Create Your Own Mixed-Media Bird Art – Plus a Giveaway

Several years ago I came upon a few sections of bedsprings at a yard sale. I've disassembled some of the sections and used the parts in various ways. But I've always wanted to use the springs as nests.

bird nest made of paper and burlap
My nest made of a spring, burlap string,
and cut book pages.

Inspired by the Put a Bird on It theme of the May/June 2013 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, I decided to experiment with springs and nesting materials like papers and fibers. I love my nest. Now all I need is a bird!

In the magazine, Renee Rogers shows how to make whimsical mixed-media birds out of a base of foil and plaster gauze. Then she coils wire to create a nesting spot, not unlike my springs.

Here is how Renee makes the basic bird body:

1. Begin with a piece of foil approximately 12" × 6". The actual amount is trial and error because it depends on the size of the bird you want. Press and shape the foil to create the bird body. The foil bird will be bumpy and have voids, and this is okay.

2. Use a separate piece of foil to create the wings, wrapping the foil under and across the top of the bird body. (Figure 1)

3. Precut various lengths of the plaster gauze. Smaller strips are easier to work with. I suggest cutting them with scissors about 1" wide and in 2", 3", and 4" lengths.

foil and plaster bird art renee rogers
Bird and nest by Renee Rogers.

4. Dip a gauze strip in the container of water and, with the strip over the container of water, smooth the strip with your fingers to reduce the amount of water and to smooth the plaster.

5. Wrap the pieces of gauze around the bird body, covering the foil. Smooth the plaster strips with your fingers to define the shape and fill in any crevices.

6. Use small strips of gauze to wrap around and hold the wings in place.

7. Allow the bird to dry overnight on the piece of plastic wrap or the craft sheet so it doesn't stick.

8. Once dry, check to see that all of the foil is covered with plaster. Add more gauze strips if needed.

9. Lightly sand the bird body, if desired, for a smoother finish.

Now you can add color and personality with paint, tissue paper, found objects, and other art supplies.

put a bird on it collage jenn mason
Jenn Mason Put a Bird on It. Leave a
comment and you could win this
5"x5"x1-1/2" mixed-media collage.

In keeping with our Put a Bird on It celebration, I have two wonderful opportunities for you.

First, leave a comment on this blog post and you could win a collage with a bird on it by Cloth Paper Scissors Editor Jenn Mason. I'll draw the winner next Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

The second is a fabulous package of goodies to help you create birds and bird-themed art, all at a terrific discount: Our Put a Bird on It Ultimate Collection, filled with books, kits, projects, and a bird stencil. It's only available for a limited time, so order yours now.

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win Jenn's collage!

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