Pretty Paper Bird

Ever since I saw these cute little paper birds in the 2010-2011 Idea Book and Catalog I knew I wanted to make them but there always seemed to be another project that filled the space.  Just recently one of my customers asked me if I had a pattern or knew how to make these birds.   I told her I had not made them but I would check for her.  Since then I have found the pattern and made this sample.

 This post is for you Phyllis and anyone else who wants to try to make these birds 🙂

This is the template for all three bird sizes.  I used the large-sized bird (1) for my Shabby Chic version sample below.

 Step 1:  Print the original 2 page template and then increase the pattern to 125%.  I found using a copier worked great because you could select the larger paper size if necessary.


Step 2:  Cut out the pattern pieces and then trace around them onto your patterned paper choice.  *Note* Cut 2 body pieces, flipping the second piece over before tracing.  The Designer Series Paper used for this sample is from Paisley Petals.

Step 3:  For a shabby chic look lightly distress the edges of the bird body.  I used Soft Suede Classic Ink here.

Step 4:  Mark a 1/4″ reference line on the back side of the long thin pattern pieces only.  Snip every 1/4″ along the side edges of the piece up to the reference line.

Step 5:  Use liquid glue or glue stick to adhere the snipped edges to the respective areas of the bird shape.  You could use Sticky Strip also but I prefer to have a little bit of time to slightly move the paper if I need to.  Sticky Strip is permanent immediately….no room for error.  Begin on the top edge.

This is a view of the top edge on the bird secured on one side.

Step 6:  Continue adding the bottom strip to the same side of the bird shape and then continue adding the other body side.

Step 7:  Match the beak area perfectly to make a clean look.

Step 8:  I chose to use liquid glue for securing the final edge of this last piece.  Work slowly at this stage.  You will need to be patient and use your hands to help mold the paper a bit  The moisture in the liquid glue helped me with the manipulation of the paper.

This is how the bird should look after all four pieces have been glued together.  I also ran a bit more ink around the edges to further distress the seams.

Step 9: For the curly tail feathers you will need to cut 7 pieces of patterned paper as follows:  3 pieces 3/8″ x 5-1 /2″ (bottom feathers)  and 4 pieces 3/8″ x 7″ (top feathers).  I also lightly inked the edges to match the project.

Step 10:  Use a bone folder to curl the paper pieces just like you would curl ribbon for a bow.

Step 11: Glue the ends of the pieces together.  I glued the short feathers together as one unit and then another unit with the longer feathers.

Step 12:  Insert the longer tail feathers into the opening in the bird having the curls facing as shown in the photo.

Step 13:  Repeat with the shorter feathers facing downward.  Arrange the curls to your liking.

Step 14:  I used my Two-Way Glue Pen and dabbed random areas on the bird where I applied Dazzling Diamonds Stampin’ Glitter.

Step 15:  I found that once the bird was complete it would not balance on its’ own.  The tail area was heavier and it fell backwards.  To remedy this, without gluing on a separate base piece , I decided to add a nice handmade flower and heavy brad as a counter balance.

I hope this tutorial was helpful.  I suggest making a couple of these birds using the larger size first before you try the smaller ones.  It takes some practice to get the final bird shape to look crisp and neat.  These would look really cute made using soft black patterned paper.  It would make a nice crow for the Fall season.  Please give it a try!

7 thoughts on “Pretty Paper Bird

  1. WOW! Darlene, you did it! Your bird is gorgeous! I knew you would have to do tabs to get the pieces together, but I am so impressed that you actually finished one! I wonder if they put something inside to weight theirs…Thank you so, so much for taking this on! I am sure this took a lot of your time, but it turned out so well! I think they would be beautiful as Christmas decorations in the right paper. I’m so excited to try one! Again, many thanks for the directions! You are so talented with paper (with other things, too, I am sure)! Again, my thanks! Just beautiful!

  2. Awww…you are so kind. It was my pleasure. Thank YOU for all your support for me and my SU business!

  3. Thanks for making this tute – the birds are so beautiful ti’s nice to know how to make them. I will starting working on a table-scape for the holidays!

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