Wednesday, October 6, 2010

DIY: Love Birds

A while ago we went to a friends party and I fell in love with these Love Birds on display in her home.
 I have wanted them ever since.  She gave me the website and information from where she bought them.  The $45 price tag for each was not really what I was looking to pay. So I figured I could probably make them myself. I don't think I got the shape perfect and they may not be as smooth as the original ones, but for about $15 for both, I think they are just fine.

What you will need:
Styrofoam egg - about 6 inches long
Styrofoam ball - about 2 inches (to get the shape of the original a smaller ball may be better)
Styrofoam heart - about 3 inches across
Wire  - I used wrapped flower wire
Toothpicks for holding Styrofoam in place
Glue (good for Styrofoam)
Elmer's Glue for paper mache
Newspaper - cut into small pieces

First step - Forming the bird
You will need to place a toothpick at the center of the s. ball and place it into the wider end of the egg at about a 45 degree angle.  (I used the original picture to help guide my placement of the pieces)  I glued the pieces with Styrofoam friendly glue to ensure a good hold.

For the tail, I used a s. heart that was about 3 inches across.  I cut the bottom of the heart in a V shape to use later on for the beak of the bird.  I then glued the V to the ball/head to form the beak.  I had to cut a little bit of it off, trying to maintain the beak shape.  For the tail, I then glued the part with the V cut out to the back of the egg (thinner end) at about a 45 degree angle.  Use the original picture for a guide for placement of the parts.  The picture below already has some paper mache on it. (I forgot to take a picture of the Styrofoam completed - new to this whole blogging thing).  It gives you an idea of the placement of the parts and beak.

Second Step- Paper Mache
I used Elmer's glue mixed with water (half glue/half water).  You can also buy Wheat Paste at Home Depot, but I had glue on hand and figured I would save myself a trip.  I then cut newspaper into small pieces, I found the smaller the better because of the curves of the egg and ball, caused less bumpiness.  Learning as I go.  You have to dip the newspaper into the glue/water mix and cover the bird completely.  You must make it as smooth as possible.  Now in order for the bird not to look like an egg, ball, and heart, you will need to build up the neck and the part of the tail that connects to the body.  I just used more wet newspaper and built it up. 

Once completely covered, I left them out to dry.

Third Step - Wire legs
Once dry, I had my husband cut some wrapped flower wire.  I used three per leg in order to form the feet and allow them to stand on their own.  We wrapped the 3 pieces of wire together and opened them up at the bottom.  Bent them (based on the picture), poked them right into the bottom of the bird.  I then used super glue around the edges of the wire. This was not that easy.   Thanks to my husband who basically had to do this entire step for me. 

Final Step - Spray Paint
This is the easiest part, a can of spray paint of your liking and spray away. I chose white, but thought of maybe doing yellow or turquoise like the original one I saw.  But you can't go wrong with white.  I can always change the color later on.

What do you think?  This project was not as easy as I thought would be.  I had to enlist the help of my art teacher mom and husband. It was fun to do and I love the result (even with their flaws)!

***Edit Post-I joined a linky party at:


Kristen 4/04/2011  

These are super cute! I also made paper mache birds (used plastic birds as the base)...would love if you'd check them out!!

Turning a House into a Home

Mindy 6/18/2011  

Oh, I love these!!! I'm 'pinning' them for future reference. :o)

Anonymous,  6/19/2011  

what a good job,, beautiful,, youare very crafty for sure,

Debbiedoos 6/19/2011  

Well there those are so darn cute. Thanks for sharing....please add the button now it is working fine now. Thanks.

Jen @ Domesticated Nomad 6/20/2011  

That's cute. And relatively easy. Reminds me of the white ceramic animals I'm seeing all over the place.

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