How to Make a Decorative Bird Nest

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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People have been decorating with bird nests for many years, either as an accent in flower arrangements or decoration for their Christmas trees. Leave the real bird nests out in nature for their builders to enjoy and craft a creative bird nest by following these instructions instead.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Straw or hay
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Acrylic paint (umber or ocher in color)
  • Twigs
  • 10 to 12-inch mixing bowls
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glass jar

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  1. 1

    Mix the plaster of Paris with a small amount of water in a glass jar with a lid. The final thickness should be about the consistency of a milkshake.

  2. 2

    Stir a small amount of acrylic paint into the plaster of Paris. Use raw umber or ocher to get the color of dirt or mud. Stir the plaster and keep adding paint until it reaches the desired color. Remember, it's much easier to darken a color than to lighten it, so start with a small amount of paint and gradually add to it.

  3. 3

    Take a plastic or metal mixing bowl approximately 10 to 12 inches in diameter and fill it with straw or hay. Pour the plaster mixture onto the straw.

  4. 4

    Use another mixing bowl and put it upside down on several layers of newspaper. Put some aluminum foil over this bowl.

  5. 5

    Apply the straw and plaster combination to the aluminum foil and work it around to get it into a nest shape. Dry completely before proceeding.

  6. 6

    Remove the bird nest from the aluminum foil-covered bowl carefully.

  7. 7

    Finish the bird nest with decorative touches. Mix up more plaster and paint and apply some gathered or store-bought feathers, twigs and leaves. Crafts stores have plenty of finishing touches for these decorative nests, such as little birds and eggs.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear rubber gloves when working with plaster to keep your hands clean.
  • Put wrapped candy in the bird nest for a surprising serving bowl.

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