Introduction: Wool Birds on Bamboo
These wool/yarn birds are easy to make and super addictive once you start. They are also really great for using up left over wool from previous projects. Once you make these birds you can stick them pretty much anywhere, the possibilities are endless!
In this instructable I will show you:
- How to make these wool birds.
- How to make a perch for them to sit on.
Let's get started!
For the birds:
•Wool/Yarn: 3 or 4 colours (I use acrylic worsted weight but any type/ weight will do)
•Styrofoam Balls: I'm using 4cm ones, but you can go bigger or smaller (you can also use pom poms!)
•Black eyes: Mine are polymer clay but you can use beads or felt or anything really.
•Yellow 2mm foam: (this can also be substituted)
•Something to wrap your wool around: I'm using a tube (10cm/4" diameter)
For the perch:
•Bamboo: 15cm and about as thick as your finger
•Steel Wire 1.3mm (usually found in the gardening section of diy shops)
•Saw (Hand or electric)
•Pliers: round nosed (optional), flat nosed, snips
•Hot Glue Gun
•Rotary tool or sharp file
•Sanding block/ paper
Step 1: Preparing the Wool
1. Choose your first colour and start wrapping it around your tube. Wrap it tight enough that it doesn't start sliding off. I find that 40 rotations is good for me but you can change this depending on the weight of your wool and size of your ball.
2. Cut off the end and slip your wool off the container, make sure it retains its hoops!
3. Cut a piece of wool about 40cm long and tie it tight with a double knot around one part of your hoop. (I'm using a different colour here so you can see it better)
4. Cut through your hoop opposite where you tied your knot. There you have it, your first tassel!
5. Repeat 1-4 changing colours as you go until you have six of these wool tassels.
Step 2: Assembling the Birds Body (Part 1)
1. Starting with 2 of your tassels lay one on top of the other creating a cross.
2. Fold one back onto itself (purple) and the other one over to meet itself (pink).
3. Cut 2 new lengths of wool (40cm) and tie each one tight about an inch down from the centre. Smooth these pieces back into the wool.
4. In this pic the purple will be the top of the birds head and the pink will be its face.
Step 3: Assembling the Birds Body (Part 2)
1. Lay a new tassel on top of the tassel to your right (the pink one) creating another cross shape. This new tassel will be the birds wings!
2. Grab your styrofoam ball and place it just after your new tassel.
3. Pull the colour on your left hand side over, incasing the ball. Next pull your new colour back.
4. Pinch together the back of your bird. Cut a long piece of wool (around 80cm and ideally the same colour as your birds wings) and wrap tightly multiple times where you have pinched. Tie a tight knot.
5. Congratulations you have your first bird body! Repeat these steps until you have 2 and then we can move onto the features.
Step 4: Eyes and Beak
1. Hot glue your chosen eyes into place (you can see in the pic there's a perfect place to stick in your eyes)
2. For the beak cut a 1cm strip of your foam and cut out two diamonds shapes. My diamonds are 2cm long, I usually eyeball the shape but measure if you like!
3. Score the middles of your diamonds using a craft knife. Dab a tiny bit of glue in the middle and pinch closed till dry so they retain a beak like shape.
4. Hot glue to the middle of your birds face.
Step 5: Trim Them Up!
Trim up the tail feathers to your preferred length and you're done! Yay! You now have 2 lovely birds that you can stick wherever you please.
Next up I'll show you how to make a perch for them to sit on!
Step 6: Prepping Your Bamboo
A quick note on the "bump" or "node" (there's probably a scientific name) that is on bamboo:
I like to keep it in as I find it looks nice but it is usually not hollow so if you wish to keep it in you will have to drill a hole through it in order for your wire to go through later on.
You can either leave it out entirely or make sure it's near the end so you can easily reach it with your drill. (I use a handheld pin vise and it works great!)
Step 7: Cut Your Bamboo!
1. Cut a piece of your bamboo 15cm long, I use an electric saw but a handheld one will work too. Bamboo has a habit of splintering so be careful and always wear a dust mask and goggles.
2. There is sometimes a sponge like substance inside bamboo (again there's probably a scientific name for it). I like to clean this out using a skewer.
Step 8: Filing & Sanding
1. Place a tiny mark (about 5mm) on either side of your bamboo.
2. Use a a sharp file or a rotary tool with a grinding disc to file out these marks, creating 2 small notches.
3. Use a sanding block or some sand paper to smooth out any sharp edges.
Step 9: Wire!
1. Use some tissue or a cloth to straighten out a good length of your wire. I recommend keeping it on the spool as you put it through the bamboo and then cutting it when you are happy with the length. If you want to pre cut it 70cm/27.5 inches would be more than enough.
2. Slide your wire through your bamboo.
3.Fold the wire where the bamboo ends making sure it slots into those tiny notches you made earlier (this will stop you from having upside down birds later on)
4. Cut your wire leaving one side longer than the other so you can make the hook. Mine is 29cm on one side and 23cm on the other but you can use your judgement.
Step 10: Creating the Arch
1. Bend your wire so your two ends cross over creating an arch shape. You can use your tissue/cloth throughout this process to make it easier and to keep your wire smooth. Fiddle around until you have a shape you're happy with.
2. Using a flat nosed pliers bend your longer piece of wire (where your two ends cross) so it's going straight up.
3. Wrap your shorter piece of wire around this corner 3 or 4 time using your pliers. Snip it off when you are happy and push in the sharp end using your pliers.
4. Use your pliers to tighten this coil so it's not lose around your long piece of wire.
Step 11: The Hook
The loops on my hook are purely decorative, I use a thick marker and a round nosed pliers to achieve this but feel free to do this step however you wish :).
1. Bend your long piece of wire to your right slightly.
2. Take a thick marker and gently bend your wire around it creating a loop.
3. Take your round nose pliers and create a smaller loop.
4. Snip your wire a bit if it's too long and create one final loop.
5. Your perch is finished! Now time to add your birds to their new home!
Step 12: Add Your Birds!
1. Mark where you want your birds to sit. I marked mine 4cm in either side.
2. Fire up your hot glue gun, put a good dollop on the bamboo and stick them into place. I recommend you stick them around the area where you tied up the bird so they sit nicely.
Step 13: You're Finished!
Congratulations! You're finished! Now find a nice place to hang them and gaze upon your creation!
Participated in the
For the Birds Speed Challenge