Bird Feet for Needle Felted Birds – Free Tutorial

How To Make Bird Feet

by  our Felting Friend, Patty Gibson

When I started needle felting birds, I soon discovered that there was a need to come up with a method to create bird feet. At first, I knew of no simple process to do this but by experimenting with a few household products, I discovered that there was an easy way after all.

I would like to share with you what I learned on this journey and provide an easy, inexpensive, and very quick way for you to make your own bird feet. If you do not have a certain bird in mind or if you are a little unsure just how to make a bird; you can use the Nesting Bird Tutorial and create your own colorful bird body. Here is a simple process on how to make your very own bird feet.

For this project you will need white glue, jewelry wire, floral tape, fingernail polish and needle nose wire cutter/pliers.

1. Create your bird. I used the Nesting Bird in a previously posted tutorial

2. White glue, jewelry wire, floral tape, fingernail polish and needle nose wire cutter/pliers

3. Start with approximately 12 inches of wire

4. 2 inches down from the top of the wire, bend at a 90 degree angle (forming a bird leg)

5. To start creating the toes, make two 1” wire loops as shown (forming the first two toes)

6. For the second two toes, create duplicate loops at a 90 degree angle.

7. All four toes should be approximately the same size (1”). Now twist together the two long ends of the wire (leg) with your pliers

8. Using your pliers, twist the bird toes and arrange the toes as shown

9. Cut off the excess wire on the top of the leg

10. Take your floral tape and wrap around the top of the bird leg

11. Wrap the tape tightly around the wire

12. Continue wrapping around the bird toes

13. The bird foot should be completely covered with floral tape

14. I frequently use black and gray fingernail polish (you can use brown and cream, etc)

15. First brush on a black coat of polish

16. While the polish is still wet

17. Apply a little grey polish

18. The black should show through the grey and create a marbled look

19. Repeat all of the steps for the second bird foot

20. Now you are ready to attach the feet to your bird

21. You will need white glue

22. Apply a small amount of glue to the top of the bird feet

23. Wrap a small piece of wool around the glued top of the leg

24. Lightly needle felt the wool

25. Needle felt the feet to the bird body

26. Continue needle felting until firmly applied

27. Apply colored wool to blend the leg into the bird body

28. The feet are now firmly attached to the bird body

29. While holding the bird feet, adjust the bird until it is balanced and stands by itself

Now you can create some interesting places to display your bird masterpiece. Enjoy!

22 thoughts on “Bird Feet for Needle Felted Birds – Free Tutorial

  1. I found that using white floral tape, I can color it with black or silver Sharpie markers to make mouse fingers and toes. Should work well for bird feet, too.

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  2. I have been needle felting birds for quite awhile. I have used pipe cleaners, but I like the idea of floral tape. It takes the color
    better and more evenly. Thanks for the tutorial. Very helpful.

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  3. Wow…this is really great! I usually make felted hands for the felted dolls and figures i make…but whenever i use polymer clay…I just can’t make those digits. That is so frustrating so i usually use skelton or other premade hands. I used the wire with some floral tape but you idea of using the finger nail polish is prefect!. Thank you so much and i will definiteiy use this trick!

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  4. Thank you so much! My birds now can leave their nests (where they stay because they’re footless) or have to be water birds with big floppy yellow feet. Can’t wait to try this – have a cedar waxwing waiting in my “queue” to get finished!

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  5. Thank you for all of the wonderful informative tips and tutorials you share. This has certainly made my felting experience more rewarding and inspires me to try more unique creations. Thank you 🙂

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  6. Thanks so much.
    I think the best part is tha you used things from around the house or basic crafting supplies.
    Also I appreciate how you show how to place them and felt them in.
    I love these tutorials.

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  7. I’ve been using this method for several years. But I love the effect that you got by using the nail polish over the floral wire. Great idea. I had been using acrylic paint or paint pens.
    This technique also works when creating flowers stems and leaves. It works great when creating stems for fruit/veggies -try doing this with grapes!

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  8. I followed your directions and made the feet. I love the idea but i can’t get the bird to stand up – it is impossible to get it to balance.
    Any ideas?

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    • At the top of the leg, don’t twist the wire together all the way. Insert the two ends in different directions into the body. This will add stability to the bird. Make sure that the ends are long enough the bird’s body. Also, check to make sure that the toes are long enough so the bird doesn’t tip over.

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    • I am sorry you had trouble getting you bird to stand, I hope I can help. When I attach the feet to the bird body I hold the feet between my fingers and make sure they are tightly attached to the body. I then stand the bird to see if one foot is taller and needle felt the taller side to make it even. I press down on the bird while it is in the standing position until the bird stands on its own. Sometimes the feet need to be closer together. Please let me know if this helps
      >
      > Happy felting, Patty

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  9. Pingback: Feet Tutorial for Needle Felted Birds | Living Felt | Felt Tips

  10. I looked everywhere for this type of instruction and now I have found you I must make sure I always can find you. Very good tutorial and I am goiing to try it right now.
    thank you

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