Friday, July 10, 2009

Bird Tutorial, Part 3

This is part 3 of a three part tutorial, chick here for part 1 , or here for part 2.

So your bird is now dry and ready to be brought to life. You need to fill him. Use fiberfill, wool, cotton or whatever you have around that will do the job. When I put stuffing into small areas such as a beak or in a head I use a wooden pencil with an eraser, the pointy end is useful for getting small fluffs of stuffing into tight areas. The eraser end has a bit of grip and is also good for getting the stuffing to move where you want it.

When stuffing the beak, use small amounts at first so you don't create a lump.

Fill the body and leave the hole at the bottom open. This is a good time to add a heart to the inside or anything else you may want in there.. lavender petals.. whatever.

Making the wings, go through your fibers and pick an assortment of yarns, fabric scraps etc that match your bird. Or if the tail on your bird needs trimming use the trimmed off bits to create wings.

I cut little bits of colored yarns and scraps making two piles, one for each wing. I then sew them on.

If the wing is not pleasing for me to look at
I add embroidery or in the case of this green bird I added matching green wool and needle felted it along the top edge of the wing.

Now we will form the wire feet. pick a wire that is about 24g or somewhat sturdy, cut off a piece at least 36 inches long.

Fold it in half, and then hold it up against the bird breast area, make a bend about a thumb length or the length of the breast, down.

This will be the part that is inserted into the bird to add stability, so don't be stingy with the length of the interior wire. It should reach well into the bird.

When creating the feet I find it best to fold both sides of the wire at the same time so the feet are the same size.

From your first bend travel down the wire and place a bend where you think your birds ankle would be. Then out to the middle toe, on my birds this is also the longest toe.

Bend the wire back to the rear claw, then out to a second toe.

Leave the excess wire hanging for now and twist the first two toes and rear claw. If all looks good create the last toe and wrap the remaining wire around and back up the leg to add strength.

Insert your new wire legs into the bird body, if for some reason the hole where you stuffed you bird is not in the correct place for the legs cut a slit about an inch long where you want your legs to stick out from and insert them in at that spot. I push the wire up inside right along the chest area, you can feel it from the outside. Use your thumb to make room in there if you need to. Add stuffing to fill in hollows.
To close the holes I use the same color wool I used on the belly in Part one when I was wet felting. So use a matching wool and needle felt the holes shut. Needle up and around the leg wire that is inside the chest as well, this helps hold it in place. You can and should do this from the outside, careful not to stab the wire or you will end up with a broken needle in your bird.
This ends our tutorial, it up to your imagination to enhance the bird from here.


  1. I love your blog. Its very generous of you to share your methods. I'm new to felt making and think I'll try one of these when my materials arrive.

    Thank you

  2. Thank you for your excellent tutorial.
    You are truly inspirational and very talented.
    Your instructions are very clear.
    Thank you so much

  3. Stunning! Thanks for sharing how you made them.

  4. love this , im trying to make a bunny like this, thanks for the instructions.

  5. Great tutorial! I haven't ventured into a resist piece yet. Thanks for posting such wonderful directions!

  6. beautiful! And very well explained! I've never made any birds but after reading this tutorial I feel like giving it a go!

  7. Thank-you for sharing this - I saw it the other day and set to work, fantastic instructions, my bird turned out perfect. I am from New Zealand and am going to try a native NZ Kiwi next!