Sunday, April 5, 2009

a spring bird

Today I revisited a project that I made over a year ago for Family Fun Magazine for their April issue called "We Love Baby Animals".  I actually made quite a few of these birds and they live in our Christmas ornament box until it's time to adorn the tree.  Today's birdy went home with our friend Birdy (I couldn't resist, and she was so gracious and fun to give it to).   Here she is in her lavender fluffiness:

This project is super easy and satisfying.  I developed it to be made with styrofoam balls, and that is what I did today, but I would like to change that to something less creepy to work with and that won't stick around forever in a landfill (if the bird doesn't get handed down through the generations, that is).  A friend suggested paper mache balls, which are available ready-made at the craft store, so I think I'll give them a try.  The nice thing about styrofoam is that the yarn grabs at the roughness and makes the wrapping easy.  The only nice thing about styrofoam.

I hope the following tutorial is clear and everyone makes lots of spring birds.  I do love that image.

These spring babies are a quick and satisfying project to do with your kids.  You’ll want to make a whole flock.



-        2 styrofoam balls of differing sizes.  This babe was made with 2.5” and 1.5” balls.

-        fuzzy yarn

-        craft feathers

-        felt for the beak

-        2 black beads for the eyes

-        a pipe cleaner

-        tacky glue

-        a branch


1)     Coat half of the bigger ball in tacky glue.  At one end, begin spiraling the yarn around and around in a circle until you reach the equator of the ball (It is tricky to wrap the ball with yarn as the diameter is decreasing, as the yarn slips).  Cut yarn and repeat process on the other side.

2)     Repeat with smaller ball then attach the 2 balls together by inserting the toothpick into one and sliding the other on top.


3)     Cut the felt into a diamond shape, fold it in half so it is beaky, and glue in place along the crease.  Glue on bead eyes.






  4) To make the feet, cut pipe cleaner in half and bend one end into 3 toes.  Cut the leg to desired length and insert into bottom of bird body.  You may need to poke a pilot hole with a skewer first.  Secure with glue if desired. 


5) Put a few drops of glue on one end of the stick and begin wrapping with yarn.  Wrap the whole branch and secure other end with a dot of glue.  Glue birdy to the branch a prop to dry. 

Oh, here is another one I have in a shadow box in my kitchen with an abandoned nest on top.



  1. Yikes! So very cute. We'll have to try these out- we are having a rainy week here and have already burned through our planned craft projects for the week.

  2. You're so awesome! And Birdy loves her bird so, so much.
    xo Catherine

  3. What a sweet, fuzzy, little bird! I'm definitely going to make this with Leah.

  4. Oh that is sooo cute--I'll have to give it a try. Thanks!

  5. Very cute! We will have to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Adorable!! And I appreciate your fantastically easy tutorial, with photos for every step! :-)

  7. So cute! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  8. I LOVE these! So gorgeous! I didn't check the size of the foam balls and made these with my class for Christmas - we made them a wee bit smaller (tricky for little hands!, but the final product was really cute and they were rapt to take them home to their families! Thanks for the awesome ideas! Mel xo

  9. Hi again! Just thought I should send you a link to my page that shows the birds I made following your post instructions - the kids who received these for Christmas were indeed quite smitten! thanks for the awesome tutorial! :-)

  10. The "Paper Mache" balls you mention are Plastic balls that have 1 thin layer of paper over it.I found this out when I went to drill holes in them. The eggs are too. That stays around in landfills forever too.