14 April 2009

There's a bird in my food!

I never thought I wanted anything more than a few sprigs of lavender to top my wedding cake until I saw this:

The little birdies that Lauren Alane makes are so cute! I didn't exactly have a "I need to have it" sort of reaction, but the wheels did start a-turnin'. The thing is, I'm not exactly cheap, I just get this crazy idea in my head every once in a (frequent) while that when I see something artsy I like, I can re-create it. There are plenty of instructions on the net, right?

These bird cake-toppers are a perfect example of my ... "initiative". There are several other people who make specifically wool-felted birds, also - great fodder for examples!

When I first started looking in to the "how-to" of wool felted birds, I thought this was a knitting technique. I'm a pretty seasoned knitter, so I knew that felting (in the knitting sense) meant that you knit your creature loosely with big wool yarn, then throw it in the washer and dryer. The result is a "felted" material (the wool stitches shrink and bind together in the wash!).

I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to knit a bird - at least not a bird that would come out of the wash looking as pretty as the birds in the above pictures!

Then I stumbled on the answer - these were needle felted birds. Even easier! I hopped on over to my local knitting store to get my supplies for test bird. All you need is roving (loose wool), a needle felting pad, and needles.

roving, felting pad, and needles (bottom right)

The basic idea is to roll the roving into a ball, and start stabbing it with the needle. (this doubles as a great wedding stress reliever.)

Once you get going with the stabbing, you can start shaping your creature kind of like clay. I made wings and a beak for my test bird, but no tail yet. This was my first birdie trial, so I'll post full instructions later when I make the real cake-topper birds.

ignore the huge cranium - this was my first felting!

little birdie taking flight!

Be careful for cats when making your cake topper - I hear they like to eat birds!

After the wedding, I plan on sticking some extra wire into the backs of the bride & groom birds to make them into Christmas ornaments.

Where did you find inspiration for your cake topper? Are you planning to make your topper, or buy it? If you've ever needle felted before, do you have any advice for making the finished product look cleaner?


  1. holy crap! you did such a good job on your first go! color me impressed. I may have to try this myself.

  2. wow i am impressed you figured out how to do this yourself. i dont even understand what needle felting is.

  3. holy cow - nice job! is a lil etsy shop in your future??? i have a ridiculous amount of cake topper entries on my site - and i don't even know if we are going to have a cake!! (guess the lil details are fun)

    i found your site just recently (swiped some pics about bridesmaids yesterday - thanks!) and i have to tell you - i really really really like your visions.

    come visit me at my new bridal blog:

  4. WOW those are awesome!! Nice job with the needle felting!!

  5. How cute!
    And big cranium= big brains, which you and Mr. Rye Bread both are ;) so it works

  6. Wow! When do we get to see the finished product?

  7. wow...very cute...and the cranium gives him character. thank you for putting this task into such lamens terms...i never understand all the instructions that i come across!...lol...i think ive figured it out!God bless!