Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hessian Bird Decorations - Keeping it Eco

Do you say "heshen" or "hess-ee-an"? Karen, resident sewing expert, who is from New Zealand, is rather adamant that I say the latter, but being the slacker country talker that I am, I do say the former. So shall we just agree to disagree and say burlap?
These basic burlap birdy decorations are for a kindergarten Christmas market. I've made so many that I am now covered in a haze of hessian! I've been dusted with a blush of burlap! In fact, it got right up my nose.

However, they are lovely - and eco. Because I made them from a coffee sack that my friendly inner city hipster cafe was happy to give to me even though I'm not very cool and don't have a beard. I'm sure if you go to your local hipster cafe (they are everywhere!!) they would give you a coffee sack too. Beard disguise is optional.
My coffee bag was conveniently Brazilian and therefore printed in festive colours of green red and yellow. 

The thing about hessian/burlap is that it lacks structural integrity (beware of the loose wefts that warp your weave!) so I have a few tips for working with hessian.

1.If you have hayfever - then wear a mask and goggles. Seriously.

2. Back each shape with a strong card. I recycled some vintage embossed wallpaper for the backs.

3. Don't cut the shapes too far in advance of sewing/gluing as they will fray away into nothingness and all your work will disappear and you may feel as though you might be going a special sort of  crafty Christmas crazy.

Which bird do you like the best? I'm partial to the crazy fringe tailed turtle dove above.

But the chevron ribbon tailed partridge is okay too. 
As are the silver tailed sparrows with their racing numbers.

The simple bird shape is fun to play with - you can add all sorts of trims, wings, buttons,and tails as you see fit.
The feet are made from a pom pom trim I bought for $5.50 a metre at Rathdowne Remnants and that's pretty economical when each bird only uses a tiny two pom poms!
Here's the LINK to some Keeping it Eco Christmas Craft from last year. Remember  - recycling rocks. Especially true at Christmas time...


  1. I think I like the fluffy tails the best. V. Nice.

    1. Yay! I like fluffy tail best too but was worried it was too silly!