Introduction: The Makings of a Fire Bird

While I chose to model mine after the mythical phoenix, you can use this feathering technique to make any kind of bird you'd like.

Step 1: Supplies

  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Several Sheets of Colored Cardstock or Paper

Step 2: Drawing the Wings

Start by drawing a wing shape you like. All you have to draw is one wing and you don't have to worry about drawing a perfect sketch either. The shape will give you a general idea of where to cut.

Step 3: Cutting the Wings

Once you've cut your wing out, lay it on another sheet of paper and use it as a guide to cut the second wing. This will keep them the same size and add a sense of symmetry.

Now lay the two wings on top of one another and make small cuts at their edges.

Step 4: Making Smaller Feathers

To make the feathers that will go on the inside of the wings, cut small leaf-like shapes. Like the wings, make snips at their edges.

You can cut each feather individually or fold the paper on itself several times to get more feathers in one cutting.

Step 5: Feather Laying

Now comes the part that will make your bird!

Glue each of the smaller feathers just along inside edges of your wings. Start at the top and work your way down at a curved angle. Feel free to "ruffle" the feathers every now and then so they'll appear three-dimensional.

*Alternating the color paper for each row will add beauty and contrast to the wings.

Step 6: Making the Tail

Just like the wings, trace a pattern for the tail, cut it out, and begin laying feathers. You can make slightly longer feathers for this part. I decided to make my bird's tail curved.

Step 7: Making the Body

The body only needs to be a simple oval shape. Easy enough after cutting and gluing all those feathers, right?

Step 8: Putting It Altogether

If you want a slightly convex shape to your bird's chest, bend the paper outwards. The non-feathered end of your bird's wing should be bent outward slightly to support the shape.

Glue everything together and you have your bird's body. Now all that's left is the head.

Step 9: Making the Head

Trace and cut out the shape of the head along with its beak then set them aside. To make the head appear three-dimensional as well, take a small bit of paper and fold it up into a square. Glue it to the body then glue the head on top.

Step 10: Finished!

Your phoenix is now ready for flight!

Just be sure not to place him near any actual flames!

Paper Contest

Participated in the
Paper Contest