the songbird pattern is in the shop and a free tutorial : how to make a realistic bird foot

sewing pattern for a textile songbird

The songbird PDF pattern is in the shop today! It has more than 100 color photos and detailed instructions.  You need basic sewing skills and some patience if you are a beginner.

stitched songbird in a tree

textile songbird in prospect park

hand stitched songbird - back

And to celebrate the instructions for making a realistic bird leg are below. I hope you make songbirds!

How to make a realistic bird leg with wire:

You can use any gauge wire you like, I think that 19 gauge soft annealed wire is the easiest to work with and provides enough stability for the legs. You can build up the thickness of the legs and feet by adding additional layers of floral tape.

how to make a realistic bird leg - step 1

1. Gather the wire, floral tape, hammer, pliers and cutters, ruler and a surface to hammer on, I’m using a little anvil but any very hard surface will do.
Cut 2 –  12 inch lengths of wire.

how to make a bird leg - step 2     how to make a realistic bird leg - step 3    2. Hold the wire with the pliers 1 and 1/2 inches from one end.
3. Bend the wire forming a loop.

how to make a realistic bird leg - step 4     how to make a realistic bird leg - step 5
4. Hold the loop just past where the wire crosses with the pliers. Bend the long end of the wire so it is perpendicular to the loop.
5. Wrap the long end of the wire around the short end behind the loop. Wrap as tightly as you can, keeping you fingers very close to the wrapping.

how to make a realistic bird leg - step 6     how to make a realistic bird leg - step 6
6. Place the wire on a hard surface and tap firmly with the hammer to flatten the wire wrapping. This will help the wrap hold in the next step.
7. Use wire cutters to snip the loop in the middle.

how to make a realistic bird leg - step 8     how to make a realistic bird leg - step 9
8. Separate and straighten the two front wires with your pliers.
9. Hold the wire 3 and 1/2 inches from the foot.

how to make a realistic bird leg - step 10     how to make a realistic bird leg - step 11
10. Bend the wire over towards the front.
11.  As you bend guide the end of the wire between the toes and press the length towards the front of the leg.

how to make a realistic bird leg - step 12     how to make a realistic bird leg - step 13
12. As you reach the foot bend the end up between the toes and continue to press the folded wires together.
13. Use the pliers to squeeze the bend at the top and press the wires more closely together.

how to make a realistic bird leg - step 14     how to make a realistic bird leg - step 15
14. Starting just above the foot use floral tape to tightly wrap the wires together. Wrap all the way to the top of the leg.
15. Trim and straighten the toes and wrap the top of the foot, pressing the bent wire to the wrapped wire tightly. Use your pliers to straighten and trim the toes if necessary.

how to make a realistic bird leg - step 16     how to make a realistic bird leg - step 17
16. Shape the toes with your pliers and wrap with floral tape. Add more layers of tightly wrapped tape if you would like more thickness.
17.  And finally add a little bend to the leg about an inch above the foot.

Finish the leg with paint, I mix about one part craft or acrylic paint with 3 parts wood glue. It makes a hard surface and you can paint on several layers letting the dry in between to build up the surface.

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realistic bird foot diy

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  1. Pingback: Bird a Day – 55 flightless fabric birds | Susan Fae Art

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