A little bird lands on a Spring-awakened tree, nestled between the fresh leaves, with bright green grass sprouting at its base... I first came up with the idea for this terrarium style ornament - using a mini bird from my craft bin and scrap paper - it was to capture that first Spring moment! There is still half a foot of snow where I live (Central Illinois) so this little terrarium is wishful thinking on my part! Now that it is hung in my living room, however, I feel like I have a little piece of Spring, a little bit early!
Bare craft ornament
Mini bird with real feathers (can find at almost any craft store in many sizes)
Brown paper bag
Recycled bits of wire (from my jewelry-making box)
Step 1: Form the Tree
This part is really up to you, how you want the tree to look. I twisted the center of the paper to make a flat circle, then twisted the paper upwards some more to create branches. I wanted it to be "branchy" with few leaves, the way a tree looks in early spring.
Once I had the basic look I wanted for the tree, I added some scrap wire to give it more strength. This also lets me bend it around once inside the ornament, without it getting too misshapen.
Step 2: Bark up the Tree
I took a piece of plain brown paper bag and crumpled it up a lot, softening the paper and giving it texture. Once that was done, I tore it into little strips.
Then I dipped each strip into the decoupage glue, and applied it to the tree "base", over the wire support. The result is very similar to bark, (in looks anyhow). Once dried, it was even a little bumpy and rough, like bark!
Step 3: Be like a tree...and Leaf!
I had some little punched paper leaves, that we had used to scatter over the tabletops at an autumn party last year...I had a baggie left over in my craft bin, so I put a few to good use!
I used the decoupage glue to attach them to the tiny bits of scrap wire, then wound them around the branches of the tree. I added a thin layer of paper "bark" over the wire to camouflage it.
Step 4: Places, Everybody!
By far the hardest part of this terrarium ornament was not getting the bird into the ornament (10 minutes) nor was it making the tree (1 hour)...it wasn't even getting the finished tree into the ornament (20 minutes)...
No...it was getting that gosh darn bird to sit on the gosh darn branch of the gosh darn tree, while inside the ornament, using only a pair of tweezers and every ounce of patience I could muster! This took an accumulated 3 hours! I don't know if it is because I am clumsy, a perfectionist (on some things), or because I did not pay enough attention to the size of the things I was shoving into the ornament...or because I had to use tweezers to manipulate everything, inside a little glass ball!
The "grass" is just scraps of unraveled yarn left over from my Easter Grass.
This terrarium ornament was a labor of love, and what I would do differently next time is use a smaller bird, as well as compare the tree to the size of the ornament while I am making it.