I learned how to make plastic canvas bird cages from my grandmother. The original design has been lost to wherever things disappear to when you move, but my grandmother taught me well. I’ve recreated this one from memory with a few tweaks added for flare. I used a little mushroom bird in this project, but for your gamer fans a Pokemon or Goomba would work as well. The best part of this simple design is that it’s easy to personalize it and get creative.
Note: This project assumes you have some experience working with plastic canvas
- Plastic Canvas – 2 sheets
- Plastic Canvas Needle
- Yarn – Super Saver Banana Berry used for this project (get regular all purpose cheap acrylic yarn. Fancy yarn, though tempting, doesn’t hold up to being worked through plastic canvas)
- Mini Mushroom Bird (or similar size figurine)
- 28 gauge beading wire or hot glue to attach the bird to the swing (if it doesn’t already have wires)
- Optional: Beads of some sort to hang from the bottom – Shell beads used in this project
- Optional: Large hole bead such as a pony bead as decoration for the top hanger – I used a smooth wooden bead
- Optional: A 2 to 3 inch brass ring or plastic ring to use as an alternative swing
The first step is to cut out your plastic canvas pieces. You’ll need 4 sides, 2 top/bottom pieces, and a swing. If you prefer something more shiny or just don’t feel like cutting out a little swing, you can use a 2-3 inch metal or plastic ring instead.
I used an alternating scotch stitch for the surface of both the sides and the top / bottom pieces. Space the cage bars every 3rd hole (leaving two holes in between). Use a whip stitch for the inside edging and to stitch the pieces together. If using the plastic canvas or plastic ring for a swing, wrap it with the yarn.
Loop a piece of yarn through the swing and hang it from the top piece on the “bad” side. Add a hanging loop to the middle of the “good” side. Use a large hole bead here if you’d like to fancy up the hanger. Add any beads you’d like to dangle from the bottom. I used individual strands from the yarn, but embroidery thread works well here too.
Add the mushroom bird to the swing using the beading wire or hot glue. Attach the sides to the top piece using a whip stitch.
Finish attaching the sides to each other and the bottom piece using whip stitch.
And there you have it… a bird cage of awesomeness! If anyone is interested in learning more about plastic canvas basics, stay tuned for a future blog post just for that. Betcha can’t wait!