Introduction: From Palm Tree Trimmings to Soaring Eagle Wind Chime

About: I received a BA in the practice of Art at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987. I completed a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in counseling at San Diego State in 1990. I love working o…

I had so much fun making a jumping deer from our yard palm cuttings that I decided to make a soaring eagle with a wind chime added to complete the look. Hope you decide to put your yard trash into making something beautiful for your home too!

Step 1: Supplies/tools

You will need a supply of palm tree cuttings. Not the big leaves, but the hanging pieces that carry the seeds (see the example of tree and cuttings). You will also need a supply of solar lights with chrome/metal shafts, preferably no longer working(99 cent store).

Glue gun and lots of glue sticks

White kite string

Clear or white Zip ties (since you will be spraying final sculpture white)

White or Ivory spray paint

Clear fishing monofilament/wire (strong)

Black electrical wire


Step 2: Start With the Head

Start with the head and build back towards the wings and talons. Using the shape of flowering seeds from our banana tree (doesn't give bananas), I cut/removed and hot glued pieces together until the result looks like the beak of an eagle. from there I added pieces of dried banana tree bark to create the head and neck of the eagle.

Step 3: Adding the Body and Wings

Here I began adding palm cuttings that already resembled wings. Using the glue gun, I began adding individual strands to build up the wings. I did the same to the body section. I glued individual strands from the neck area of the eagle to the body to create a more feathery effect.

Step 4: Adding the Feathery Fingers

At the end of each wing, I glued banana tree bark that I cut into feather shapes. This creates the look of the feathers that stick out during flight and help eagles with stability and maneuvering.

Step 5: Adding the Talons

Once happy with the wings and body, I added pieces of palm stems and talons I made from the same flower I made the beak from.

Step 6: Making the Tail

This was easy as I bundled the body and tied it off with the excess creating the tail section. I did add several individual strands with the glue gun to both sides to balance the tail off.

Step 7: Painting

Painting the eagle is easy enough, just do it in a well-ventilated area and throw down a tarp to protect the area from the spraying. Sorry don't have pictures of this step, but you get the idea.

Step 8: Making the Wind Chime and Connecting to Underside of Eagle Sculpture

Using foam used for kids play area (99 cent store), I pushed the end of the metal shafts from old solar yard lights through the foam mat to cut out circular pieces. These I drilled small holes through which the fishing wire goes through (first I started with thin black electrical wire I had laying around). I attached these ( 8 individual metal strands around a CD case cover I had saved. In the middle of this CD cover, I added the glass end of another larger solar light that no longer worked. This would be the center piece that would hit the surrounding metal stands and make the wind chime work. I attached this wind chime to a thicker electrical cord I passed through the top of the body and through the underside of the eagle. I added a lot of hot glue and some washers to keep the body and wind chime apart.

Step 9: Hanging the Finished Piece

I hung the finished piece to PVC pipe I attached to a flagpole base (Home depot). As you can see in the pictures, it came out well and makes a fine addition to our outside area. Hope you enjoy making art from your yard cuttings as well!

Homemade Gifts Contest 2017

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2017