Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fabric Bird House Tutorial

Earlier this month I made a fabric bird house to store my sewing notions in beside my favorite chair.  I had so many requests for the pattern so I promised to do a tutorial on how I made it.  Since I have a little girl who visits frequently and is constantly emptying my little house so that it can store small dolls, I thought I would make a second one just for her. 


Let’s start with drawing the pattern.  You should be able to click on the photos to enlarge for the measurements.

We are then going to cut the pattern out on a stiff fusible interfacing.  I am using Peltex for mine.  At this point you could cut each piece separately, but I do mine in one piece – gently scoring on the fusible side of each line in the center 6”x4” section that will eventually be turned to shape the house.  If you have cut the pieces individually, you will lay them out right next to each other when fusing to the fabric.

Next you will cut your fabrics for the outside of the house.  My fabric – the yellow – will be cut at 12.5”x6.5”.  The end fabrics – the zebra stripe – will be cut at 7”x5”. 

Fold the 12.5” fabric in half lengthwise and mark center.  Likewise, fold the end fabric in half along the 5” side and mark the center. 

With 1/4” seam allowance, sew the end fabrics to the center, matching center folds that you just made.  This will form a cross shaped piece of fabric.


Clip at point where seam starts so that the main fabric can be pressed open.


Place the fusible interfacing on the wrong side of fabric – matching the seam lines with the mark on your pattern that will now form the ends of the birdhouse.


You will notice that you will have 1/4 inch overlap for sewing.  This keeps the interfacing from being sewn into the seam.


Trim the ends by cutting with the additional 1/4” seam allowance.


You are now ready to sew up the sides.  With right sides together, bring up one side of front and join it to one side of adjoining side panel.



I sew from the top down using 1/4” seam allowance.  Repeat for next three sides and you should now have a rectangular shaped box. 


Turn right side out.

Place to the side and it is now time to start the lining.  I used one piece of fabric for mine, but you could always repeat the technique to make the ends a different fabric. 

Take your original pattern and lay it on the lining – cutting it out by adding 1/4 inch all the way around.  Again, bring the sides up and sew the same way as you did the house, forming another rectangular box. 


Now for the fun part…. place the outside of the birdhouse inside the lining with right sides together. 

Wiggle to match all seams and sew all around the top – leaving about 4” open on one side panel to turn right side out.


Trim the top points and gently turn right side out.  This is a little fiddly, but work slowly to pull it all through.  Slip stitch the opening closed.
Every house needs a roof so here we go.  This is much easier. 

Cut a 7.5” piece of the fusible interfacing.  Cut (2) 8” pieces of roof fabric – mine is the black and white check. 

Fuse interfacing on one piece in the same manner as the house – leaving 1/4” seam allowance.  Stitch all the way around – leaving about 4” open for turning.


Turn right side out and slip stitch opening closed. 

Slip stitch roof to main house.  I did mine down from one point of the roof, across the side, then back up to the other point.  This allows the top to be opened like a box. 



For a closure on the other side, I made a small loop with narrow elastic and sewed it to the roof – adding a button to the house to close it.



Decorate as desired.  I added a button and a welcome sign, but I think a grommet would be darling too. 

Enjoy your birdhouse.  Please ask if you have any questions.



Createology said...

Thank you sew very much for your wonderful tutorial. This storage house is adorable and I love every thing that holds things. Joy and Creative Bliss...

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Thank you for a sweet tutorial. This is so cute. Not only can I see is for a little girl's treasures, but done up in some brick/wood fabrics or cars - a little boy's treasure box.

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Very nice tutorial Mary! What a sweet house. :-)

Maria said...

Thank you for the great tutorial for the Treasure House....
Will pop it on my to do list...

Bouts Choisis said...

That's a lovely design! Many thanks for the detailed tutorial. Added to the "to do" list! Lynne.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

thanks Mary, this is just adorable!!

Quilting Babcia said...

This is such a sweet idea! My two little granddaughters will just love one or two for their tiny treasures. Definitely on my to-do list! Thanks for posting the tutorial!

Teresa in Music City said...

How adorable!!!! I can't wait to share this with a friend who loves birds and birdhouses :) Thanks for sharing with us.

Ivory Spring said...

That is SO cute, Mary. I have bookmarked this for future reference. I am a total klutz when it comes to doing any crafty type of sewing. This will take me hours to understand your tutorial instructions. Quilting and I get along, but not any other kind of sewing, unless it is handsewing.... I am a strange bird, I know. :)

Have a great weekend!

Soma Acharya said...

Wonderful tutorial. Thank you, Mary!! This one is so cute, she will LOVE it!!!


Jeanna said...

LOVE the birdhouse and this is a great tutorial, Mary. I bookmarked it. This is going to be a fun project and will go nicely in my decor. I have all sorts of bird houses on shelves and the top of my kitchen cabinets.

Carla said...

Well isn't that fun! She will love it

Karen said...

That's really sweet and so kind of you to provide the tutorial. My little girl would love one, too!

SuperMomNoCape said...

Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial for the houses! Of course, now you've added one more thing to my must make list. :)

Mdm Samm said...

Ohhhh I love this, my fav colours, my fav lady...what a delightful project Mary

Scrapatches said...

Thank you sew much for this great tutorial, Mary! ... :) Par

Nat Palaskas said...

Thanks for sharing a great tut on how to make a caddy house. I need a village full for my tree house! Hugs Nat

Stephanie said...

Fabric and button -- adorable. You are a master seamstress and quilter and you are a darn fine pattern maker too! :o)

Gosia @ Quilts My Way said...

Wow !! What a great idea, Mary. Thank you for the tutorial.

Fleurette said...

Oh she is going to love it! what a lovely tutorial. I'm also going to bookmark it. Thanks for sharing.

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

What a great tutorial! You make it look so easy;)

Kat said...

How adorable is this?!? My daughter is turning 9 next month and is having a "My Little Pony" themed birthday party. I always sew a little bag of some kind as the goody bag and I think I could easily make 4 of these (lucky for me her guest list is small). I'd call it a "barn" (for their pony figurines) instead of a bird house :-). Awesome tutorial and perfect timing. Thank you!!

Shanna said...

I love it!! I will have to find the rest of my supplies and make this for my daughter. She'd have so much fun, thanks for sharing!

Donna Rodgers said...

What a darling tutorial! I think my grandchildren would love this. Great job! It's very cute.

Marian said...

Thanks sew much for the wonderful tutorial on this birdhouse Mary.. Loved your original and this one is just as cute. I can't wait to make one for myself.

Myra said...

Very cute! Thanks for the tute!!

KaHolly said...

I love the Tx themed fabric. Almost looks like houndstooth.