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« Whit's Knits: Holiday Bird Ornaments | Main | Molly's Sketchbook: Hanukkah Coasters! »

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Sewn Bird Ornaments

I used a bunch of special fabrics to make these little birds, mixing the delicate Meadow line with bolder favorites like Kona Cotton and Cake Rock Beach to create a vibrant patchwork flock. They are easy and quick to sew. You could make one to bring as a gift to your next holiday party or make a bunch to hang on your own tree. Either way these little guys will spread holiday cheer wherever they fly! --Molly


This is enough to make a whole flock of birds!

Download and print our Simple Sewn Bird Ornaments Template here

Cut Fabrics

Download and print the templates above.

To make 12 birds:

Pick out two fabrics, one for your bird body and one for the wings. Press the fabric and fold each piece right sides together. (In the picture above I am using the Pomegranate Kona Cotton for the bird and the Meadow in Beige Leaves for the wings.)

Using a fabric marker or a pencil to trace the bird template onto the doubled body fabric and trace the wings twice onto the doubled wing fabric. Make sure to transfer the markings from the templates as shown above.

Trace the body template once and the wing template twice onto a single layer of your batting.

Repeat for the remaining 11 birds.

Cut all the pieces out. You will have: One batting body, two batting wings, two fabric bodies, and four fabric wings.

Pin together the fabric body pieces together right sides together. Pin each pair of wings together, also right sides together.

Cut twelve 1/4-inch X 7-inch strips (six from each color) from the wool felt. This will be enough for twelve birds, so you can put eleven of them aside for now.


Sew Fabric

Staring at one of the transfered marks sew around the body with an 1/8-inch seam allowance stopping at the other mark thus leaving a little opening as shown above. Repeat for wings.

Turn all the pieces right sides out. You can use a small knitting needle to poke out the corners of the beak, the tail and the wings.


Stuff and Finish

Take your wing batting and fold it in half lengthwise and slip it into the wing. Make sure the batting piece is oriented in the same direction as the wing.

The batting should fit snuggly inside the wing.

Repeat for the second wing and close both with a slip stitch.

Slip the body batting inside the fabric body tail first.

You might need to use that small knitting needle again to get the batting in every corner.

Fold a wool strip in half and place the ends into the opening.

Use cotton thread which matches the body fabric to close the opening with a slip stitch. Sew the wool strip into place as you do.

Thread an embroidery needle with the magenta embroidery thread and tie a knot. Pull the thread through the backside of one of the wings at the point where you'd like to attach it to the body.

Place both the wings where you want them on the body and pinch all three pieces together as shown above. Push the needle through the wings and the body as shown above to attach the wings to the body. Sew through all the layers again, making a "X" stitch on either wing and pulling very tight.

Once both wings have these little "X"s pull your needle through a wing but not the body and tie a knot where it will remain hidden in-between the wing and the body.

Repeat for the other eleven birds and you'll have your own beautiful flock!

Reader Comments (19)

Thanks for the tutorial!

Love it

December 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commentereve
Thank-you for this tutorial. I made my first one this afternoon. It is hiding in my busy Christmas tree! Thank-you for sharing this bird with all of us.
December 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
hi, is there any reason why you did not just sew the batting in when you stitched up the little birdie? I suppose the wings might be too difficult to turn if you sewed in the batting? just wondering. thanks!
December 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterela
Hi Ela-
Thanks for your question. If you sewed the batting on as you stitched up the birds it would indeed be very hard to turn it. It would also not lay flat because of the seam allowance and the sharp details like the beak would be obscured. I know it might seem like a pain but slipping the pieces of batting in gets really easy as you get the hang of it. Let us know if you have any more questions. Happy Holidays!- Molly
December 9, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
A lovely little bird ornament. Small black beads for eyes would be nice. Thanks for the tip about batting. I too wondered, why not just layer and turn. As these are flat, they would fit in nicely into a Christmas card for special friends and family. Too late for this year :( but will make some next year. Thank you again.
December 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarole UK
Can I do this by hand and still have it look as nice? I am really really bad with sewing machines. I tried to learn in HS... but now in college - still cant use one.
February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Thought those birds looked familiar
June 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDinahsaur
Hi Dinahsaur,
Oh dear....
June 11, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
@purl bee - I think the gal that has that Etsy shop kinda stole the little birdies from you, IYKWIM...
June 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDinahsaur
I was so excited when i saw these!! i made them in febuary for my sister, but instead of making them ordaments, i made my baby niece a wonderful bird mobil!! she loves it!!
August 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertiffany
These are soooo incredibly CUTE! I'm gonna go make us some!
December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria
someone like pink! I've featured these birdies in a holiday decorations tutorial roundup on my blog, The Handmade Experiment.

Thanks for sharing!
December 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Flippin Maruna
Thanks so much for the pattern. I've made ten or twelve so far, out of standard quilt fabrics. But I've got odd bits of other things I'm going to try now. i think these really jump-started my doing things.
April 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterk
linked to my blog. I copied the photo...if you object I will remove it.
April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancyReyes
How big is the bird pattern supposed to measure? I'm unsure if mine printed out the correct size. They look so small after I got the dozen cut out. :-/ Thanks!
May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
This is adorable ! Thank you for sharing, I will try sewing them too.
June 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIsabelle

I've been working with the local women's shelter, making craft things to sell for fundraising. I was wondering if I could use this pattern for that purpose.

The shelter has as one of their focus points a sensitivity to Native American culture. I found a quote in the community Native American museum talking about bird figures on poles as totem or vision icons. I thought it would be a nice tie-in.

I've made quite a few for presents. I love these little birdies.
August 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterk
These are adorable! I have used your pattern for a watercolor paper bird for a Valentine's tree. It was the perfect shape! Thank you for such wonderful ideas!
February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSally Haughey
These little birds look so good. I have been looking for just this pattern. Thank you.
May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrish

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