Saturday, April 16, 2011

Outdoor Inspiration Station

This month's craft day meeting was inspired by this project from Cleverly Inspired, with a small modification.  We added cute little paper mache birds to ours.

This was another field trip day to gather all our supplies.  First stop was to our local Goodwill to pick up frames.  If you're going to try this at home remember you don't need the glass pane that comes with most frames.  That way you might save a couple more bucks.  There was a variety of selections from square to rectangle, plain to ornate, large to small.

Next stop was our local forest trail.  Caution!  A note about collecting wood;  Only pick up sticks that have already fallen off the trees.  Its not good for the trees to cut green branches and its also bad for your projects.  The dry pieces on the forest floor won't warp like the green ones when they dry.  Also make sure you're collecting sticks from a local area.  If you're from an area that has been affected by the Asian longhorn beetle or Emerald ash borer you know what this is all about.  The last thing you want to do is help transport a wood boring pest.

I would equate this part of our day as an adult version of an Easter egg hunt.  Mother nature had dropped sticks and branches all over the trail and it was first come first serve.  From some stick hunters there was intense scrutiny over just the right branch, and from others it was more of a quantity goal.  Trust me we were having to do a little Jenga to get all the sticks into our two cars.

I have to say the highlight of the trip was meeting an adorable little pit bull named Zoe.  She really liked Kelly.

Of course we would be the people to approach a total stranger and ask him if we could take a picture with his dog.

Now when we got back to craft central, aka my house, first step was to make the paper mache birds to go in our frames.  Everything we did that day seemed to work around letting things dry out.  Check out this tutorial.  The aftermath of the paper mache-ing was pretty crazy.

A good tip to help dry your paper mache birds is to stick them in a warmed oven.  Preheat your oven to 200-250 degrees and turn it off.  Now put your birds, on a baking sheet and let them sit in the oven.  This will help them dry out a lot faster than just air drying.  We had to repeat this process a couple of times to get them completely dry.

Next step was to go outside and paint our Goodwill frames.  Everybody had brought their fave spray paint.  Some of the girls got extra creative and painted some of their sticks and even acorn caps.  Remember when you spray paint you want to make sure your nozzle is about 12 inches away from your surface and do multiple coats to prevent drips/pooling and uneven coverage.   

Next up was to pre-fit our sticks to the frame.  It became very apparent that we had brought entirely too many sticks.  Sadie, however, saw this as a great opportunity to get some much needed fiber and fetch time in with our guests.  

Next up was more drying time so we supplemented the break with lots of yummy recipes for dinner.  We broke out the grill for the first BBQ of the season but  I have to say the highlight was a dessert Josie made for everyone; Tiramisu Parfaits.

Now the only thing left to do was paint our little birds and stick them in their respective frames and voila!

Some of the birds and frames were pretty enough to stand on their own. 

Have you been making any nature inspired crafts lately with the change in seasons?
Craft on!


  1. i gave you an award!

  2. Great post! Your doggie is so cute! Your carpet runner project has been featured in my Sunday Linky this week! Check it out here :)

  3. Oh my gosh, that Tiramisu Parfait has my mouth watering! And the birds came out so cute!!! Just wanted to let you know that I gave an award! You can check it out at:

    Hope you had a great weekend! :-)


  4. Thank you so much or your sweet comment on my blog. It totally made my day. I do love re-purposing and knowing that others can read my ideas and maybe be inspired totally makes blogging so worth it. Thank you for having the linky parties so all of us fellow crafters can share ideas:>

  5. Those came out so cute. and that tiramasu look so yummy

  6. I LOVE the idea of a craft party...SO FUN and love the way your frames turned out!

  7. The birds are awesome... love the toes :) I want one of theose parfaits!

  8. My daughter told me we need a few of these to make our trees look pretty!
    looks like such a fun day, thanks for linking, see you this Friday!


  9. This looks like a fun outing and craft day!! Your little birds are too cute in their habitats. :) Thanks for sharing on Fancy This Fridays!!!

  10. Craft Day Meeting? Aw man...I wish we were neighbors! I'd be there in a heartbeat!

    What a wonderful project, from the walk to the papier mache birdies, to the whole assemblage in the frames.

    Gotta say, I'm also really impressed by the little wire feet on your birds. Last week, I made some little birdies of my own out of plastic Easter eggs and felt. They turned out really cute, but I couldn't get them to stand up straight.

    Thank you so much for being a part of "A Little Birdie Told Me..." Tuesday at Rook No. 17
    Always, always a pleasure having you!