Bird Crafts - for Seniors

Bird crafts and bird themes are popular with senior activities all year round. In fact, it was quite surprising! When we developed our Senior Activities By The Month pages, we learned that special monthly commemorations and calendar dates about birds came at unusual times. For instance, January 5 is National Bird Day! Here are a few fun ideas to try throughout the year...


Popular Bird Crafts

Burlap Bird Collage

We provide several bird templates throughout this page, so feel to use any of them for any project, not just the one shown (below).

Materials:
Small frame with cardboard backing, and glass
Piece of fabric cut to fit
Piece of burlap
Black 3D “puffy” paint (outlines)
…or black acrylics with pointed paint brush
…or black marker
Water container
Glue gun or good craft glue
Scissors
Button or googly eye (optional, for eye)
Stick to use as a branch (optional, not shown)

Trace a simple bird pattern onto the burlap and cut it out. Center and glue the burlap onto the middle of your fabric. Let glue dry.

Then outline the bird shape in black. I used 3D paint, as it gives dimension. But black marker or acrylics will work too. I added marker feet on the bottom, also an eye. Or glue on a googly eye or button.

Optional: Use markers to also draw on a wing and feather design. Also, instead or making feet, you could glue on a flat twig under the bird, as if he’s sitting on it.

When everything is dry, place the collage with cardboard backing into its frame. I also suggest using a frame that has a piece of glass for protection.

The cardinal (with template) below was created in a similar manner, using gingham for the backdrop. A real branch could also be used. I dabbed on paint for the snow, but cotton would look cute instead.


Cardinal Collage


Money Bird

These bird crafts are fun if you’re going to be giving money as a gift. They can be tied onto a wreath, tree, on a gift, or at a place setting.

Materials:
Clothes pin
Money
Small orange or yellow paper (beak)
Acrylic paints in colors you like
6 to 8 craft feathers
Paint brush
Water container and rag
Scissors
Craft glue
Thread
2 googly eyes (optional) instead of painted eye

Paint the clothes pin with acrylics and dry. Add eyes in black (marker works too), or glue on googly eyes. After the paint dried, I tied a thread through the slit of the clothes pin for hanging, before adding the money and feathers.

Beak: Fold the small square of orange paper in half and cut out a triangle on the fold. Flatten the fold area, so you can glue the beak onto the bird’s head.

Wings: Dab a little glue onto the ends of the feathers (2 to 3 on each side). Slide them into the clothes pin slit. Also glue some in at the tail end. Let the glue dry.

Fold the paper money into a fan shape. Gently slide it into the slit of the clothes pin, over the feathers. 


Plastic Egg Bird

Bird crafts are popular for spring and Easter, especially in pastel colors. Also get them at garage sales and dollars stores. Ours is shown in blue, but any color will do!

Materials:
Colored plastic egg
Craft feathers
Curled ribbon
Googly eyes; or use black marker
Small orange paper square (for beak)
Wider ribbon for stand
…or use a small bottle cap for a stand
Scissors
Craft glue
Treats for inside the egg!

Stand: Make a circlet with wider ribbon to form a stand, gluing the ends together. Or just use a plastic cap from a small jar or bottle.

Glue feathers and curled ribbons onto the sides of the lower egg, as wings. Also glue a bunch onto the back side for a tail. Add a small tuft onto top of the head. Glue on googly eyes. (Or you can draw on eyes with black marker). Place the bird in its stand.

Beak: Fold the small orange square of paper and cut a triangle on the fold. Press the fold area flat so it can be glued onto the bird’s face.
Put the treats into the egg, and it’s ready!


Colorful Paper Bird

I used an old painting for this colorful bird. But you could also use wrapping paper or fabric. Easy when using a template below.

Materials:
Colorful old art work, wrapping paper, wallpaper, or fabric
Black marker
Optional: kabob skewer (planter stick)
Hole punch, and thread (if making a mobile)
Scissors
Craft glue

Uses: If you want to use the birds as a mobile or to attach to a kabob skewer stick as a planter decoration, then you would make it double-sided. If using using as a piece of art work, collage, or on a hand-made greeting card, single-sided is fine.

For double-sided, fold the paper or fabric and cut back-to-back. Glue the 2 pieces together. If you are going to insert a kabob stick, then leave a small opening at the bottom of the bird. Put a dab of glue on the stick and insert. Let the glue dry.

Cut wings separately and glue on. The wings can also be of an entirely different pattern, for a mix-and-match look! Then outline the pieces in black marker.

The similar sample below, made into a planter decoration, is detailed on our Spring Senior Activities page.


Bird with Dried Flowers

Bird crafts can also be used in centerpieces, and even to display flowers, as with this colorful idea. Made with bright wrapping paper, a cardboard tissue tube, and dried flowers, it is really easy. Again, see full info on our Spring Senior Activities page.


Watercolor Bird

Ever made a watercolor that didn’t “turn out”? Don’t throw them away! They can be used to cut into bookmarks, or to use in collages, like the watercolor bird crafts featured here. Or make a free flowing painting from scratch…

Simply dampen watercolor paper with a very wet sponge, then load your paint brush with paint (do one color at a time) and dab the color onto the wet paper. Rinse the brush, then add another color. Watch the colors flow into each other. Let the painting dry thoroughly. Then it's ready for cutting out a bird shape for your collage. (Or even cut several double-sided and make a mobile).

Materials:
Previous watercolor painting
Fabric for background
Frame (with backing and glass)
Craft glue
Black marker
Scissors
Twigs for bird feet
Optional: googly eye
Watercolor Materials:
Watercolor paper
Watercolor paints
Brushes
Water container and rag
½ or ¼ of a sponge

To assemble:
Cut fabric to the size of the frame. Use a template to draw the bird onto your watercolor. Outline the edges with black marker. Then cut out the bird. Make a wing from another section of the painting, and outline it. It’s nice if the wing can be different and stand out.

With spots of glue on the back of the bird, attach it to the center of the fabric (leaving room at the bottom to add feet). Then add the wing.

Darken the beak, and add an eye. Or use a craft googly eye. Add 2 little twigs to the bottom of the bird for feet. Let all glue dry. Then place in the frame.

…Plant Stick - You can also make these watercolor craft birds double-sided by folding the painting in half, then cutting it out. Glue together, leaving a little opening at the bottom to insert a kabob skewer to make a plant stick.


Painted Pot

Painting on pots is another creative project for bird crafts. If you really want to keep it simple, leave the pot in its original terra cotta color, instead of painting the background (like red). Just paint your design directly on the pot. (But something colorful is really uplifting).

Uses: For dried plants, real plants, holders for pillar candles, to give with packets of seeds, or even fill with treats. And if you use pastel colors, they’re perfect to fill with Easter grass and candies!

Get full directions (and designs for other occasions) on our Painting Clay Pots page.

You can use the template below for this design. The acrylic colors I used were red, turquoise, ultramarine blue, green, brown for branches, and black marker.

First I sponge painted the lower pot red. Then made a turquoise stripe around the bottom of the rim. Then added ultramarine blue dots. Above the blue, I made red stripes. When that was dry, I made the branches, leaves, and birds. Using black marker is an easy way to outline.

 Ideas for foliage are on our leaf template page.


Gourd Goose

You can make bird crafts in the Fall too. Like the whimsical gourd goose. Gourds come in all shapes and sizes, and many are perfect for birds - especially those with a long "neck,"and stem "beak"!

Ideal for centerpieces, especially with a moss nest, and candies.

We have a nice group of creative projects on our Gourd Craft Ideas page. (Lots of other fun things for fall and Halloween too!)

Pinecone Bird

Pinecones are another item from nature that come in a great array of sizes -  from tall and thin, to round and chubby, to very small. All of them are delightful for making bird crafts.

Decorate them with feathers, cut paper, googly eyes, curly ribbon, buttons and bows, and just about anything else you may have around.

Great for using in centerpieces, to hang on trees and wreaths, or at place settings. Perhaps with a little candy cup too. See what we did on our Pinecone Crafts page.


"Painted" Oranges

Bird crafts "painted" on fruit? I used a branch and blackbird theme for this orange trilogy. But any design that you can make in a continuous flow will work (i.e. florals). All you need are 3 oranges and a black marker! Later, just peel the oranges and eat.

(P.S. - You can also do this on apples. But you'd have to peel them before eating).

These are created as part of an overall centerpiece. You can use any part of the template below to help with your design.


Golf Ball Owl

Owls are often used for Fall and Halloween as well. This cute one is made from golf balls, feathers, and paper. We have many other ideas on our Easy Halloween Crafts page.

You may find a few bats too. (Not exactly birds, but they do fly).


Chocolate Strawberry Birds

Speaking of owls, make edible bird crafts like chocolate strawberries. This owl is just one example. We have many more ideas too, and ways to decorate. See how to do this chocolate strawberry owl on our page about Halloween Treats for Seniors.

And there are more chocolate strawberry birds for other occasions too – spring, Easter, even Valentines Day. You might even invent your own. See the variety on our page about how to make chocolate covered strawberries.  Like the bluebird with jelly beans shown below.

Feather Bird

Feather bird crafts have many possibilities. The one shown here is done in red and white, perfect for Valentines Day, and displayed as a plant decoration. It was part of a table centerpiece.

You can see that it has 2 styro balls and a pipe cleaner neck. Get the full directions on our feather craft page.

But maybe you want simpler. You can always use just one styro ball, or egg shape. Cover with feathers in your choice of colors. (Black is great for Halloween, browns for Fall).

Add a long beak that sticks out from amongst the feathers, and big googly eyes. Then perch in a small bowl of dried moss or raffia.

If you attach a hanger from the top, you can hang it on a wreath or tree too.


More Templates

We have a few more templates below that you can mix and match with our bird crafts, or use in something else...


Our Craft Book!

Easy Crafts and Gifts

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for one
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"200 Template Drawings"


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