DIY Craft Decoration: Romantic Birds and Heart Wall Art for Valentine, Wedding or Anniversary
This sweet and charming birds and heart image makes a lovely romantic piece of art for your own home or to give as a gift to that special couple. The intertwining ribbon that forms the heart is a sweet symbol of love, and this project is easily adaptable as a Valentine's Day gift, a wedding presentation, or for an anniversary celebration. And you can use a variety of materials, ideas, and sentiments to personalize your piece for the occasion and the couple!
I made my image on craft paper and displayed it in a decorated frame. I've included instructions on how I made my piece of art and the frame, but there are a number of materials and methods you could use to make a similar piece:
Ideas for the Background Surface
I used craft paper in a frame for my piece, but you could also use:
- Make a larger piece by using a wooden pallet
- Use a flat wood panel (available in most big box craft stores)
- Or a stretched canvas
- A piece of paper or fabric, framed in an embroidery hoop
Materials for Your Bird Silhouettes
I used images cut out of magazines to create my bird shapes, but you could also use:
- Decorative paper or wrapping paper
- Greeting cards
- Pages from an atlas that show where each partner lived
- Sheet music or a page with the lyrics of a favorite song
- A love letter, wedding vows, or a wedding invitation
- pretty fabric
- Or use paint to fill in the shapes!
To Outline Heart Shape
Ideas for Decorating Your Heart
There are many ways to personalize this piece of art by displaying something special in the heart center:
- You could leave it blank and let the background show through
- Create a heart with a paper doily and other decorative papers
- Add a photo of loved one, family, or grandchildren
- Color in heart and use paint pen to add a name, marriage date, or special phrase, like "love", "forever", or "be mine"
- If working on fabric, embroider personal initials, anniversary date, or a sweet saying
- If working on wood, you could use a wood burner to add a special saying or note
Birds and Heart Art Tutorial
1. To start my birds and heart collage, I went online to find a silhouette of a bird that would fit with my composition inside my frame. I searched under "bird outline" and chose the image I liked best. I used the same image for both birds, just flipping it to use on the opposite side of my arrangement.
2. I knew I wanted to use brown craft paper as my background material, but I was concerned it might be too dark and too boring. So I took a white grease pencil and wrote "i love you" across the background in cursive writing. I knew that this design was going to be partially covered with my other elements, but it added a sweet sentiment and some interest to the background.
3. Then I cut out and traced my bird shape in position on my background. You can see the light tracing on the background image.
4. (optional) I wanted to make the bird wings out of different pieces of paper to add more color to my birds. So I took my bird silhouette that I had printed out from the internet and cut apart the separate parts of the bird that I wanted to use different colors for (this is optional).
5. I used images from magazines for my bird sections, so I traced my bird pieces on to the different images. I used my bird image once to trace the parts for the bird on the left, then turned these pieces over before tracing them for the bird on the right side of my arrangement.
6. I also cut a little slit in the beak of each bird so I could slip my ribbon through it later when I was putting my collage together.
7. Next, I carefully glued down my bird pieces on my background, but I did not glue down the head. I wanted to be able to lift the head later to position my ribbon. I glued down the head later in assembling this piece.
I used a variety of glues in making this art work. I used clear glue stick to glue the birds down to my background. I like using glue stick when adhering paper to paper. The glue stick is easier to control and the paper does not get wet and wrinkle.
8. Then I added a sequin and bead to each bird as an eye.
9. Next, I moved on to my heart detail. I cut a heart shape out of my craft paper (you can find an outline online). I colored mine red using crayons, but I've listed some other ways you can decorate your heart above.
10. I carefully traced my anniversary date inside the heart with pencil, then went over it with acrylic paint.
11. I then glued down my heart in place using a glue stick.
12. Next, I placed my collage on top of a piece of cork board (cardboard would work too) so I could pin my ribbon into place.
I took my ribbon and fed it through the slit in one of my bird's beak so it looked like the bird was holding the ribbon. Then I twisted it loosely and started outlining the heart. I pinned down the ribbon with common pins when I needed to hold it in place. As I worked around my heart, I continued to twist the ribbon in places. I tried to lay out the ribbon in a romantic, yet natural way.
13. When I finished outlining the heart, I brought my ribbon up to the other bird and again through the slit in his beak.
14. Once I liked how the ribbon looked around my heart, I used Fabric Fusion glue to tack it down in place. I like Fabric Fusion glue because it has a thin nozzle to put the glue exactly where I want it and it dries clear.
I just put dots of glue where I had placed my pins to hold my ribbon in place. Once I put the glue down, I pinned the ribbon back in place. I let the other areas of ribbon lie loose on my background.
15. When my heart and ribbon had dried completely, I trimmed my ribbon leaving a little bit of a tail in the bird's beak and put my collage in a frame with a pretty decorative border.
How to Add a Decorative Detail to a Plain Frame
I already had a plain frame from a previous project. It was scratched but I wanted to use it again, so I decided to paint it and add a decorative border with some crochet trim.
- frame with at least a 1 inch border, size of your choice
- decorative trim (like crochet trim or ric rac), available at sewing stores
- white glue that dries clear
- various colors of acrylic paint, including gold
- Scissors and paint brush
1. First, I removed the backing and glass so I could work on just the rectangular frame.
2. Then I squeezed a line of craft glue down the center of each length of my frame, and used a paint brush to spread it gentle down the middle of each side of my frame. You do not need a lot of glue for this. You just want enough to hold your decorative trim in place.
3. Next I laid out my crochet trim down each side of my frame. I cut the ends of each length of trim on a 45 degree angle to miter the corners. Be careful as you place your trim that you are laying it out in a straight line along your frame.
4. Once my glue had dried, I painted the whole frame, including my crochet trim, a solid color. I chose a medium brown, but you can use any color. This layer of paint avoids having the color of your decorative trim poke through your final paint color.
5. When my first paint color was dry, I covered it with a coat of gold metallic paint. My gold metallic is a transparent color, which is why I painted the whole frame brown before starting with the gold.
6. I didn't like how shiny my frame was with just the gold paint, so I added another coat of paint, but this time I mixed in a little dark brown paint with my gold paint. I added some water to this mixture so it was more of a paint wash. This dulled the shine and added a bit of an antique look to my frame, which was perfect for this project.
Copyright © 2015 by Donna Herron. All rights reserved.
Looking for more craft and decorating ideas?
Check out my other craft projects and tutorials!