Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bend and Twist a Cotton Batting Bird Cage

      This is without a doubt one of my favorite ornament crafts. It is much simpler to make than it appears. I will be hanging this little bird in a cage on my both my Easter and Christmas trees this year.
      Mushroom birds come in all colors and are very fragile. You can find them in hobby shops and floral shops.
      You will need to store your cotton batting bird cages in sturdy tin containers in order to preserve their shape and to keep the mushroom birds from being crushed.

Supply List:
  • cotton balls
  • white school glue
  • wire cutters
  • 2 wire gauges (one heavier than the other but approximately the same thickness)
  • a "pick" of winter white berries
  • mushroom bird, blue
Step-by-Step Directions:
  1.  First you will need to unravel a few cotton balls. spread a bit of glue onto the wire and wrap thin pieces of cotton around the wire stem. After wrapping several wire lengths in this way, I roll them between my palms with more glue to make the application smooth. I work with lengths of wire approximately 24 inches long.
  2. The spiral wire (pictured) is of a heavier gauge than all the rest of the wire used on the ornament. I do not measure out the length of it. I simple shape the bottom of the bird cage in a spiral shape until I am pleased with it's appearance. Then I take this same wire cut a short piece of it to hook across the bottom of the spiral to keep it sturdy as I wrap the rest of my birdcage.
  3. The remaining parts of the project are wrapped using a lighter weight cotton covered wire. As you can see from the photos below, I took a piece of wire and wrapped it in the shape of an arch, approximately 8 inches in length, and hooked this wire to the underside of the bird cage's bottom.
  4. Wrap a second wire identical in length the opposite direction and then add a bit of glue and wrap cotton to the top of your arch where the to wires meet. Every time your wires are hooked and/or touch you should wrap and glue a bit of cotton at this point in the process. Do not do this prior to this point because you will need to make adjustments to the arched sections to ensure these look the way you wish them to.
  5. Now glue and wrap bits of fine cotton over the hooked pieces of wire on the edges of the spiral.
  6. Next, you will need to wrap the bird on a swing. I used a wired mushroom bird for this ornament. Cover the wire on the bird with cotton batting and white glue. before you twist it onto a piece of "u" shaped wire. Twist the bird into a "seat"
  7. Now hook both ends of this little "swing" at the top of your developing wire cage.
  8. Again, cover these hooked areas with a bit of cotton and white glue.
  9. Now you are ready to wrap another piece of wire around the outside of the birdcage and hook it around your arched wires to suggest a wall for your bird cage. I sometimes repeat this step if the bird cage is taller. But this particular one is shorter and I don't think it will look as nice to add more wire. 
  10. Cover these hooked areas with a bit of cotton and white glue.
  11. Bend a decorative pick of white berries over the top of the arch and again, cover these hooked areas with a bit of cotton and white glue.
  12. Finish your cotton batting, wire bird cage with a fancy, cotton wrapped hook.
Left, wrap and twist spiral shape out of the heavier gauge wire. Next add a cross brace to the underside of the wire spiral using the same stiff wire. Center, hook over the top of the spiral an arch shaped piece to suggest the dome of a bird cage. Right, repeat the same step in the opposite direction.
Left, bend a "u" shaped wire to create a swing for your mushroom bird. cover the wire connecting the bird to the swing in cotton batting and glue as well. Center twist the bird's wire around the swing and adjust it to look as though the bird is seated onto the wire swing. Right hook the swing piece onto the connecting arched pieces so that the bird dangles below.
Left, now bend the cage's walls around the arched wire pieces. Center an old-fashioned white berry pick. Right, I've finished the ornament.
More Bird Cages to Hang From Your Tree:

2 comments:

  1. How sweet is this? I think this bird in a cage is very vintage too. I think I'll try crafting this one with a couple of little love birds.

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  2. Making a cotton bird cage with little white love birds is a great idea!

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