Introduction: Put a Bird on It! | Portlandia Apron

Picture of Put a Bird on It! | Portlandia Apron
Inspired by Portlandia, when I found this dull, drap apron at the Japanese dollar store, I knew I just had to spruce it up.  And what better way than to put a bird on it!  I decided to invoke the simplest form of applique I know, and make an iron-on patch.

This is a silly, simple craft that only takes minutes, but the impact is impressive.  Of course you can use any shape you want and any type of garment.  This is a really easy way to refresh an old piece or add some zing to something boring!  

Ok, enough talk. Let's put a bird on it!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

For this project, you need:

1 boring apron (or bag, or pillow, or shirt, etc)
Paper-backed fusible web (like Wonder Under)
Bird silhouette

I happen to have access to the Silhouette CAMEO, so I used that to cut out my design.  You could also use a laser cutter, or, you know, scissors.

Step 2: Get Your Design

Picture of Get Your Design

I did an image search for "bird silhouette" and found one I liked the best.

I then took that into a photo editing program and cleaned up the outline and fill.  This step is only necessary if you're using a machine to do your cutting.  If you're cutting by hand, you can just print out whatever you like! 

Send the image to the machine you're using to cut the design, or print out a copy on paper if you are cutting by hand.

Step 3: Prepare Your Fabric

Picture of Prepare Your Fabric

Iron the fusible web to the wrong side of the fabric you're using for the bird design.  I kept the paper on the back while cutting, but I think it would have been better if I didn't.

Cut the fabric to the appropriate size for the shape of your cutout and the machine you're cutting it with.  

Step 4: Cut Your Design

Picture of Cut Your Design

Using the Sillhouette or laser cutter, send your file to the printer.  Choose the proper settings for the material you're using.

Since I was using a medium weight twill and had the paper backing still on the fabric, I set the Cameo knife 9 and speed to 2.

If cutting by hand, just pin, tape, or trace your design onto the fabric and cut! 

Step 5: Put a Bird on It!

Picture of Put a Bird on It!

Now you have a perfect iron-on bird to put on anything.

Make sure your apron (etc) is clean and ironed. 

Peel the paper backing off of your bird and place the bird where you want it with the fusible side down.

Iron the patch until it's well adhered. 

Step 6: Congratulations

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You just put a bird on it!  Everyone who mocked your concept in the beginning is now crying that they don't have their own rad bird apron.

But you're not that sceptical.  Leave me a comment with how you like to put a bird* on it, and I'll give you a 3-mo pro membership!

*not limited to birds alone - just show me how you like to use this technique!


acuchetto (author)2014-01-13

I love this skit! It cracks me up. No one else in my family sees the humor, so I'm glad to know there are others who can appreciate and delight in the delicious absurdity of "put a bird on it"!

thebeatonpath (author)2013-06-04

LOVED that skit! My hubby and I are always saying, "Put a bird on it!" CUTE apron!

Phiske (author)2013-04-09

Fav portlandia skit ever! Haha ( I don't know if its my age but I refuse to use LOL, hence haha)

kirnex (author)2012-06-22

Awesome. Loved that skit. This a definitely going on my to-do list (even if no one where I live gets it).

Lily Baldwin (author)2012-06-22

So cool... I love the black bird and it's elegance. Very pretty. I think I might make one for my mother's birthday because "Byrd" is her nickname... Thanks!

blowtorch-betty (author)2012-06-20

Cracking up... love it! I love Portlandia (esp. the unscripted first season and the Sarah McLachlan pinata episode), and having grown up in Portland... I've gotta say, it's all true! Really, it is!

TheBaldFish (author)2012-06-14

My fiance and I watched that show on a certain streaming site. We didn't love it all that much but that skit has become a hilarious inside joke between us. We are always just randomly telling each other to 'put a bird on it'. Good times.
Sweet idea though Smooch. It actually really made my day.

Ninzerbean (author)2012-06-13

I went into a store here in SC that was right out of that segment - I even asked them if they knew the show. They didn't, but promised to watch it on Netflix. I love that show. This is a great 'ible!

HollyMann (author)2012-06-11

So cute! Love it!

HMice (author)2012-06-11

Oh cool! You guys (people who work there) are so lucky! I have no access to a laser cutter ANYWHERE! I did mine with paint last year, here.

eclipsed (author)2012-06-10

It's all Narwhals now. Birds and Octopi are so last week!

scoochmaroo (author)eclipsed2012-06-10

Narwhals, good tip!

yoyology (author)scoochmaroo2012-06-11

I have an extremely awesome narwhal shirt already. Perfect for a librarian and unicorn fan such as myself.

eclipsed (author)yoyology2012-06-11

See, I told you! All the cool kids are wearing narwhals now.

Jobar007 (author)2012-06-11

Well done. It looks great!

As an aside, that show is spot on for people in the city where I live...

Dusk Shadows (author)2012-06-11

Hi scoohmaroo i was wondering could u put something else on instead of the bird like a mokingjay?

scoochmaroo (author)Dusk Shadows2012-06-11

Great idea! Of course, a mockingjay is still a bird. . . But I'll clarify that it does't need to be specifically a bird!

poofrabbit (author)2012-06-10

HA HA HA!! I loved the Schoo sad pic! Well done!

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