Monday, 15 June 2015

DIY: Hanging Fabric Birds

fabric hanging birds in frames matching curtains hillarys blinds

This nifty little DIY is my entry for Hillarys Craft Competition.  I had such good fun at the crafternoon a few months ago (I though it was in May.  It was March.  Holy hell, how time flies!) that I had to take up their challenge to create something else from one of the new collection fabrics.  I chose Safi Turquoise, a silky, leafy design, and got to work on my entry - fabric birds in vintage frames, positioned perfectly to complement the curtains and tie the room together.  Gotta love that sales patter...  Read on for my tutorial how to create your own!

hillarys blinds competition fabric vintage frames

Supplies list
- Hillarys Safi Turquoise fabric
- Two 6x4 inch frames (mine were 50p each from the charity shop) with glass and back removed
- Paper and pencil
- Circular object
- Needle and thread
- Sewing machine (optional, although I prefer it to hand sewing!)
- Stuffing
- Scissors
- 'Invisible' thread
- Command strips/Blu-Tack for wall hanging

step by step fabric birds DIY tutorial

1 - Grab your paper and pencil and draw out your bird shape.  I sat one of the frames over the paper to help me gauge how big I could make it.  Draw round your circular object (I used a cardboard ribbon roll).  Cut out both shapes.

2 - Making sure the fabric is folded to double thickness with right sides together, pin the paper shapes on and cut out around them.  I added a seam allowance to the bird for sewing but the circle was the right size already.

fabric bird wing circle shape

3 - Sew around the circles, leaving a small gap.  Turn the fabric right sides out and use the scissors to smooth out the seams by running the point around the inside edges.  Now you have a wing!

4 - Pin the wing into position between the two pieces of bird fabric, then sew around the bird, again leaving a small gap for turning right side out.  I left mine in the belly part so it could be turned out easier by pulling the wing through.  I also trimmed the excess fabric from the pointed parts (tail and beak) for a nicer finish, then used the point of the scissors (blades together!) to poke the fabric into place after it was turned out.

stuffing fabric bird hillarys blinds

5 - Stuff the bird gently, using small pieces to avoid it looking lumpy.

6 - Fold in the edges of the open section and sew along the seam using small, neat stitches so they don't show.  Stitch down the lower edge of the wing to keep it flat.

fabric birds matching leaf pattern

7 - Voila, one birdie!  Since I was making two, I repeated the process but turned the fabric wrong side up the second time to create a contrasting look.  It helped that the back of the fabric was also rather pretty...

sewing fabric bird hillarys blinds invisible thread

8 - When both birds are complete, take your picture frames and push out the metal hinges that hold in the backing so that they lie flat against the wood.  Take a length of invisible thread and thread it through the top edge of the bird, where the back starts to curve from the head.  It can be positioned further along the back if you prefer them to be more horizontal.

This is the slightly tricky part.  Holding the bird in place in the middle of the frame, you'll need to tie a knot in the thread at the right length for hanging.  The loop of thread is then hung over one of the frame hinges, making the bird look like it's flying when it's on the wall (or, you know, stuck to the wall...)

hillarys blinds craft competition fabric birds curtains vintage frames

9 - Last step!  Grab your Command/Blu-Tack and stick it to the back of the frame - I just stuck it on the top panel and they've stayed put, but feel free to be extra thorough and add it to the bottom too.

There you have it - a fun, budget friendly craft to perfectly compliment your curtains!


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