Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wordy Birdie

Earlier this summer, I was out shopping with two of my favorite ladies, Anne and Lisa, and I found the inspiration for this project. We were on a mission that evening to find Lisa a cheese board, so we were visiting all the key home stores - Pottery Barn, Crate, West Elm, etc. As we browsed West Elm, I came across this little bird. I liked it, but I made myself a rule when we moved into our apartment last year that I wouldn't buy anything for our home until we had a house we were planning to settle down in. I guess buying a little bird isn't really the same thing as buying a big piece of furniture that doesn't work right in your next house, but I still generally avoid the home stores all together so I don't get tempted. Plus, this little bird cost $10. Not unreasonable, but just not worth it. I decided I could make it.

David Stark Paper Mâché Bird
{west elm}
 It only took me two trips to the thrift store to find a bird to suffice for this project. I found the little guy below sometime in June and put him in my closet to work on after all our summer trips. I think he cost $2.00. At first I didn't know if this bird would work. It's bigger than the West Elm bird and made out of heavy glass like a thick porcelain or something, plus he doesn't have legs. But now that I'm done with the project, I love the way he turned out.

On my next trip to the thrift store, I scored an old dictionary for 25 cents. That makes the total cost of this project $2.25. That's it! Plus, I'm sure I will use the dictionary again for future projects.

So here is what I did: I got out the bird, the dictionary, scissors, a small paintbrush, and a bottle of Mod Podge I already had in my craft box. Other than that I found it helpful to keep a damp cloth on hand to wipe my hands off and clean up Mod Podge drips. Limited supplies = awesome.

I cut up lots of definitions from the dictionary. Some bigger pieces with multiple definitions on them and some smaller pieces with just one or two words to fill in the gaps. I then Mod Podged the pieces to the bird, starting at the tail and working forward. The hardest part was wrapping the paper around the edges of the hole in the middle of the bird. However, the more Mod Podge the better at this point. I would just get the paper extremely wet with MP and use my fingers instead of the paint brush to press and mold the paper to the bird in the tricky areas around the edge and anywhere else the bird was very curved.

By the time I got done {probably about an hour, maybe a little more} the back of the bird was completely dry and looked great. I gave the face part another layer of MP and let it sit to dry.

My favorite part of this project was getting to look through all the words and pick ones I wanted to put on my bird. {I am an English major after all...}

Here are some of my favorite words that are now displayed on the bird:
adventure, gray, July, Olympic games, plume, bookworm, firework, kite, espresso, tyrannosaurus, tenacious, bicycle, Old Testament  onomatopoeia, midwife, filet mignon

And here are a few that just didn't make the cut:
temptress, grave, daddy longlegs, firing line, pneumonia, typhoid, KKK

And here is my finished little bird, sitting on our dresser. Love him. 

I think the options for this project are endless. You can choose any shape of figurine and you can use any type of book pages - an old novel, Bible verses, poetry, whatever strikes your fancy! You should try it!

*Linking up with It's Overflowing!*


AllyceR said...

Ok, this is so cute and I could totally do this too! I like simple crafts that leave you feeling gratified! I already have a love affair with mod podge so just one more thing to do with it. Thanks for the idea.

Karen I said...

It came out really cute! Thanks for sharing!

Heather said...

This is the cutest thing ever! I wanna make one!

Kristin said...

What a fabulous idea! I love it! Now I'll be keeping my eye out for ugly porcelain figures at the thrift stores to give a "makeover" to :-) Thanks for sharing...I'm visiting from Serenity Now, and it's nice to meet you!

Red Brick Shanty said...

I love your birdy! I would like to make an owl for my son's room using this technique.

destiny said...

I LOVE this so much!! I'll have to go bird hunting now at the thrift store.
Found you at Serenity Now!

Aimee - ItsOverflowing.com said...

That is so cute I can hardly stand it! Ripping pages out had to have been so FUN! It turned out PERFECT! Thanks for sharing at Overflowing with Creativity! I’m excited to continue being inspired by you in 2012!!! XO, Aimee

Aimee - ItsOverflowing.com said...

I'd LOVE to have you back over to enter the giveaway I opened this morning! It's my first one so I'm kind of excited!!!

XO, Aimee