Thursday, 4 December 2014

Tutorial: Birdhouse Hanging Ornament

A cute hanging ornament with a reverse applique. These houses are so quick and easy to make and it's a lot of fun too. They would look lovely on a Christmas tree or hanging on a door knob, they even can be used as gift tags. If you would like to make one, here is a step-by-step tutorial for you.

  • 2 pieces 3" x 4" for the roof
  • 2 pieces 3" x 4" for the body of the house
  • if using a reverse applique for the front of the house body, the tutorial is here
  • a small piece of lace (optional)
  • a small metal eyelet (optional)
  • cord
  • light weight interfacing
  • stuffing material
  • threads, needles, scissors, fabric pen, pins, sewing machine
Step 1: Cut two pieces of cotton for the roof (front and back) about 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" and two pieces for the body of the house (front and back) of the same size.

Note: If you are using a reverse applique for the front, follow the tutorial and do not apply interfacing to this part. Make sure that stitch the body of the house close to the roof.

Step 2: Assembling the front of the house: Place the roof piece and the body piece together with the right sides facing each other and pin along the long side. Stitch. Repeat for the back of the house.

Step 3: Gently press the seam towards the roof. Apply interfacing to the front and back. Note how close the "window" is to the roof.

Step 4: Stitch a piece of lace on the front panel of the house along the seam. You can do the same for the back of the house as well. I am going to leave my back plain.

Step 5: Now we are going to draw the shape of the house directly on the back of the front panel.

Note: The measurements don't have to be exactly like mine, you might want to have a pointy roof or maybe a slightly bigger or smaller house. Just follow your imagination here.

On the back side of the front panel make markings for the house:
  • Mark a vertical line in the middle. Make sure that the window is right in the middle.
  • Measure 1 1/2" upwards on the line from the seam for the height of the roof and 2" downwards for the body of the house. 
  • At the top point, mark a 1/2" long line that is parallel to the seam (1/4" to the right and 1/4" to the left from the vertical line for the tip of the roof).
  • Measure 1 1/2" from the middle line on the seam to the right side and place a dot, and then 1 1/2" from the middle line to the left and place another dot. This is the widest part of the house.
  • For the bottom edge, measure 1" to the right from the middle line and 1" to the left.
  • Now connect all the points and you will have a shape of the house. Please note that I did not draw the line for the bottom edge of the house.

Step 6: Place front and back panels right sides together aligning the seams. Pin. Mark an opening on the left side about 1" long. Now stitch on the marked lines from one point of the opening all the way to the other.

If you did not draw a line for the bottom edge like me, then stitch about 1/4" from the bottom edge of the house, making sure that the seam is parallel to the edge. Back stitch the beginning and the end of the seam.

Step 7: Trim the excess fabric about 1/4" from the seam on all sides, cut off all the corners.

Step 8: Turn the house right side out, and gently push the corners out with a chopstick or any other pointy tool. Straighten out all the seams. Fill the house with just a little bit of stuffing material so it has a bit of body but not too full. Sew the opening closed by hand.

Step 9: Press the house gently with a hot iron, applying more pressure on the right and left sides of the house along the seams and less pressure in the middle. Attach an eyelet following the product instruction. You can simply add a hanging loop by threading a thin cord through the tip of the roof.

Step 10: Attach a piece of cord or a ribbon. Your Birdhouse Hanging Ornament is now ready.

I used three different types of birds - fabric with a print of a yellow bird, a robin cross-stitch on linen and a stamped robin on linen. The great thing about this playful project is that you can use the smallest pieces of fabric in any colour, any leftovers of lace or trim, you can embellish your house the way you like.

If you have any questions or something is not clear in this tutorial, please do not hesitate and leave me a comment here. You can also send me an email. I am always happy to help. Have fun! Larisa xox


  1. These are so sweet! They could have tiny photographs of grandchildren as the centrepiece! *light bulb moment!

    1. Thank you so much, Dina, for your comment! Absolutely! I haven't thought of that. It would be easy to make. :-)

  2. These are adorable!!! You are so creative!!!

    1. Thank you very much, Gina! It was an easy play really. :-)

  3. These are lovely, and a great way to use reverse applique and tiny criss stitch motifs. Your creativity is so inspiring 😀

    1. Thank you very much for your kind words and for visiting! :-)

  4. Lovely tutorial, Larisa. Thank you so much.

  5. Thank you for the beautiful guide, I am glad that you share