Sing a Song of Sixpence - Painted Bird Pie Plate DIY

*No birds were harmed in the making of this pie*

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie. 

When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Wasn't that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?

~ 18th Century English Nursery Rhyme

Did you know that in 16th Century Europe,
it was de rigeur for the nobility
to serve an "animated pye" filled with live birds,
beneath a domed pastry lid as an entremet (dinner entertainment)?   

Well, You won't find any live birds in this tutorial.  In fact, what goes inside your pie is entirely up to you.  What I'm happy to share is a quick and easy little project for making silkscreened pie plates that are not only charming and lovely, but functional too.

The inspiration:  While at my local Michael's store working on my Mothers Day project for Plaid (Personalized Etched Glass Pie Plates), I happened upon this set of "Birds and Branches" Adhesive Silkscreens from Martha Stewart Crafts.  I knew right away that I'd be silkscreening those little birds all over my nest.  When I spotted a set of 10 mini glass pie plates from Libbey, I knew exactly where I'd start.  While I have several sets of mini pie and cake tins at home, they tend to rust after a while.  I like how evenly pies bake in glass, and was happy to see that these minis are dishwasher safe.

 My concerns:
  • Would the silkscreens and paint be easy to use and yield professional-looking results? (YES)
  • Is this a project that my girls could do with me? (YES)
  • Would the silkscreens hold up to multiple uses?(YES)
  • Would the paint hold up to baking on a metal sheet and wire racks?(YES)
  • Would the paint hold up in the dishwasher?(YES)
If little birdies aren't your style, there are lots of other adhesive silkscreens to choose from.  Your palette isn't limited to pie plates either -- any oven-safe glass surface will do.

I loved this project and hope it will inspire you too!

 Silkscreen Painted Pie Plates
  • Martha Stewart Crafts "Birds and Branches" Adhesive Stencils (I used only the smallest bird)
  • Martha Stewart Crafts High Gloss Glass Paint, black
  • Libbey mini pie plates
  • Small foam pouncer or small paint brush
  • Thin paint brush for detailing
  • Q-tips for wiping away smudges
  • A bowl of warm water and a towel (for cleaning the silkscreen between impressions)

Step 1:  Position stencil on the bottom of pie plate (as shown above).  Press adhesive flush with the glass and press out any air bubbles.  Flip pie plate over to confirm positioning.  If necessary, reposition.

Step 2: Use small brush or pouncer to apply a small amount of glass paint to the silkscreen. I chose not to fill in the area of the feet, since the feet on the smallest bird screen are meant to be perched on a branch (when placed alone, it looks like the bird has a broken leg). Immediately remove silkscreen and place it in warm water.  

Step 3: (optional) Use a thin paint rush to add feet to the bird.

Step 4:  Rinse silkscreen in the bowl of warm water, then dry on the towel.  Place dry silkscreen on the next pie plate and repeat the process.

Step 5:  When all of the pie plates have been silkscreened, allow to air dry for 1 hour.  Then, place, paint-side up in a cool oven.  Heat the oven to 350When temperature reaches 350, bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, turn the oven off.  Plates should remain in oven until completely cool.  The instructions from Martha Stewart Crafts said to wait 72 hours before using the pie plates.  I missed that part of the directions and used my set after just a few hours.  The pies came out beautifully, and the silkscreened images came through both the cooking process and dishwasher without a scratch.

Pie Crust Tips:  Roll out a batch of your favorite pie dough.   Line pie plate and brush with egg white (helps to keep the crust from getting soggy)Fill and bake the pies on a preheated baking sheet (also helps to keep the bottom crust crisp).  

P.S.  This is NOT a sponsored post.  I have not been compensated in any way.  This project was purely a personal inspiration that I am happy to share.

This post has been linked-up with
The Scoop at Lolly Jane
The Inspiration Link Party @ Carolyn's HOMEWORK 
Home{WORK} Wednesday 
Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits @ Stone Gable 


  1. Just saw this and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Will buy my supplies THIS week. Inspired. (Will be fun for grandsons;)

  2. Oh, Jenn, these are so cute ~ love the presentation. :)

  3. I am going to have to add these little birdie silkscreens to my collection. FABULOUS idea. But then again, when are your ideas not fabu?

  4. So cute!! Love these!! Adorable!

  5. You think acrylic paint would work? I have buckets of acrylic...

  6. I can't wait to try a project like this. Love the way you styled it too!
    Karen @ annumography

  7. Wauw! I love the idea of a little figure on the bottom of a see-through bowl! Or plate.
    What a weird thing, though, to have live animals in your food as entertainment. I'm happy we don't do that now. :)
    I've only tried to work with paint that could be drawn on some plastic and then after drying be applied to windows for example... it's fun too. But this is like art! :D

  8. Love these so much! And the artwork, feather in the pie, and the pie itself? Priceless! (I was going to say "icing on the cake" but obviously it wouldn't quite go with a pie!)

  9. amazing idea of painted bird plate. never imagined such creative idea.
    - Vinnie
    Architectural Stone

  10. They turned out adorable! Those pies look delicious and beautiful!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. So adorable and so clever. You make me want to bake a pie. Seriously, how cool would these be as gifts.

    Thank you for linking up to Home{work} Wednesday. Yours was one of my favorite projects, and I'll be featuring you tomorrow. :)

  12. Oh my goodness... this is a darling idea! LOVE the whole theme!!!!
    I am so happy to find you!!! I am your newest follower! I would love you to join me for TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS, my weekly linky party. Link goes live every Wednesday at 8:00 pm. You sweet birdie pies would be such a hit!!!

  13. You are a genius!!!!!! I was looking for some artwork for my dining room....and nothing is within my price range that I liked...Thank you so much for sharing this. I loved it!!

    Great job!


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