Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bird Nest Tutorial

Bird Nest Building Part 1

Making your own bird nests is really fun, and, like anything, easy, once you know how.
Believe me, it will take you a lot less time than it does the birds.

You should read all the instructions before you start. (just like I aaalways do.) =0)

Supply List: now don't turn me off here. This isn't as bad as it looks! =0)

Long and thin birch tree limbs-10 or so (bring them in and let them dry a bit if it's rainy like Oregon. They will stay pliable for several days.)
Pruners or clippers for trimming
Plastic to cover work area ( this is a fun project, but very messy).
Spanish moss, green moss (I pull mine right off the tree, but you can buy it too.)
Glue gun and sticks
Aloe Vera or cold water (in case you burn yourself like i usually do)
Assorted berries, trims, ribbon, jewelry, yarns depending on your taste.
Very thin wire (may be needed for any places that won't stay glued together).
wire cutters
eggs (I use about 1 1/4" eggs for a 5-6" nest)

Preparing the Limbs

I use the limbs right off the tree (extra messy). For less mess you can run your gloved hand over the branches outside to get any loose or dry things off before you take them in the house.

Before you start you need to decide if you want a flat nest (would go in a frame)
or a deep nest, which could go in a bowl, dish, cloche, or just sit.
For a flat nest do just 2 or 3 rings, for a deep one 4-6. I usually do 5 for a regular 5" nest.

Put your plastic down on the floor and work surface.

OK. Here we go!!

1. take 2 small limbs in your hand, between finger and thumb, and make a small loop. (2" or so)

2. Start winding the limbs in and out around the loop.

When at the end of the limbs, put aside. (if loop starts to unwind, put a clothespin on it to hold it).
Don't worry about any "stick outs" at this point.

This is the small loop for your nest.
Use the technique above to make 1-4 more loops, each getting a little larger than the last.
Assembly of loops:
You should do all gluing steps on a piece of cardboard or paper, something that hot glue will not harm.
Starting with the smallest loop, put hot glue on the top outside edge. Be generous.
Line up second loop. (This will be a little hard since one loop is larger than the other, but give it your best shot.) Don't worry about glue showing anywhere as it will be covered up later.
Do worry about getting glue on your fingers!! (got the Aloe Vera handy??
"Stick outs" are OK. They can be trimmed off later.

With each step make sure you press and hold the loops down till the hot glue is set.
Continue till all loops are glued together, from smallest (on bottom) to largest (on top).

If there are areas that do not stay together, that's where the thin wire comes in. Just cut a few 2" pieces, bend in half, poke through from the outside, and twist together on the inside.

At this point the nest should be assembled and the size you want. If it is too deep for your container, or frame, you get to 'squish' it down. You can use the heal of your hand, a book, or just sit on it. Your choice. ;0)
Now the creative part begins! This is sooo fun!!

I like to pretty much make my whole nest, then put it in whatever it's going in or on.
Since the bowl, frame, or whatever will be it's bottom, you don't need to worry about the nest being solid on the bottom.
Clip off any "stick outs" on the inside. (I guess if they are on the inside, they would be "stick ins", wouldn't they?) Well, cut those off.
Leave those on the outside and trim them later if desired.
Start filling your nest with Spanish moss using the hot glue gun as needed.
This fills in and covers any gaps, glue blobs, or areas you don't quite like. You can make it pretty solid, and fill about 2/3 up toward the top. Poke some in the outside edges as needed, but leave as much of the twig part showing as you can.
Now you can "fluff" all you want.
I use cheese cloth (tea stained of course, and shredded or pulled apart), yarn, moss off trees, little pieces of bark, and well, anything else i find at the time. The hunt is part of the fun. Add these here and there in and around your Spanish moss and around the top edge of the nest. Add bits add pieces on the outside edge too.
Remember, those eggs need to be nestled into little soft areas, so no big pieces of bark in the middle. =0))
Be a good mama bird now, and make some little spots for your eggs to be 'laid', then hot glue them in.
Now your nest can be added to whatever frame, bowl, or branch you have selected for it's home, and enjoyed all year long.
I hope you have enjoyed building your nest.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please feel free to comment on here, or email me.
This is my first time, and you can help me learn.
Thank you, and Happy nesting!!
Barbara Jean


Country Romantic said...

Your project is so cute and you make it look so easy. It looks like a display in a store. Thanks for sharing.

Hugs & Blessings,


Paula said...

I love this! I can add this to my bird houses! Thanks for sharing, Paula from Idaho

Sugarplum Cottage said...

This is a wonderful project, so glad you posted it. I have never seen a nest being built and it looks like the real thing. Thanks Barbara Jean for joining me for Project Friday. Hugs, Rosemarie

Anonymous said...

Thank you Barbara Jean for the tutorial....I have enjoy learning how to make a nest....Looks beatuiful.....You are a great mama bird. It's looks better than the store bought. I'm going to try to make me one..if I can find the twigs you have to have of luck for me. Love it! Enjoyed the project...Happy Project Friday...Smiles and Hugs..Kathy

Anonymous said...

What a great project! I will have to wait for the rain to stop so that I can go a collect my twigs. This would go great with my Friday Project. Come and visit to check it out.

Hugs :)


Anonymous said...

Barb, That is so neat! Wow and it looks like a real little birdie did it.

April said...

I luv your bird nest, that is just adorable. I think I have some of those twigs from my back yard.
Wonderful idea

Barn House said...

WOW...great job!!! Hope to meet you one of these days at Tarte or BH.

Lady Katherine said...

I love the nest made from birch! I make them out of willow limb here in Mississippi! I wish I had a Birch Tree! I want a 6 logs from a birch tree! Guess I need to go North! lol This was great, yours are so great, I just love how they turned out with the birch! I make bird houses out of the limbs too.

ClassyChassy said...

you make it look easy! Very interesting to see, and the final result is so cute!

Sandi said...

Your nest looks so real. I will have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!!

Sherrie said...

How sweet of you to give us tutorials! You make it look so easy!

Rose said...

Thankyou so much for sharing this project on your lovely blog.
If i can find suitable branches, I will give it a try.


CC said...

This is a wonderful tutorial for such a lovely project. I love your nests.!!!! They're just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.. :)

Shabbyrose said...

Hi, I love that birnest, maybe sometime my daughter and I can make this when we have some spare time. Hope your doing better..

Tia said...

Aww, these are just amazing and so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your skill!

Marie Lost Bird Studio said...

Hi Barbara Jean,
thanks for sharing your nest tutorial - love it.
Have a great weekend

Felix y Raquel said...

Que belleza de blog y de tutoriales!!!! me encanta todo lo que hace y como lo hace !!es como si vd. fuera la propia naturaleza!!!
Besos y abrazos desde EspaƱa

ByLightOfMoon said...

Thanks for the wonderful tutorials on your blog, I came via Dawn " The Feathered Nest" and appreciate that she mentioned you on her blog. Both of you are fabulous bloggers with wonderful ideas. I am curious what you intend for the already vintage shoes. :-)

Smiles, Cyndi

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Soooo clever....and cute too!

Warm blessings,

Romeo said...

WOW - this is a great tutorial!!! If I make one, will I have birds too? Just kidding, "she" won't let me play with birds. They are my furriends too! Thanks for sharing - I LOVE nests - even those without birds!



Beatnheart said...

Just found you via Delightful your ideas and I am going to go back and look at the rest...Please pay me a visit...I am having a Giveaway...thanks so your creative ideas..

Rella said...

I totally laughed out loud over the list of items....Aloe Vera or cold water in case your burn yourself!!! I am sure necessary, but honestly, this was fabulously funny.

Love your blog - I'm not sure how I stumbled in this morning, but I am marking you down to re-visit.

xox Rella

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much barbara, thats a great tutorial, not sure we have the required trees near but love the tutorial and if and when i get chance i will improvise if need be.
Big hugs and thanks
June x

Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...

Your birds nest is just darling.