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I laughed when I saw the title of this month’s first post from August’s Special Guest Blogger Mallory Paige. Being that the ‘put a bird on it’ skit from Portlandia has become somewhat of a legend in crafty circles, it made me realise that Mallory is a gal after my own heart – someone not afraid to poke fun at something she loves – and she LOVES handmade.

During August, Mallory will be here every Friday, sharing a different way to craft with silhouettes. So, if you’d like to put a bird on it, read on!

Do you have any pillows around your house that are looking a little boring? Want to add some personality without having to sew all new pillow covers?

With this project we’ll be embellishing a pillow cover with a technique called applique. If this is completely new to you, check out my Applique 101 post for a primer.

Begin by printing out the bird and branch pattern (provided at the end of the post). Unroll a piece of adhesive backing the same size as your design.

With the paper side of the adhesive backing face up, trace around the bird and branch. Cut out the pieces – leaving extra space around the branch and bird.

I love to use felt for applique because it doesn’t fray, but you can certainly use quilting cotton or any fabric you desire. Stick the adhesive backing onto your fabric per your backing’s instructions.

With the adhesive backing stuck to the fabric, cut out your pieces.

Peel off the paper from the adhesive and layout your design on the pillow.

When you’re happy with the placement, press with an iron. Since felt is rather thick, I found it took much longer than the recommended 6 seconds. Just continue pressing and checking until everything is held in place by the adhesive.

Sew along all the edges of the branch and bird. An open or transparent foot makes it much easier to see your work, which allows you sew right along the edge.

Stuff your pillow cover and you’re all done.  For being rather quick and simple, I love how happy this silhouette makes my previously drab pillow look – and I think my chickens agree!

If you don’t have a pillow cover that you want to update, this design would also look great on a tea towel, skirt, or placemat.

Click Here to Download the Pattern.


Mallory Paige is on a mission to bring handmade back to life. She knows firsthand the transformation – increased self-esteem and bliss – that takes place when you learn to create, grow, savor and live fully. And she can’t wait to share that transformation with you.

If you’re ready to get unbelievably happy, confident, and creative then head on over to Let’s jump into the Creative Esteem Cycle and start the handmade revival!