Introduction: Burlap Bird Ornaments

Last year for Christmas, I decided to make my mom and three sisters matching ornaments. I love making small things like this for everyone in my family. After my mom and sisters got them, they told me how much they loved the style, because it could be used for decoration and not just for a Christmas tree.

One sister has it hung on the mirror in her car, another has hers hung in her living room, and the last sister hangs hers from a tree branch she has in her bedroom. My mom had her bird on the window in our living room, but she has decided she wants a flock of the birds to hang above the dining room table. So here I go to make a flock.

My favorite thing about making these birds is the simplicity. They don't require too many materials. Thy can be made fairly quickly. And you can make a lot of them at once. It also doesn't require much skill to make these.

Step 1: Stuff You're Gonna Need

I usually just add this part up in the introduction, but this Instructable requires a few more things to make than my usual posts.

All of these items can be bought at a craft store.

-burlap roll (mine has plastic on the back so it can be cut without fraying. This is so very nice)
-needle and light colored embroidery floss
-scissors (not pictured)
-pencil (for tracing)
-hot glue gun and glue sticks for it
-paper (this is used for a template)
-ribbon/fabric for the wing (not pictured)

Step 2: Make the Body

Get your paper and pencil and draw out a nice bird body shape. Or you can be lazy like me and trace one from the Internet. Either way, make a pattern with a piece of paper. Take the pattern and put it on the plasticy side of the burlap. Trace one birdy. Now flip the pattern over and trace another birdy. You have to flip it so when you sew the two together, you just see burlap. Cut out the two birdies, and dab a few drops of hot glue on one of the bird's plastic side, and smash the two together. This is just to make it easier to sew, so only one or two drops is necessary. At this point you might realize that the two halves aren't exactly identical, and they don't match up perfectly. No worries, just trim off the excess. Hooray! You now have a beautiful burlap bird body. Alliteration is fun.

Step 3: Sew the Border On

Now comes my least favorite part. Not because I don't like embroidery, but because it takes the longest.

Grab your needle and embroidery floss and sit down for a solid 7-14 minutes of work. Embroidery floss comes grouped in a big strand, but if you separate the stands out, it has six smaller thready strands. For this, I use three of the strands. So grab enough thread to go around the perimeter of your bird plus tying knots. Thread all three strands onto your needle at once. However, don't double up the thread like you do with sewing. Tie a knot at one end of the 3strand, and pull the other end through the eye or the needle. Pull the needle about three inches past the end of the unknotted end, and crease the strands as best you can so that the needle stays where it is while sewing. If you are still confused, look at the picture. If you still don't understand, look up how to thread a needle for embroidery.

For the stitch, you are going to use a running stitch. This is the most basic sewing stitch that all of us learned as kids. It's where you put the needle in one side, pull it, and put it in on the other side. If you are confused by my pictures you can search a more comprehensive tutorial on the running stitch. I stitched on the edges, and tried to keep the same distance from the edges as much as I could with each new stitch. I started the sewing with putting it up through the back of one of the birds so it would hide the knot in the thread. Continue sewing the whole perimeter, and end it the way you started it, going through only one of the sides, tying a knot so it stays hidden on the inside.

Step 4: Glue the String On

Cut a piece of twine out for the string to hang it. I use about six inches of twine for this. Take it and glue one tip of string to the middle of the birds back, up near the boarder. Glue the other side of string to the other side of the birds back.

Step 5: Make the Wing

I went to Michael's and found a really nice ribbon that would match the burlap really well, so I got that to use for the wing. You could use and fabric that you want for the wing to give it any number of looks and match any room in the house.

I made a template out of paper and traced it onto the ribbon. I cut out the wing shape and used a little hot glue to stick it on the bird. Remember to cut out two wings, one for each side of the bird.