handmade natural Bird Nest
(Makes one nest )
Fun with yard waste
This project is inspired by our clever avian friends who collect bits and pieces to create a beautiful but temporary place to lay their eggs. Our appreciation for nature’s odds and ends gathered during a walk in the woods or tidying up our gardens led us to create something that serves its purpose for a short time and then gets repurposed as we go on to the
a bunch of dried long grasses, such as miscanthus (substitute natural long raffia if needed)
small twigs and branches
a handful of green moss, fresh or dried
several feathers, size can vary
3 quail eggs (optional)
5”x 5” piece of recycled cardboard scissors
hot glue gun and glue stick(s)
Start with a walk to see what unique materials you might find where you live. If you have a garden or some woods nearby, gather things like pine needles, dried grasses, twigs and mosses that can be found in flower beds, beneath trees or scattered along a trail. Your findings will be different than what we gathered, making each nest unique. You can also use moss, natural raffia and pretty feathers available at a craft store.
Start by cutting a four to five inch circle from a piece of recycled cardboard to use as the base of the nest. It will be hidden, so it doesn’t need to be perfect. Wrap some long grasses into a circle shape to fit the base and hot glue the grasses to the cardboard. Tuck in the loose ends.
Continue to develop the nest shape by adding more grasses around the circle, until the edge of the cardboard is covered from view and the nest ring has a depth of at least 3 inches.
Make a cushion for the bird’s eggs by covering the cardboard bottom with a thin layer of green moss.
Check that the moss fits and then hot glue it down, completely hiding the cardboard. Then, it is time to trick out the nest. If your small twigs are still flexible, you can bend them into arcs and bury each end into the grass nest. If they are brittle, you can break or cut them into smaller twigs and bury one end of each into the outer nest, leaving the other ends to stick out.
Maybe incorporate some pine needles into the grasses for a different color. Add a flourish with some decorative feathers.
Then, add some eggs. For the size of our nest, tiny quail eggs are the perfect natural-looking inhabitants. Perhaps you will use decorated eggs. If you decide to use real eggs, you will need to blow out the contents of the eggs and clean them. See "How to Blow Out Eggs" for a simple technique.
Now, put your nest on display in your home, bringing a little bit of nature into your daily life.
Note: After you have enjoyed your nest and are on to the next thing, peel off the hot glue bits and throw the rest in your yard waste bin. Or, back into nature.