Introduction: Making a Pretty Bird From an Apple

Everyone wants to impress their friends! One cool way to do this is to have neat decorations at your next get together. This Instructable will show you how to make a centerpiece for your table. This piece of art will be made from an apple and will be in the shape on a bird or swan. This is easy to do and it wont cost you too much time! All you need is a few materials, a positive attitude, and ten to twenty minutes. If you can use a knife safely then this is the project for you.

Step 1: Step 1: Gather the Materials

To get started you will need to get all the required materials. 

1. An apple. Medium sizes work best but large ones are fine too. Small ones are sometimes hard to work with. I like to use Granny Smith because it is a very dense apple which will help you later on. If you want a red or yellow bird you can pick any apple you want.

2. A knife. You should use a small or medium sized knife like a parring or utility knife. The most important thing to consider when using a knife is that is it very sharp. This will help you in two ways. First it will help keep you safe. A sharp knife is easier to control than a dull one so there is less of a chance it will slip when you are using it. Second, having a sharp knife will make it easier to make precise cuts on your apple.

Warning-Knives are sharp and can cut you!

3. A cutting board.

4. *Optional-You can use a solution of citrus juice (like lemon juice) to apply to the finished product if desired. This will help preserve it. 

5. *Optional-tooth pick

Step 2: Step 2: Make the Body

The first step on your journey to making a beautiful apple bird is to make the bird's body. Place the apple in front you on your cutting board with the stem up at the top. Then proceed to cut approximately one forth of the apple off vertically as shown in the picture. Be sure to keep your fingers curved parallel with the knife while you cut so you don't slice one off. Make your cut as flat as possible because this will be the base of your bird and will like on the table. Be sure to save the small part of the apple that is cut off as it will be used later to make the head of the bird. 

Step 3: Step 3: the First Wing

You are now ready to make your first wing. Place the large part of the apple you just cut and place it on its flat edge. Rotate the apple so the stem is facing you. 

Start making the first wing by cutting down vertically on the apple a few millimeters until you are about a just over half way down. Then make a cut perpendicular to the first cut at its base to remove the wings first "feather". Then make another cut that is the same thickness parallel to the first one. Make sure this segment is the same depth as the first one as well. At this point you can cut Perpendicular to the base and remove this segment. Remove a third segment using the same method as the first two as shown in the picture. 

Note-If you are left handing cut out the wing on the left side first so you can use your dominant hand and keep the bird facing the right direction.

Step 4: Step 4:The Second Wing

Start the second wing by rotating the apple 180 degrees so the bottom of the apple is facing toward you. This is so you can more easily use your dominant hand to make the cuts on the apple. Repeat the process of making the first wing exactly to make the second one. After the wing is cut, rotate the the apple back to its original position and moves the left wing segments to this side as shown in the second picture. 

Step 5: Step 5:The Tail

The next step is the most tricky of the whole process. Start making the tail of the bird by cutting a shallow cut on the top of the apple at about a 45 degree angle to the cutting board. Stop your cut when it reaches the center line of the bird (The line that divides the bird in half stem to base). Next mirror this cut on the other side of the bird exactly. This should cause the wedge shown at the bottom of the image to come out. If the slice does not come out them gently cut back on the other side until your two cuts meet. 

Next you need to make the next segment of the tail. Make a cut on the that is the same as the first but goes deeper. You can do this buy cutting just about a half centimeter to the side of your previous cut on both sides of the dividing line. If the cut is at the same angle that the first segment was cut at then it is this segment should be easy to remove. 

Make the third segment by repeating the same procedure as the second segment. This cut may reach all the way to the core of the apple. 

Step 6: Step 6: Assemble the Bird's Body

The next step is to assemble your bird's body. The first thing to do is to put all the pieces of your bird back into the apple the reverse order of when they were cut out. This will make the apple look whole again. Then begin to slide the pieces toward you. Arrange the pieces so that the smallest ones are the farthest  back and large ones are moved only slightly. The final arrangement will have the each piece just a little farther back then the last and will look like the images.

Step 7: Step 7: Starting the Head

Now take the section of the apple you cut off in the first step. Take this section and place it lengthwise in front of you. Cut out the middle of the apple so that this section is a few centimeters think. Discard the left and right pieces.

Step 8: Step 8: Cutting Out the Head

Take the piece of apple you just removed and place it on its side. Make a cut in this piece that is about two thirds from the bottom and is at about a 30 degree angle relative to the horizontal. This cut should deep enough to be about a centimeter away from the skin of the apple. Next make a cut mirroring the curve of the apple at the same depth as the first cut. This cut can be seen in the image. 

Step 9: Step 9: Make Room for the Head

Turn the body of the apple to it is facing toward you. Cut a square shaped slot near the base of the apple that is the same thickness or slightly smaller that the thickness of the head. 

Step 10: Step 10:Finish Your Bird

Now insert the head of the bird into the slot you just made. If you are having trouble making it stay in place then use the toothpick to pin it in place and break off the ends so no one can see them.

Congrats! Your bird is now ready to show off to your friends!