In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to embroider a bird. This quaint little cardinal is a great design that you could add to a piece of clothing or include in a border or larger design!
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Supplies You’ll Need
- A small embroidery hoop
- Embroidery Needle
- Embroidery Thread – I recommend DMC
- Embroidery Scissors
- Water soluble or heat erasable pen
- Linen or cotton fabric – Kona cotton is my favorite
Marking the Fabric
I used heat erasable pen to hand draw directly on the fabric to create my bird. Draw a circle for the head and a long tapered shape for the body. Mark out where you’d like the beak and wing to be. Then add a little tail, legs, and branch to perch your bird on.
Each stitch is linked below if you are unsure or need a refresher on how to do it!
How To Embroider A Bird Step By Step
- Make horizontal satin stitches with 3 strands of black thread to fill in the face
- Make satin stitches using 6 strands of red to fill in the rest of the head. These stitches can be at a slight diagonal at the top of the head and horizontal along the side of the head.
- Make vertical satin stitches using 6 strands of red to fill in the body.
- Make stitches running the length of the wing using 6 strands of red.
- Fill in the tail with satin stitches using 6 strands of red floss. These stitches can run the length of the tail.
- Split stitch along the branch using 6 strands of brown.
- Add a French knot using 2 strands of red thread for the eye. Then add back stitches along the legs using 3 strands of black thread.
- Finally, fill in the beak with satin stitches using 3 strands of orange thread.
And there you have it! A simple cardinal. I hope this gave you an idea of how to embroider a bird. The best thing about this design is it is not only limited to a cardinal…you can stitch them in any color you’d like!
Looking for even more bird designs? Check out this post that features 15 different bird embroidery patterns.
More Mini Embroidery Tutorials
Amanda is a hand embroidery artist and teacher. With over 15 years of experience in the craft industry and embroidery, she owns and runs Crewel Ghoul, sharing tutorials and patterns to help inspire fellow crafters to get inspired and creative. In addition to running this website, she teaches on Skillshare and Youtube.