Thursday, April 6, 2017

DIY Paper Birds Nest with Mixed Media Easter Eggs

I love Spring. Green grass, fresh flowers, and chocolate  rabbits are the best way to chase away the Winter blues. This is also the time of year when bird nests will appear in unexpected places.

And of course, Spring brings eggs! I never outgrew decorating easter eggs. I made these eggs by painting paper mache eggs that I purchased at the craft store. I used DecoArt Media paints to paint the eggs. There was no fancy painting involved. I just kept adding paint until I was happy with the results. Then I added strips cut from book pages and little tiny paper flowers that I made with Sizzix Small Tattered Florals.

I've been wanting to craft a bird's nest for a long time, but I was never happy with the complexity that involved making them, so I crafted my very own easy peasy way of constructing them. I am happy with the way this came out and I want to share my technique with you.

To make the nest, the first thing that I did was cut the strips of paper. I used my Martha Stewart fringe scissors and cut up book pages and three different shades of brown cardstock. You could also use a paper shredder. I don't recall exactly how many papers that I cut, but it was several. The strips filled a large gallon size Ziploc bag. 

Next, lined a plastic bowl with plastic wrap. The bowl is being used as a mold, so you'll want a "nest-sized" bowl. I have a small plastic bowl that I got at the dollar store, so I used that. Next, I scooped out a half cup of Nori paste into a small mixing bowl (a second bowl) and thinned it with two tablespoons of water. Nori paste is a great glue for paper crafts. It dries clear, washes off hands and clothing easily and it is not sticky. It also says that it's safe for children, which is a big plus. I purchased mine on Amazon because it's not always easy to find. This thinned glue mixture worked like a paper mache paste. After dipping the stripps in the paste, I pressed a layer of wet strips into the nest "mold" followed by a layer of dry strips. And then I added another layer of wet strips. This process took about three minutes. Bird's nests are not perfectly constructed, so feel free to get messy! Be certain to save a handful of paper strips to place in your nest when it's done and dry. This will cradle your eggs.
After the nest was somewhat dry, I carefully lifted it from the bowl and peeled the plastic from it. It was still wet, so I placed it on a drying rack to finish drying. This was the hard part! It took about 48 hours to dry completely. Whew! I'm not a patient woman, so waiting was a difficult task! But I'm glad that I did. It came out lovely! (as far as paper nests go)
If you try my paper nest method, let me know how it turns out. I'd love to hear from you!

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