat the process for the other side of the bird, arranging the wing and eye so these features match up neatly when the two pieces are sewn together.
Tip: Tack the wing piece down with a dot of fabric glue to keep it from moving around while you sew.
4 Repeat this process for the remaining birds, creating six pairs of decorated
5 Sew one pair of matching bird pieces together with a length of three-strand embroidery floss that is roughly 30 inches (76.2 cm) long. Starting at the bottom center of the belly, use a blanket stitch to stitch around to the center top of the bird. Stop sewing when your bird hangs level when dangled from the remaining floss. Before going forward, stuff the tail of the bird while it’s still accessible.
6 Tie a 3-inch-long (7.6 cm) loop at the top of your hemp, jute, or ribbon, and knot it securely. Tie a knot roughly 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) down from the top knot. These knots will be secured inside the bird and will hold each bird in place on the garland.
7 Slide the half-sewn bird over the knot on the garland and sew over it, encasing it inside the
stitching. Continue sewing around the bird until there is a 3/4-inch (1.9 cm) opening left, and finish stuffing the bird.
Tip: If you’re using narrow ribbon, be sure to make a large enough knot so it doesn’t slip through
8 Finish sewing the bird, concealing the bottom knot inside the stitching. Tie a knot in your embroidery floss and hide it to finish.
9 The remainder of the string, jute, or ribbon will be hanging down from the bottom of the bird. Tie two more knots below the first bird—one 1 inch
(2.5 cm) down and one 13/4 inches (4.4 cm) down from the belly—and continue sewing birds to the garland. Repeat the process until all the birds are sewn to the string. When you reach the last bird, trim the bottom knot so that it doesn’t protrude from the bird.
These little birdies also make darling ornaments if you’d rather not string them all in a row. Simply add a hanging loop at the top of each bird.
Photo by Lisa Jordan