I went to a baby shower recently, and as is my apparent habit, liked the gift I gave so much that I came back home and made another for our house! This was a sweet little bird arrangement that was originally designed as a mobile, but I think it has so much more versatility on the dresser as decor, don’t you?
Each bird is made of small scraps from my scrap basket, then stuffed and stitched shut. They don’t take much time to sew, but choosing the fabrics to put together, and combining lots of fabrics for a miniature flock, was harder than I would have thought. Our little girls have a soft, buttery yellow wall color and a pale, pale pink ceiling, and both of them looooove pink–the two-year-old has begin pointing at pink and saying, “Pretty!” because that’s what she thinks that color is called–so lots of pink and purply-violet seemed to be in order.
Probably the biggest challenge was finding just the right stick. In this case, I had to make do with two separate sticks that I planted next to one another in a crystal glass. The glass is part of a set that belonged to my husband’s grandmother, and since the dresser was handmade by his grandfather for his mother when she was young, it seemed fitting. The dresser needs repainting and I am picturing crystal knobs once that happens, so I really love having these pieces together. I filled the glass with aquarium gravel rather than sand because it gives more stability to the sticks, and more weight to the base.
When I made the version for the baby shower, I thought I would sew each bird to the branch using clear nylon filament thread, but that was a complete disaster–the birds would sit for a tenuous second, then flip upside down and dangle from the branch, wordlessly. It was really pathetic and a little sick, actually. So hot glue came to the rescue. And it was so easy and so quick that now I want to hot glue everything in sight.
The photos framed on the wall behind the birds were taken when our oldest and my husband and I were living in DC before my middle daughter was born. We went to pretty much every botanical garden in the District and surrounding states and took photos of the prettiest flowers we found, with the plan of framing them when we came home with our new baby girl. All three of us took photos here and there, but now no one really knows which ones were shot by whom, which is fine. I am hoping to swap out the black Ikea frames for white ones, but that’s pretty far down the list of priorities when you still don’t have kitchen cabinet doors.
Some of the birds as nestled between two branches to give them a stronger perch; when I did that, I made sure to hot glue on both sides. I think it makes them look cool, like they’re hanging out after school, waiting for the pretty girls to walk by. Both of the little girls super love their new bird friends, and it makes a really great impact when you come into their room from the hallway, next to the sweet yellow walls and the pink ceiling and the soft morning light coming through their curtains:
Now if I can just finish their matching postage-stamp quilts, we’ll be in business around here.
Leslie @ Salvaged SpacesMay 2, 2012 at 8:15 am
I LOVE THESE! I will definitely add this to my list of projects. Beautiful job!
Rachel at Stitched in ColorMay 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm
This is so sweet, Deborah! Don’t you just love seeing your handwork make your home? It’s just about 500 times better than buying the “perfect” thing. This is perfect!
treenMay 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm
Unless there’s a REALLY good reason for repainting the dresser (like the color or style doesn’t go with the rest of the room, or you don’t like the vintage/cottage look), I’d leave it. People spend days going over a paint job with fine-grit sandpaper to get it to look Just. Like. That. Change out the knobs – crystal sounds perfect – and done! I love that it’s a family heirloom and you’re still using it!
JillMay 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm
utterly ADORABLE!!! sooo cute and pretty and lots of other adjectives.
DD took one look at your post and yelled “we could do a whole tree of them” she is outside now in the woods gathering branches— I need to stop letting her read your blog : )
DeborahMay 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm
Oh, my gosh, that just totally made my day!! They are really quick to stitch up, and the stuffing is all kinds of kid-friendly. You can print the template for the birds here: http://www.spoolsewing.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/birdpattern1-1.pdf
Have fun–and send pics! 🙂
Dolores AttardMay 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm
These are adorable, it looks amazing. I have to say that the dresser is so pretty, I love that it has family history. Hate to break it to you – I love the knobs, especially if they are original which look like they could be. Modern knobs looks too pristine and harsh next to something that has aged and softened. People work hard to get that shabby-chic distressed look too, but I understand if that’s not your thing. It’s not mine really either but something that’s gotten the look from time is so much nicer than the items that are painted and sanded and painted and sanded to replicate the look. Anyway, your little girls room is looking so sweet.
JillMay 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm
well Hanni has several huge branches now and is going crazy –(well actually driving me crazy–she’s having a blast)
she wants to mount the huge branchy branch on the wall and make a bird for each kiddo on the branches — of course she has that “make-itis” disease…. so she is picking out boy fabrics and girl fabrics and even wants to make a little black one to represent the dog. Thanks … I think…. if she gets it done and it doesn’t fall off the wall I’ll zip you a photo. She loves trees and branchy things and can usually be found up in a tree with a book. This is sooooo her thing. thanks for the template