Saturday, October 25, 2014

Three Little Cardinals

When I was a kid, I spent summers at a lake in a little white cottage with red shingles. And right down by the lake, there was an old birdhouse dangling from a tree, painted to match the cottage. I have such fond memories of that cottage, I thought I'd use it as my inspiration here.

This vintage woodblock birdhouse is rustic and charming but I think it needs more Christmas spirit, don't you?

To honor the little cottage by the lake, I'll use only red and white for this ornament. I painted the walls white and the trim red, then candy striped the bird posts.

To my eye, the simple structure needs extra details to bring it to life, so I decided on shingles for the rooftop. I measured the width of the rooftop then cut strips of felt in two shades of red. I cut diamond-points to create the shingles, alternating them to create the shingled effect.

For the birds, I grabbed three red pom poms from my stash and they fit like a glove. (Phew! No sewing.) Next, I cut out three bird beaks from white felt, exactly the same as the one I made for Early Bird Catches Christmas. (Thanks again to Abby and her While She Naps blog!)

But before gluing the birds in place I noticed something.

As I'm learning, ornaments require thinking in 3D. After all, there's no guarantee the ornament won't spin on its hanger and wind up facing backwards. Ornaments are silly that way.

With this one, all the visual activity is on the front, leaving the sides and back a bit plain. I could paint something, but I'm not that great a painter. So I started playing with ribbon to see what effects I could get.

I tucked a piece of red gingham ribbon in the first door, tacking it down with a dab of hot glue. Then, I wrapped it around the walls, tacking it at each corner, and tucking the end into the other side of the door with another dab of hot glue.


Now it was time to add the cardinals. I lined the inside walls of the doors with hot glue and pressed one red pom pom into each. 

Next, I glued on the white beaks with a dab of felt glue and added two dots of black fabric puffy paint for the eyes.

Cuter still!

I believe crafting often comes down to managing seams. Notice the shingles create a seam along the edges and roof peak that  look unfinished to me. A little decorative trim seemed in order and the pom pom motif informed how I was feeling, so I added a little strand of pom pom ribbon to the roof edge.

Then six pom poms along the roof peak not only covered that seam, the eye screw disappeared too! Bonus!

I added bit of baker's twine to create a hanger, and there you have it... three little cardinals at home in their cottage by the lake!


This ornament has been rescued! Please stop by our Etsy shop to see all of our other ornaments that need a home in time for Christmas. And remember...

All proceeds benefit Hasbro Children's Hospital, Providence, RI

If you want to try this at home, you'll need...
  • One woodblock birdhouse
  • Acrylic craft paints (colors of your choosing)
  • Felt (colors of your choosing)
  • Felt glue
  • Pom Pom ribbon (I found mine at JoAnns)
  • Pom Poms (colors of your choosing)
  • Hot Glue

The basic steps are...
  1. Clean/sand your birdhouse. As needed, add a eye screw at the center of the roof peak.
  2. Paint the birdhouse as you see fit.
  3. Measure the width of your rooftop, then cut strips of felt all to the same size. (Mine were approximately 5/8" wide)
  4. Cut half of the strips in a diamond pattern, beginning and ending with a full diamond
  5. Cut the other half of the strips beginning and ending with a half-diamond
  6. Glue the strips to your rooftop, laying one on top of each there, to create the shingled effect
  7. Measure and cut ribbon to approximately 1" longer than the circumference of your ornament.
  8. Hot glue one end of the ribbon inside the birdhouse door.
  9. Wrap the ribbon around the sides, gluing it down at each corner.
  10. Hot glue the other end of the ribbon inside the birdhouse door.
  11. Repeat for all the doors.
  12. Hot glue the inside of each birdhouse door, pressing a pom pom in to secure it, but still allowing it peek out.
  13. Cut out and glue a bird's beak to each with felt glue.
  14. Use puffy fabric paint to create dots for eyes.
  15. Hot glue pom pom ribbon around the roof edge.
  16. Use felt glue to attach pom poms down the roof peak seam.
  17. Attach hanger to the eye screw.
  18. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

Ornament Rescuer

No comments:

Post a Comment