2020 has been a whirlwind to say the least! Unfortunately, we all were unable to gather together this time of year for ornament crafting with our amazing volunteers in the Farmhouse Visitors Center. But that doesn’t mean that our creativity must be stifled when it comes to decorating for the holidays! I have compiled three easy bird ornament crafts that the whole family can create together with the right materials, supervision, and creative inspiration!
The first craft is the Origami Sandhill Crane Ornament!
Sandhill Cranes are a standout migrating bird that pass through Creamer’s Field during the warmer months. This ornament is sure to be a standout on your tree!
Please follow this video tutorial on how to properly fold the paper to create the origami crane!
After your paper crane is folded, add physical features so people know it’s a Sandhill Crane! Add the red crown, the yellow eyes, and you can even color orange for the iron rich mud that the birds spread into their feathers in the summer. Punch a hole on the back and hang up! This origami design can also work for other birds including swans, geese, herons, or other cranes!
The next craft is the Common Redpoll Yarn Bird Ornament!
I chose a Common Redpoll for this craft because it is a striking bird observed during the winter months in Alaska.
This tutorial was inspired from Selected Crafts and the link here shows their step-by-step process of creating the yarn birds.
Below are my steps for how I made the Common Redpoll yarn bird ornament:
- Select the colors you want for your bird. I picked beige, mixed colors of brown, tan, and beige, and red for the head.
- Stack your layers in the order you want for the bird features. Since the red will be on the head, I sandwiched it in between the beige and mixed colors for the fold over.
- Tie all layers in the middle.
- Fold your mixed colors and red (resembles head), back and tie with yarn.
- Take another stack of mixed colors and lay under the beige. Fold beige underneath (resembles bird belly) to hold the mixed bundle and tie at the tail.
- Fold the secured mixed colors back (resembles wings) and tie at the tail.
- Make sure all bundles are secured at the tail.
- Glue an almond at the front under the head and above the belly (resembles beak).
- Tie a loop around the back and hang up!
You can use many other colors in this design to create a variety of birds to perch on your tree!
The last craft is the Black-capped Chickadee Cookie Ornament!
I wanted to make this craft using the Black-capped Chickadee because these birds are one of the most common birds found in Alaska across all seasons.
This ornament involves making a cookie dough and this will allow the ornament to last for years and years. The cookie dough is essential in this craft because it must be dry; that gives the cookie the design and strength to hang. You can make your dough two ways: either a salt dough or a cinnamon dough.
Here is the recipe for a salt dough: 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1/2 – 3/4 cup water.
Here is the recipe for a cinnamon dough: 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 1/2 cups cinnamon, 2 tbsp craft glue (optional)
After the dough is mixed, kneaded, and rolled out on a flat surface, trace and cut out your bird shape. Also punch a hole in the back for the string! Place your cookies on a baking sheet to bake at 200 degrees F for 2-4 hours (depending on how many ornaments you are making) or they can be laid out to dry for several days before decoration.
Now the fun part: decorate your bird! I used puffy paint from the craft store to color in the physical features of my Black-capped Chickadee. Be sure to use a photo as a reference to decorate your bird! After you let your paint dry, hang up and dry!
Similar to the previous design, you can use many different bird shapes and colors to create many ornaments to hang on your tree!
I hope you enjoyed this article and be sure to tag us on our social media if you would like to share any bird inspired crafts you made this holiday season!
Though this year has turned out much different from what we expected, it has been such a joy to create content for the Friends of Creamer’s Field this year! I wish you all the best for this holiday season and a very happy and hopeful new year!
See you all out on the trails!
–Melanie Graeff, Programs & Events Coordinator for the Friends of Creamer’s Field