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September 16, 2011

Decorative Fabric Birdcage Tutorial

In case you may have missed my post as part of Eighteen 25's Spooktacular, I wanted to repost and share my fabric birdcage tutorial.

Let's get right to it!

Here's the materials you need...
Oh and a glue gun!  You need a glue gun too. :)
BTW...I actually do have larger bottles of fabric glue. I just like using the small ones for some reason. 
Next...pick out some pretty, Fall colored fabric and you're all set to get started.
 Cover your hoops with fabric:
1. Cut your fabric into several 1 inch long strips. I did this by folding over the 2 yards of fabric several times.
2. Separate both your embroidery hoops and wrap the fabric strips around both outer hoops but only one inner hoop. Leave the other one unwrapped. Wrap your ribbon spool too.
3. Now your hoops are wrapped (ignore the extra one shot in my photographic haste).
The bottom of your bird cage:
4.  Now take another coordinating fabric and place a square of it over the unwrapped inner hoop and put the one covered outer hoop over the top and tighten it.
5.  Trim the excess fabric and glue any loose fabric over the bottom edges.
Now to make your fabric covered wire:
6. You need your1 inch wide strips of fabric, 10 yds of floral wire cut in 2 ft lengths, and fabric glue.
7. Lay your wire in the middle of the strip and line a section of the top of the strip with fabric glue.
8. Pinch it closed as you work your way down the whole length of wire.  I did this with 8 lengths of wire but you can do more. This is probably your only time consuming part. Trim any frays and excess fabric along the length to clean them up.
Now to form the top frame of the bird cage: 
(I actually did the left example with uncovered wire so you could see it better)
9. Grab your ribbon spool and begin wrapping the ends of 4 wires around the ribbon spool at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions to anchor it.  Once those wires were in place I could do the sections in between (where the dotted lines are).
10.  It should like this at the top when you are done with the real thing.
11. Now you just slide one covered 12 inch embroidery hoop up the wires like putting on a skirt (wires on the INSIDE of the hoop.  Hot glue them in place on the inside of the hoop.
Do the same thing with your second hoop ensuring it looks even in between them. 
12.Stretch your wires as straight as you can to form the body of the cage. Hot glue them to the outside of your embroidery hoop at the bottom (the one with the coordinating fabric on it). 
Even the wires until the cage looks straight and cut off excess so it does not fold underneath.
That's it!
Look at your pretty bird cage!
I even fancied it up with some girly little flower embellishments and clipped them to the side.
Then I made a little stuffed crow (though when I stared at it too long it started looking like a seal with a beak).  I sewed him together with a quick blanket stitch and sewed two eyes with orange embroidery floss. 

To anchor my crow I added a shorter length of fabric wire, wrapped it around the sides to make a perch and then threaded a line of fishing line from the top of the cage, down through the bird, out the bottom and sewed him to his little perch bar.
But you really could just buy a crow from the craft store, name him something cute like "Cornelius," show him his new home, and call it a day.

Here's a printable with templates to make the flowers and crow.
(designed for personal use only..thanks!)
Hope you like my little fabric birdcage and are inspired to make one yourself.  There are so many variations to make this...use wood dowels for the body to make it more realistic...spray paint it a fun color...I adore all the possibilities!  And a great idea for different seasons too!

Have a great weekend sweet friends!


  1. Oh my goodness I LOVE this!!! I SO want to do this! It would be super cute to use as decor for my craft booth! You serisouly have the BEST tutorials...Hands down. =) Have a wonderful weekend, girlfriend!

  2. Wow! What an amazing project. It turned out beautifully~

  3. Very very pretty! Looks like hard work! but it definitely paid off in the end :)

  4. Okay would you please go ahead & write a book already! I am serious! Stop being a crafty whiz for free! I will buy lots of copies & give them as gifts! Everyone would be happy! Just so adorable Jess! I can't even imagine coming up with such cute ideas! But I am sure glad my friend does! These just make me smile so big in wonder of you!

  5. Jessica, WOW! Your birdcage is so beautifully and cleverly done! So original and so cool! Our projects were featured by Malia over at Yesterday on Tuesday, and I absolutely had to come by to see how your beautiful birdcage was done.

    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  6. So cute. I've spent the last half hour scrolling through your blog and I absolutely love it. Your projects are beautiful and your photography is spot on. I'm going to love following you.

  7. I've been wanting a decorative birdcage for a while and I haven't been able to find one...ok, I haven't found one cheap enough! Now I don't have to! Love this idea and I'm SO making it! Thanks for the fabulous tutorial. Your blog is amazing and I'm now a new follower!

  8. Tooo cute! I am a new follower. I have been checking out all your stuff! I should be getting busy with some paper work but can not stop looking at everything! ha ha It is all so AWESOME!!!!

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