Design team member of Alpha Stamps, moderator at Craftster, lover of ephemera and junk.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Rackybirds, with tutorial

A couple of years ago I was wondering what to do with all our leftover plastic Easter eggs, and came up with the idea of making them into birds. Now that Easter's come and gone, perhaps you have some extra eggs lying around. Here are a few pictures of the birds I made, and a version of the tutorial I first posted on Craftster.org.
The flock, sunning on our back wall:

And here's how to make them:
1. Gather your supplies. You will need: plastic eggs, some sort of paper to cover them with (I used pages from an old hymnal I found at the thrift store), a little tape, some shirt cardboard for the beak and wings, a wire hanger for the feet, some thinner wire used to wire things together, matte finish Mod Podge, some jewels for eyes, and some silk flowers and little acorn caps for adornment. Tools needed are: scissors, an exacto knife, needlenose pliers, a needle punch (commonly used for book binding), a cutting board, a sponge brush, and inkpads.


2. This picture shows the completing of the bird's tail in 5 steps. Cut out your tail shape and tape it to the rounder, bottom part of the egg, right where a tail should be. Wrap the tail with small pieces of the paper you will be covering your bird with. Once the sides are wrapped, continue to cover the tail and rest of the egg, until all is covered. Make sure that you put several strips on that connect the tail to the body. You want to make sure that is good and secure.
3. Once you are done with the tail sections, go ahead and cover the top part of the eggs. Don't worry about getting the paper perfect near the opening of the egg. Once you get your feet and beak on, you will be assembling the egg and going back and covering that area to seal the body shut.

The legs are made with short bits of a wire hanger, bent to form little feet. To place the legs, put the egg together and decide how you wish the bird to be standing. Take your needle punch and punch a hole for each leg. Surprisingly, this is not too hard to do, and your egg should not break if you work the punch in gently. Once you have the two holes, insert your wire legs, and put the egg back together to see where the legs need to be positioned so the bird will stand. You may have to bend or splay the feet a bit to get your bird standing. Once you like the way the bird looks, remove the top and wire your legs together so they won't slip out once the bird is complete.


4. This picture shows the inking of the beak and the covering and cutting of the wings. You will need a beak and two wings for each bird. I used a modified heart shape for my wings. Cover a side of the wing with your scrap paper, trim the excess, and then cover the other side and trim again. See that little brush beside the inkpad? I have no idea what it's called, but I purchased it for inking at my local independent stamping store. These work great for this project, but I'm sure a similar brush or sponge makeup applicator would work as well if you can't find this particular type brush. After you have covered the beak and wings, you need to go ahead and get them inked. I not only inked the wings blue, I went back with some black ink and put an edge on them to make them stand out a bit more. You are also going to want to ink a little of the face area of the bird with the blue ink before you go to attach your beak.


5. This picture shows the inside of the eggs before they are ready to be joined. To attach the beak, put the bird together and decide where the beak should go. Once you determine that, take your needle punch and punch two holes through the bend of the beak and the egg. You are going to be taking your thin wire and feeding it through those two holes and then twisting in on the inside of the egg to secure the beak. Make sure it's on good and tight! Once your feet and beak are wired, you can put the body together and take some of your remaining paper scraps to cover the seam where the two parts are joined. Give your birds and all their parts a couple of coats of Mod Podge. Once the birds are dry, take your ink brush and add color to them. Let that ink dry for a bit, and go wash your hands. (You will probably be a bit inky at this point.) Do not Mod Podge over the ink once it’s applied. It will run!


6. Now that the birds are dry, it's time to attach the wings. Mine were adhered with E6000 glue. Use a good rubber band to hold the wings in place while they dry. You can put the eyes on now. I used little self adhesive jewels found at my local craft store. These birds love flowers, so grab that E6000 and stick a bright silk flower on each little birdie head. Top that with an acorn cap. Now they look like they're ready to party!

One more shot, just for fun:

4 comments:

  1. These are so sweet! I really like the music paper!

    P.S. I am having a give-away on my blog...http://positiveponderings.blogspot.com/2011/05/give-away.html

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  2. OMG, these are so stinkin' cute! And thanks for the tute, well done!

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  3. Adorable and a great project if my grandkids ever visit for the summer.

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  4. I love birds...especially cute, chubby birds! These are so sweet. Thanks for the tutorial!

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