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Coffee break crafting: love birds

February 14, 2013

Here is an easy little thing to make to brighten up Valentine’s Day and early Spring. A flock of paper doves, the topical bit being that their wings are heart shaped. Clever, eh?! And they do say that birds choose their mate on Valentine’s Day. My son, who is seven and who loves any paper-based creativity, enjoyed making these with me.

You will need: some thickish paper or thin card, scissors, a cutting board and craft knife, a needle and thread and some pens/ paint/ glitter for decorating the birds as you wish.

First make your template. On a piece of scrap card, draw yourself a simple bird shape – or copy mine! – and cut it out. Then draw a heart. I made mine so that the curves of the bird’s back and chin fit the curves of the heart, which makes cutting out easier and makes the shapes more pleasing together. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, but I will anyway, that the easiest way to draw a symmetrical heart is to draw one half, fold the card in two and cut the two sides out together.), 14.2.13-1

Now you can draw around the bird and wing templates on the card of your choice and make as many birds as you like.
Once you have your basic shapes for each bird, cut a little less than half way up the middle of the heart,, 14.2.13-2

and cut a slot along the side of the bird a little more than half the heart’s length., 14.2.13-3

Feed the heart through the slot to make the bird’s wings., 14.2.13-4

You can decorate the birds or not as you like. My son thinks this is the best bit, whereas I rather like the idea of plain white doves or, alternatively, white doves with a red heart for their wings. The red and white ones look rather Danish to me: I think it must be because they share the bright, simple colours of the Dannebrog, the Danish flag.

Finally, ‘sew’ or otherwise attach threads to your birds – we used red thread – and hang them up from a curtain rail or similar. Our little flock, hanging from the kitchen light, is a motley bunch, centred around a much more impressive cockerel which came as a gift card designed by Mark Hearld. (Although his does not have heart shaped wings!) I hope that, haphazard as they are, they might inspire you to create your own little flock of love birds this Valentine’s Day., 14.2.13-5

You can find another idea for things to make with children in Making magic moments.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. hmunro permalink
    February 14, 2013 8:51 pm

    Haphazard? I think not! Lovely, and whimsical, DB. Thanks for the sweet Valentine’s Day smile.

  2. Margaret Lambert permalink
    February 14, 2013 11:35 pm

    A lovely idea, and fun to do with the grandsons, in my case. I appreciate that this is incredibly simple, just as I appreciate recipes without too many ingredients, which don’t take the day to make, and 5 minutes to eat. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!

    • February 15, 2013 10:40 pm

      I’m glad it appeals, Margaret. Like you, I can’t be doing with anything too complicated, especially when it comes to cooking. I tend to invent my own recipes and, if they work, I write them down so that I can follow my own simple instructions the next time! Hope you had a happy day yesterday.

  3. February 15, 2013 4:45 pm

    They are simply beautiful. I can see using this idea for Christmas or other holidays too.

  4. February 15, 2013 6:17 pm

    Too late for this year, but such a lovely idea, DB. Even someone as cack-handed as I with paper and scissors should be able to create those pretty birds. 🙂

    • February 15, 2013 10:43 pm

      Yes, I got in rather late with this one for my fellow Europeans I’m afraid! I’m going to have another go at these birds soon, I think, to explore the idea a bit further.

  5. Erika W. permalink
    February 19, 2013 1:49 pm

    Completely charming– thank you so much.

  6. February 19, 2013 6:28 pm

    What a lovely activity to do with kids. Simple. Fun. Builds those memories they will cherish when they have kids of their own.

    • February 19, 2013 11:50 pm

      I hope so. It’s very special to have the time to ‘make memories’ with my children.

  7. February 19, 2013 9:05 pm

    I do like the birds – so simple and so springlike – I am thinking of making felt double sided onres in bright jewel coloured felt with some toyuches of embroidery to fly about next year’s Christmas tree. Your snow pictures were hauntingly lovely – I am just raising my head above a burrow of blankets and hot water bottles after two blizzards, each with a lengthy power outage due to high winds – cold – far too cold, but the sun is shining brightly and the eaves are dripping and it sets later each day. Spring must come soon!!

    • February 19, 2013 11:53 pm

      Greetings, Janet! Your blizzards sounded epic: we have nothing so dramatic here. Our snow is still lying in the shadows, but we too have signs that spring is coming soon.

      I am delighted by your idea of adapting this bird design to felt and embroidery for Christmas. What a wonderful idea!

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