Family Craft – Waldorf-inspired Winter Birds

| January 6, 2009 | 16 Comments

I am a bit of a Christmas scrooge when it comes to taking down the decorations. The pile of pine needles on the floor and the clutter from the holidays send my brain into crazy mode and generally everything comes down within 24 hours of the big day.

This year was just the same, and we all breathed a collective sigh of spacious, roomy relief when the last box made its way to the basement and we once again had space for things like eating dinner and sprawling on the couch for afternoon snoozes.

A strand of twinkle lights on the mantle and our Wax Paper Snowflakes in the windows are the only remnants of the season, and we were good with that.

But, a round of coughs and runny noses along with all of this crazy weather has kept us inside most of the last 10 days or so and we definitely – most definitely – needed something to bring a bit more of the awesome Winter nature outside our windows inside of them.

With our pond and collection of bird feeders, our house seems to be a popular stop this year for the local birds including many spectacular kinds like Northern Flickers and Stellar Jays along with the gorgeous colours of House Finches, Chickadees and many more.

We’ve spent literally hours watching them come and go from the backyard and, when cleaning up some of the holiday crafting paper recently, realized that a fair whack of the gorgeous patterns and colours we had in the craft bin looked a lot like the birds hanging out at our feeders.

They also reminded us of the fun Waldorf wet watercolour projects the tiny person had spent much of the holiday engrossed in. So, we decided to take the papers and an idea for bird mobiles and turn them into some Waldorf-inspired Winter birds to brighten our windows.

Here’s what you need:

- Soft, wintery colours of double-sided scrapbook paper (we got ours from Scrapbook Central on 14th Street in Courtenay).
- Wooden beads (PJs, right next to Scrapbook Central, has them. Also try thrifting)
- Feathers (again, PJs)
- Yarn in soft, wintery colours
- Scissors
- A small hole punch
- A pencil
- White glue. For faster, stickier results, a hot glue gun works great. But, parents only.

Directions:

1. Cut out different shapes of birds. I looked for pictures of birds on the internet and then hand drew ours. But, tracing the birds is fun too. You can make them any size. But, for the mobiles, make several of the same size and shape of the smaller birds to hang together. With the stellar jays, I just used one bird because they were so long.

2. Pick out your beads and glue them on as eyes. Hot glue is going to dry the fastest, with the most bond. But, the tiny person wanted to be the glue-er. So, we went with white glue and then set them aside to dry while eating lunch. It took them about an hour to set up to the point where the eyes wouldn’t fall off.

3. Pick out some matching or complimenting feathers (we tried to recreate the birds outside as close as possible, talking about the types of birds and why they hang out here in the Winter) and glue them on.

4. Punch a hole in the top and bottom of each bird depending on how you want to hang them. Make sure to use a small hole punch, otherwise the knots you will make in a minute will slip through the holes. Then, cut a piece of string about 18 inches long (for three birds, you can adjust based on your bird size and how many you want on the string) and string the birds together. Put the string through the front of the bottom hole, then up the back, out the back of the top hole. Pull enough string through to string all of the birds from the top down and tie a knot at the bottom of each bird as you go along to keep it from slipping down the string.

5. Leave some extra string at the bottom. Take a larger bead and tie it on to weight the whole thing down a bit.

These pretty little birds are a sweet addition to any window, a fun project that’s good for kids of all ages and a bit of a learning tool too!

Have fun!

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Category: ARTS & LITERACY, Crafts

About the Author ()

Robin Rivers is the Project Development Director for Vancouver-based Mherge Media Group. Often can be found leaping tall buildings with the help of great friends. Predisposed to odd hats and the color orange. In love with imagination, her kids and that crazy guy who married her.

Comments (16)

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Hottest Nature Crafts of 2009 | Our Big Earth | December 22, 2009
  2. Waldorf Craft Books and Tutorials | Waldorf Reviews | January 15, 2011
  1. Rosina says:

    Those are so cute Robin! We’ve been bird crazy around here for the last couple of days, filling feeders, washing windows for optimal bird viewing *grin*, and making treats for them to hang outside :) I think we’re going to have to make a few feathered friends for indoors now to :)

  2. Rebecca says:

    They are a beautiful creation but I wonder how they are inspired by Waldorf.

  3. Robin Rivers says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    When I think of Waldorf-inspired with this project I go with the watercolor palate and nature focus.

    I hope I’m not offending anyone who is a Waldorf educator or parent by calling it Waldorf-inspired. We do a lot of watercolor and handcraft work at our house and our crafts often take us off on less traditional paths, but are still inspired by the lovely, handwork feel of Waldorf projects.

  4. Robin Rivers says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    When I think of Waldorf-inspired with this project I go with the watercolor palate and nature focus.

    I hope I’m not offending anyone who is a Waldorf educator or parent by calling it Waldorf-inspired. We do a lot of watercolor and handcraft work at our house and our crafts often take us off on less traditional paths, but are still inspired by the lovely, handwork feel of Waldorf projects.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Hey Robin,
    Thanks for your thoughtful response. The birds are beautiful and look like fun for little people to make. It was the paper that made me wonder. Waldorf does embrace natural, seasonal fibres and watercolor like you said. Maybe a dried watercolor painting for the body would seem more Waldorfy to me. Here is a website with some possible resources for families interested in Waldorf crafts.

    http://www.waldorftreasures.com/books/activitybooks/activitybooks.htm

  6. Rebecca says:

    Hey Robin,
    Thanks for your thoughtful response. The birds are beautiful and look like fun for little people to make. It was the paper that made me wonder. Waldorf does embrace natural, seasonal fibres and watercolor like you said. Maybe a dried watercolor painting for the body would seem more Waldorfy to me. Here is a website with some possible resources for families interested in Waldorf crafts.

    http://www.waldorftreasures.com/books/activitybooks/activitybooks.htm

  7. andi says:

    We made these yesterday Robin and have them hanging in our window, so pretty. I did have to let a bit of my inner control freak go and let the little one put the feathers where she wanted and use up our supply of white glue in the process but so what! (I’ll make my own later :) )

  8. Linda says:

    Hi Robin,
    I made these with my daughter’s first grade class last month. We had NJ winter birds: Snow Owl, Bald Eagle, Canadian Goose, and Hardy’s Sparrow. I did change it a bit by hanging a bell instead of a button. The children loved it! Thank you for the idea!

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