Spring has well and truly sprung here in the UK and I'm so, so pleased because it is by far my favourite season! I love the light, the colour, the smell of fresh-cut grass and woodsmoke-everything!
There is so much colour at this time of year, after months of dull and dismal winter, so I always find myself in a great mood once the daffodils start making appearances and it's warm enough to leave the house without a scarf and gloves :-)
In the spirit of Spring, I'm sharing with you, my lovely readers, a quirky little tutorial to create a felt bird garland.
First things first, this was SUCH a difficult project to photograph!
Not so much the process photos, but the final outcome-man, it was tricky! I think it's because this is a vertical garland rather than horizontal...there I was thinking I'd be a bit different, not realising how much fuss and bother it would cause me in the long run!
I do try and take decent photos of my projects but I think, in this case, I might have been beaten!
Anyway, I did my best and hopefully you will get the general idea of how it turned out :-)
This project was inspired by Kirstie Allsop's heart garland project from her TV show Kirstie's Handmade Britain. You may remember me mentioning her in my Christmas craft post and I have to say, I'm still a massive fan :-) Although I haven't really had time to try out half the ideas in her book yet, I have ambitious plans for the future!
So I decided to adapt the basic concept of the heart garland slightly to suit me more and came up with a bird-shaped tmeplate instead. This is a very versatile tutorial because you can come up with any template you want and turn it into a pretty, decorative garland, so get those imaginations working!
You will need:
-Felt, in colours of your choice
-Polyester wadding (I used some left over from old cushions)
-Needle and threads, in contrasting colours to your felt
Step 1: Cut out your chosen template from paper and pin to your felt. With my design, I had three separate templates for the bird's body, the large wing and a smaller wing. I used three different colours for each of these, as you can see in the photos.
Step 2: Cut your shapes out from the felt as many times as you want-I cut out enough shapes for six birds, so basically 12 pieces of each shape.
Step 3: In this case, pin the green wing to the blue and sew it on using a basic running stitch in contrasting thread. Do this for all of your shapes. Then pin the finished wing to the cream body and stitch on.
Step 4: When all of your wings are sewn on, pin the bodies together and sew around the edge in a different contrasting thread. It's important at this stage to leave a large enough gap open, to allow room to stuff the bird with wadding.Step 5: Stuff your bird with wadding, gently pushing it evenly throughout the shape. It is up to you how much you use, but you don't want your bird looking flat and underfed, do you?! Once you've stuffed the birds, you can sew shut the gaps.
An entire flock of felt birds!Step 6: Tie a loop at the top end of your ribbon.
Then, using a large needle, thread the ribbon through the body of the birds. The wadding should be enough to hold them in place, or at least, this is what I found :-) Inbetween each bird I knotted on one of the haberdashery bells for extra decoration, but you could easily use beads, buttons, anything else you wanted!
Step 7: I chose to weigh the garland down at the end so it would hang nicely, so I used fiver or six leftover bells, tied in a cluster. These were enough to sufficiently weigh the whole thing down.
I have hung my garland from my bookcase, alongside my fabric bunting and think it looks really cute :-) As I said before, the ideas are limitless with this technique which is just brilliant for our endlessly crafty imaginations!