Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Crepe-Paper Spring Birds, Nest & Eggs

Quince branches set the stage for a scene adopted from the newly invigorated outdoors: birds perched beside nests. This flock watches over quail eggs that have been dyed different colors.
Some of the materials can be found at crafts stores and florist shops; others might come from your yard.

1. Make head and body: Use a glue gun to affix a small polystyrene ball to the rounded end of a larger polystyrene egg (for each bird, vary placement slightly to create different body postures); let dry.

2. Cut a 7-inch square of colored crepe paper. Lay the body near the bottom edge. Beginning at the breast, wrap the body, stretching the paper to fit the contours as you go. Brush with tacky glue.

3. Taper back end to create tail. Twist front end to create a beak; brush with glue. Trim with scissors while paper is wet; let dry. Wrap beak in brown floral tape; trim. For eyes, press in map tacks.

4. Make wings: Tear strips of crepe paper in desired hues. Overlap strips to create a color gradient, and glue. Cut out 2 rectangles; glue to each side of the bird. Taper ends to form wing shapes.

5. For the breast, cut a paper oval in a contrasting color, and glue
Coconut-Fiber or Grapevine Nest
Sources: Loose grapevine, from B&J Florist Supply, 212-564-6086
This nest is a cluster of grapevines, shaped by hand and then set onto a quince branch. The eggs are naturally speckled but have been dyed shades of green and blue.

1. Gather coconut fibers or grapevines to form a ponytail; secure 1 end with 24-gauge brown wire.

2. Curl secured end to form a coiled base; continue to curl, adding new bundles and wiring every few inches until nest is formed. (Ours are 2 to 4 inches across.) Secure end with more wire. Adjust by hand to create a cup for eggs.

Dyed and Speckled Eggs

1. Stick flathead pins into a foam board to create a drying rack. In a heatproof jar, mix 1 tablespoon vinegar, about 5 drops of food coloring, and 1 cup hot water. Place eggs (they can be hard cooked or blown out) in dye for 1 to 5 minutes, depending on desired color intensity. Transfer eggs with tongs to rack; let dry about 30 minutes.
2. Put a piece of felt into a cardboard box. Dip a stiff-bristle paintbrush in watered-down acrylic paint; spatter over felt. To transfer, gently press egg against paint; let dry. Repeat to add more speckles.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you blogged this. Martha Stewart no longer has photos of any kind with this archive on her website! Thank you. :)