March 31, 2008

Fabric Bird Cage Tutorial




The following is a tutorial on how to make a fabric bird cage.

Materials needed:

  • 20 gauge copper wire (about 4 yards)
  • 1 fat quarter (18" x 22") for base
  • 1/4 yard of fabric for cage wires
  • 2" x 10" strip of fabric for base trim
  • 4" diameter Styrofoam base (1" thick)
  • paint brush
  • 8 buttons

If your local craft store does not have all of the above supplies you can try Michaels or other online craft stores.


Directions:



1. Cut two circles out of your base fabric. You want your circles to be about 1/4" bigger then the base. It does not have to be exact, it just has to be a little bit bigger then the base.


2. With your paint brush, paint a thick layer of Mod Podge on top of the Styrofoam base. Next, place one of your fabric circles on top of the Mod Podged base. Smooth out the fabric. Mod Podge the overlapping edges around the side of the base. Add another thick layer of Mod Podge on top of the fabric. Be sure to cover all of the fabric including the edges. Don't worry if the Mod Podge is visible it will dry clear.

3. Pin the edges down and wait for it to dry. There will be some ripples on the side, don't panic the trim will cover it.


4. Repeat on the other side of your base. Wait for it to dry before making the trim.


5. To make the trim measure the thickness of your base and add a 1/2" to your measurement. My base measured 1" thick so I added 1/2" making the total measurement 1 1/2". Now measure the circumference of your base and add 1". The two measurements are the measurements for your trim.


6. Make a 1/4" fold along one of the short ends of your trim(wrong sides together) and iron the fold. Next, make a 1/4" fold along the long sides of your trim. Iron. I recommend sewing along the folds to give it a clean finished look. I forgot to do this with my sample =)






7. Mod Podge the sides of the base and glue your trim to the base. Be sure to overlap the trim when the ends come together. You want the folded side on top of the raw edge side. Put another coat of Mod Podge on top of the trim. Let it dry.





8. Cut 2 wires 24" long.

9. Make a casing for the wires by cutting 2 strips of fabric 32" long and 1 3/4" wide. Fold both ends of the strip in a 1/2 ". Iron. Now fold both of the long sides of the strip in a 1/4". Iron. Sew the short ends (see 1st pic below). Fold the entire strip in half length wise and sew along the length of the fabric. Do not sew the ends closed. You want a casing for the wires with an opening at each end.


10. Carefully slide the wire through the casing. Repeat with the other casing and wire. You will find the casing is longer then the wire. This is how the gathered look is achieved.




11. Using a safety pin, poke a hole into the trim (on your base). You want it to be centered. I usually place one of the holes where the seam is, so that the wire (next step) secures and covers the seam. Move the safety pin around so that the hole will be big enough for the wire. Make another hole opposite of the first hole. For the next two holes, you want to place them mid-way between the first and second hole. If the base where a clock you would want a hole at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00.



12. Poke the wire through the hole in the Styrofoam. You want the wire to go into the Styrofoam about 2" deep. Now take the other end of the wire and insert it into the hole opposite the first hole. Repeat this process with the 2nd wire.



Your cage should look like this:



13. Now we will work on the wires that go around the cage (horizontal wires). Cut two 22" wires or measure the circumference you want for the horizontal cage wires and add 2".


14. Make your fabric strips as you did for the vertical cage wires. However, leave one end of the fabric raw (do not fold and iron). When you sew the casings be sure to stop 1" short of the finished end.

15. Carefully slide the wire through the casing. Join the ends of the wire by twisting them together.

16. Place the raw edge of the casing in the finished edge of the casing. Sew the casings together.



17. Place the circular cage wires (horizontal wires) around your bird cage. Position them and secure in place by sewing on a button where the wires meet.

Now decorate your cage. To make the fabric wire scrolls, simply make a casing for the wire and close both ends. Wrap the fabric wire around the intersection of the fabric wires (top of cage) to secure it in position. Now for the fun part, scroll the extra fabric.




If you want to make a bigger cage you just have to use a bigger base and add another fabric wire.


For the cage below I used a 6" diameter base and added another fabric wire to both the horizontal and vertical fabric wires.






Enjoy!



Jamie

Please share your bird cage creations at my Pretty Ditty Show and Tell flickr group.

108 comments:

Carol Browne said...

That's sweet. What a great idea. Thanks for the tutorial.

Christy said...

Very creative! It's a work a of art!

Pretty Ditty said...

Thanks =) Very kind of you all to leave such sweet comments.

Rachael said...

I just love it. I think i might just make one! Then i can have a "pet" in my apartment. :)

Bec said...

This is such a cool tutorial/bird cage!

Katie said...

My first thought was "Where could I use such a bird cage?" My second thought: "I don't care, I have to have one!"

Thank you for sharing this!

Jennifer said...

Are you serious! These are the cutest darn things I've seen in a long time. My husband LOVES birds and I always tease that they are his pet. I have to make one of these for our home. You ROCK!

Blog on sister....

Pretty Ditty said...

If you make the bird cage, please send me photos. I would love to see other bird cages.

Ceci said...

I just love it!! I have to make one for my babys room, I promise to send you a photo of it when it´s done! Thank you for the tutorial.

file under misc. said...

I made one of your cages tonight!

http://file-under-misc.blogspot.com/2008/10/oh-oh-oh-i-made-one.html

Pretty Ditty said...

I just viewed your bird cage and I LOVE it. Thanks for letting me know.

I'm thinking about starting a flickr group for all of the pretty fabric bird cages out there. I'll let you know if I do. Your cage will have to be a part of it.

Liwou said...

Hi ! A big than you for this tuto ! I made an article of your Bird Cage to http://www.fiskarettes.fr/
if that disturb you don't hesitate to tell me, i will erase my article !

crexner said...

This is a great tutorial! I have sent the link on to the Crazy About Pin Cushions YahooGroup.

bird cages said...

Great guide! Your work is amazing. I would love to see more bird cages.

koala brains said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial!!! I made it and it was so much fun to make. Your directions were very easy to follow. You did a great job with the design. :) You can see my cage here:

http://koalabrains.blogspot.com/2009/02/little-birdhouse-in-your-soul.html

Pretty Ditty said...

Here is a link to my Pretty Ditty show and tell group http://www.flickr.com/groups/prettyditty/

If you have made a bird cage, I would love for you to join and share your creation.

Ryan said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Sarah

http://www.lyricsdigs.com

Stacy of KSW said...

I love it!! Saw one of these for sale today on etsy for $120. Also, I Just stumbled it - hope you get tons of reviews

reddahlia said...

I just died and went to bird crafting heaven! I saw these on a store's website...and planned to try to make one myself- and I am so glad I don't have to guess! You are phenomenal for sharing this with us, I will definitely blog this as I make one. Many many thanks!
Nina

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trinidad said...

I want one!!!! You dont sale the cages? If you do please tell me how I can buy it.

Thanks!!!!

Pretty Ditty said...

Hi Trinidad. I'm flattered that you like one enough to buy one. However, I do not make them for sale.

I'm not sure, but maybe Anthropologie might have some similar ones for sale.

Best,
Jamie

tamarillo tea. said...

very cute idea! im going to make one of these! :)

Kapkara Camdan Kelebek said...

Thank you for fabric bird cage tutorial
its very fantastic:)

My Bird Cage:)
http://kapkaracamdankelebek.blogspot.com/2010/02/kumas-kus-kafesim.html

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Miss Sews-it-all said...

This is fabulous! We're sharing a link to your tutorial over at www.WeAllSew.com - drop me a line for more info or if you have any q's! - Erika erikalynn[at]onemain[dot]com

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Thanks for the tutorial. I've learned a lot from this. At least I can use some of my old fabrics in this project. Thanks!

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