As promised, I developed a less-earthy/crunchy version of the winter garden bird I posted not long ago.
I made this bird all white because it seemed like an appropriate symbol for Earth Day, which is tomorrow. Of course, you and your kids can experiment with all sorts of colors, textures, and patterns. Try weird and wild feather shapes, too.
To start, use the template (below) to cut the three pieces from corrugated cardboard, being careful to align the corrugations with the arrows on the template. Paint the pieces, then glue them together.
Now it's feather-making time! Cut out some feathers of various sizes from paper (I used construction paper). Fold each feather in half, short-ways, and then unfold it. You just want to crease it and give it some backbone. Cut a pipe cleaner into quarters or thirds, and attach it to the base of the feather with a piece of white or clear tape, allowing two or three inches to extend from the feather's base.
For the tail, draw and cut out a wide paddle-ish shape, and a smaller inset shape, from your paper. Use tacky glue to sandwich two pipe cleaner sections between the two pieces, centering them and leaving a few inches protruding, as shown.
Create a bunch of feathers of varying sizes. I made 12 in all.
Now, to attach them to the cardboard base. For each feather, fold over the end of the pipe cleaner and insert it into a channel in a wing base. You will need to trim some of the pipe cleaners so they don't extend out of the other end of the base. Cover the folded-over end with glue, and slide it into place.
Repeat with the rest of the feathers. You may find you don't need to glue some of the feathers that are further back in the base. Nice.
For the tail, insert the two pipe cleaners into the end of the bird base, then gently twist the tail 90 degrees.
You're cleared to fly! I recommend clipping the back with a clothespin, and tying string or thread to the clip. It's not the most beautiful choice, but it is infinitely easier and more adjustable than anything I've tried. And this is supposed to be fun, you know?
Peace to you and yours! Happy Earth Day!
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.