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Hanging Bird Decorations

These bright and colourful hanging decorations would make lovely Christmas gifts. They are something a bit special and can be brought out year after year to bring festive cheer to the Christmas tree.

Punch-needle Craft 



Tracing paper


Four pieces of linen cloth, each measuring 10 x 10in (26 x 26cm)

Frame or hoop—Clare uses a 7in (18cm) no-slip hoop (you can use a larger frame and place more than one bird on the same piece of linen, but make sure there is a 5⁄8in/1.5cm gap between each bird design)

Punch needle—Clare uses a Lavor fine 3.0mm

Worsted (aran) weight cotton yarn in eight different colours—¾oz (25g) in each colour

Small pointed-blade embroidery scissors Fabric scissors

Fabric glue

Paper scissors

Piece of felt measuring 9 x 10¼in (23 x 26cm)


1yd (1m) tape, ribbon, or embroidery floss, cut into four 9¾in (25cm) pieces

Hand-sewing needle

Sewing thread

Makes four decorations


1. Using a pencil and tracing paper, trace out the templates on page 117. There are two different designs. I made two decorations in each design using different combinations of my chosen colours.

2. Transfer one of the bird designs onto one of the pieces of linen making sure that the design is placed in the centre of the fabric. Place the fabric into the hoop and start punching the design. For this design the looped side (which is the reverse of the side that you punch into) will be the front.

3. When you have finished punching the bird design, remove the fabric from the hoop. Using fabric scissors, cut around the design, leaving a 3⁄8in (1cm) border of unpunched fabric around the edge of the bird. Repeat steps 2–3 to make three more birds.

4. Use fabric scissors to make small snips all around each bird shape at right angles from the edge of the fabric to the edge of the punched stitches. At the tip of the beak and the two right angles at the top of the tail section, cut away a small section of fabric so that you can turn the fabric over neatly.

5. Fold the seam allowance over toward the wrong side of the bird so that none of the base fabric is showing on the right side. Use fabric glue to stick the seam allowance down. Try to keep the glue away from the very edge of the punched stitches, as this makes it easier to get a needle through when you sew on the backing felt later.

6. Cut around the edge of one of the paper templates, trimming away 1⁄8in (2mm) around the edge of each shape. This will mean that when you cut the backing felt out it will be slightly smaller than the front piece and fi t neatly onto each decoration. Place the tracing paper down on the felt and use a pencil to draw around it. Repeat three more times. Use fabric scissors to cut each shape from the felt.

7. Pin one felt backing onto the back of one of the birds, covering up the glued seam allowance. Fold one of the pieces of tape, ribbon, or embroidery floss in half and sandwich it between the front and back sections at the top of the tail section. Make sure that the ends of the tape, ribbon, or embroidery floss are approximately 3⁄8in (1cm) down from the top edge. Use small slipstitches all around the bird to sew the felt in position, making sure that you secure the tape or ribbon in place with a couple of stitches. Repeat steps 7–8 to make the other three birds.

This project is from Punch-Needle Craft by Clare Youngs. To get more blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox - be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.

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