Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Craft That's for the Birds

Wow, no post since Sofa Drama. I'll quickly provide an update and then move on to the good stuff. We bought a sofa and chaise from Ikea and we're exceedingly happy with it! Plenty of room for all five of us to lounge. (Two humans, two cats and a dog.) My plan is to post some pictures of the living room once I get a few projects done, so you'll see it then.

Speaking of projects, the living room is sorely in need of some color on the walls. Because we're renting, I don't want to paint, so I've initiated a couple projects to dress up the space. Enter the bird tiles...

These bird tiles are from Crate and Barrel's outdoor collection and I love them. At $50, the price is reasonable, but it's still more than I wanted to pay. In addition, they're the wrong color. I decided that, with the help of some paint, I could recreate something I'd be happy with.

With that, it was time for a trip to Michael's for 1'x1' canvases. Because they were running a sale, I ended up with 4 11"x14" canvases for $10 or so. The square canvases would have cost 4x as much! I have a bunch of paint left over from another project, so we were good to go.

The first thing I did was paint the canvases with the same turquoise/teal color I used for the coffee table. What coffee table, you ask? That's for another post!

While the paint was drying, I went bird hunting. Because of the purse appliques I make, I have a ton of silhouettes saved and waiting to go. I picked out 5 birds from a collection of clipart so they would match. (I didn't want a cartoony bird next to a realistic bird.) A google search for "bird silhouette" will give you tons of options. Using Microsoft Paint, I resized the birds, then pasted them into Word so I could print them all on one sheet of paper. Cardstock, to be more precise.

The print on the left was to make sure I had the right size (the birds are about 3" tall) before printing on cardstock. I also adjusted the color intensity to conserve ink. Then, I cut out the birds.

Here are my cut out birds atop a print of the original Crate and Barrel tiles. I would be using the picture in the next step... Drawing the trees!

Because we apparently don't own a pencil, I used a metallic gel pen, which worked out well. It stood out on the blue, but disappeared under the next layer of paint. Referencing the picture of the C&B tiles, I drew tree branches onto the canvases. I wasn't going for an exact match, but it did take some of the guesswork out of the composition.

Next, I traced on the birds. I chose to make my birds legless, by the way.

With the birds in place, it was time to paint the branches. I decided to go with white for a nice, clean look. I also figured it would show up nicely against the blue. While painting the branches, I was careful to paint around the birds.

I wrapped the branches onto the edges of the canvas to make it look more finished. You can also see in the next picture that I decided to add some curls to the branches.

Now it was time to paint the birds! Again, I already had paint from my big box of craft paints. I decided to make the birds orange and black. As you can see below, the birds required two coats of paint. By the time I was done painting the second orange bird, the first one was dry enough to paint again.

And here's the finished product!

And from a slightly different angle...

So! For a grand total of $10 and some stuff I already had at home, we now have some colorful birdies to adorn our wall!

I'm updating this post with some new pics and a link to the CSI Project! The theme this week is Frames, Art and Wall Decor. Go check out the awesomeness!


  1. It is fun to procrastinate and read this blog that I never knew existed but found by stalking your fb. I want to make those for my house can you help me :)?!

  2. Yay! A comment! We can totally make some for you. Let's get your purse done first. ;-)

  3. DANGIT! i was just at hobby lobby this weekend and should have stocked up on canvases. i haven't painted in a while and this would have been the perfect project for me. next tiiiime :)

    look awesome, great work!

  4. Thanks, Kim! This was a fun project. It was fast and easy, and I'm an instant gratification type of girl.

  5. Great job. I might have to use this for my living room that doesn't have ANYTHING on the walls.

  6. You did an amazing job. They turned out beautiful. Love the colors too.

  7. So cute! Great job!

    visiting from csi

  8. That is an awesome, awesome project and your tutorial was fabulous!