Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Introducing Birdie, my ninth Christmas tree decoration. She is part of my pinecone craft series in Japanese style. Of which, I’d share basic techniques of Chirimen Zaiku (ちりめん細工/Crepe Handicrafts) that I am learning from books. Okay, here is how I make my chirimen pinecone bird. Step by step, here we go!
My pinecones were baked before I used them for crafts. Here is how I baked my pinecones. I wanted the colors to be vibrant in this project, so I used yellow ochre acrylic as a base paint. Once it was completely dry, I added a bright red acrylic.
(1) This is the pattern I used for Birdie’s head, which I cut two pieces from my leftover Christmas felt. (2) For her beak, I used a 2 x 2 cm yellow Chirimen fabric and fold it into halves. Then, I folded the two corners inward. Finally, one more fold backward before I stitched the sides (with similar colored yellow thread) to prevent it from opening up. (3) I stitched the beak onto the right side of the red felt. (4) Next, I placed the felt fabrics together (with the right sides touching), did a running stitch along the sides and flipped it inside out.(5) I added fillings inside the head and sewed the eyes (4mm beads and white felt) onto the head. (6) I added blanket stitch as the final finishing. To give it a little glittering effect, I combined 3 strands of embroidery floss with 2 same length of gold threads.
(1) This is the pattern I drew for Birdie’s wings. I folded the Chirimen fabric into halves and cut out two pieces of the pattern. (2) Then, I sewed along the seams and turned it inside out from the opening. And, repeated the steps for the other wing.
(1) This is the pattern I used for Birdie’s tail. Like the wings, I did a running stitch along the seams, turned in inside out via the opening. (2) Because Birdie is supposed to be a upright tailed bird, I glued a piece of plastic to the inside of the tail to make it stiffer.
(1) Here I added a bell with a 30-cm red string to hang Birdie to the Christmas tree. (2) For the wings, I first glued them to the inner part of the head. (3) I glued the tail in between the scales of the pinecone. Finally, I glued the head to the tip of the pinecone. I added more glue to the wings to secure it further. With the bell and string attached, Birdie is complete!