Introduction: Bird Sculpture From Junk

About: I've always liked pulling things apart - it's the putting back together again that I have some issues with!

Make a sculpture out of found materials! Actually, most people would consider the materials used in this build junk. Old pieces of rusted metal, a used paint spatula, a broken screwdriver and some rusty screws.

However, if you put them all together in a certain way you can make yourself a sculpture that (in my humble opinion) is a good representation of a flying bird.

It’s hard to do an Instructable like this one as you can’t just buy the parts off-the-shelf as it were. You need to go hunting around scrap yards and junk shops and start picking up parts that might interest you.

This Instructable will take you through my build and will hopefully inspire you to maybe start collecting a little junk to make your own.

Step 1: Parts (Junk to Collect) and Tools

The below are the parts that I used to build my bird. You don’t have to use the exact parts, just use what you have available and works for you.


1. Spatula – This is used for the body and tail of the bird

2. Screwdriver? This was a weird tool that I found (maybe you can help identify it) It has a screwdriver at one end and a triangle chapped point at the other. It’s possible that at some time the “triangle” shaped end was in some type of handle. I used this for the beak

3. Metal surround from an old screwdriver. On any old screwdriver with a wooden handle, you will find a metal cover where the metal shaft of the screwdriver goes into the wood. This helps to strengthen the wood. I used this as the head

4. Rusted oil Container. I used this for the wings

5. Fence wire (rusted of course). I used this for the stand

6. Old Gear – stand base


You don’t need anything fancy to make this sculpture – just some basic tools

1. Drill

2. Grinder

3. Dremel (not really necessary but always comes in handy!)

4. Angle grinder

5. Screwdriver

6. Glue

Step 2: Body, Beak & Head

Before you start to cut, drill and modify your parts, it’s first a good idea to plan a little. I like to start by placing parts next to each other to see what they look like. If it seems like it will work I put them aside and rummage through my parts bin to see what I could use.

Once I have all of the parts I think I need, I can then start to work out how to put them all together


1. The first thing I did was to see if I could push the “beak” section through the screwdriver surround. I used a hammer to jam it into place. Once I was happy with the way it looked, I then needed a way to secure the head and beak to the body (spatula). I decided the best way to do this was to make the steel thinner on the screwdriver at the end and to drill a hole in the spatula to secure it.

2. After cutting the screwdriver end off, I then went over to the grinder and reduced the dimension of the end of the screwdriver.

3. Next, I drilled a hole into the end of the spatula and with the “head” back on the “beak”; I then added glue to the inside of the head and hole in the spatula and glued it into place

4. I used some epoxy glue but you can use whatever good quality glue you want

5. Once that dried I was ready to add the eyes

Step 3: Making Some Eyes

For eye’s I send with a couple small screws and washers. The head section already had a couple small holes in it and it was a simple matter of just screwing them in.


1. I did a deep dive into my spare screw, nut and bolt container and found a couple of small screws. I also found a couple of washers to help make the eyes a little larger looking

2. I made sure that the screws were a good fit and size for eyes and once I was happy I added the washers and screwed them into place

3. I also added a little bit of lock tight to make sure they wouldn’t come out

Step 4: Designing the Wings

As I mentioned earlier in this ‘ible, for the wings I went with some metal off an old, rusted oil tin. The great thing about this container is it was curved already and I all I really had to do was to cut them out from the container


1. First, I placed the body of the bird against the tin and worked out roughly how much tin to cut. I made sure that I cut away more then was necessary which gave me some wiggle room

2. Next, I used an angle grinder and cut away a rectangle section

3. I then roughed out a wing shape on the tin (I scratched into the rust) and with the angle grinder, removed the excess tin

4. Once I was happy with the shape of the wings I removed the burrs with a grinder

Step 5: Attaching the Wings

Attaching the wings I thought was going to pretty straight forward. Just use a couple screws to secure it to the handle of the spatula. However, I forgot about the tang that runs down the middle of the handle! It meant that I had to cut the screws down in order for them to fit.


1. First, I again went through my screw and bolt collection and found a nice pair of rusted screws to use.

2. Next, I lined-up the wings on the top of the spatula and marked where to drill a couple of holes in the wings

3. Once the holes were drilled, I then did the same in the top of the handle and used the screws to secure the wings into place.

Step 6: Making a Stand

I decided in the end to make a stand for this bird as it seemed as he was flying and would have looked a little silly to have him stand on a couple legs.


1. First, I found some old fence wire I had been saving. The wire I used was rusted and worked a treat.

2. Next, I cut quite a long piece off and straighted it. I then drilled a hole into the handle of the spatula and glued the wire into place

3. For the base, I used an old, rusty cog. I jammed a piece of dowel into the hole, drilled a hole in it and pushed the wire into it.

Trash to Treasure Contest

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest