Make your own Patriotic, Folk Art Bird

Today’s Patriotic, Folk Art Bird is definitely a keepsake craft – a treasured project that you’ll display for years. Designer Rebekah Meier walks you through the process of creating the body from shapes of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, and then covering it with paper clay. Her clear, step-by-step instructions make this easier than it looks. Plus, there’s drying time involved, so you don’t need to do it all at once. Do a few steps now and a few steps later till it’s done. It’s worth it!

Adorable, folk art bird made by Rebekah Meier. Follow her tutorial and you really can make this yourself! #PatrioticCrafts

Patriotic Folk Art Bird by Rebekah Meier.

To make a Folk-Art, Patriotic Bird, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: one each 4” egg; 2” and 2-1/2” balls
  • Paper clay, 1 package (Rebekah used Creative Paperclay®)
  • Acrylic craft paints: Deep Midnight Blue, Tomato Red, Antique Gold, Raw Umber, Tapioca
  • Gel stain in Maple
  • Staining & antiquing medium
  • Varnish, satin finish
  • Bamboo skewers, two
  • Felt, navy blue
  • Glitter glue, red & silver
  • Silver glitter
  • Metallic chenille stems, red, blue, & silver
  • Powder
  • Cream blush
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Optional: Glass cutting board
  • Tools needed: Scissors; clay knife; clear acrylic clay roller; waxed dental floss; star shaped cookie cutter; round toothpicks; fine sanding block or paper; pencil; ruler; 1/4”,1/2” flat, liner paintbrushes; paper towels

To make a Folk-Art, Patriotic Bird:

1. Using a sharp pencil, mark line around the middle of 2-1/2” ball. Place dental floss on the line and pull, cutting the ball into two halves. Save one half for a future use. Spread glue on one half, sprinkle with silver glitter and shake off excess. Let dry.

2. To make the body of the bird, attach the 2” ball on an angle to the narrow end of the egg using toothpicks and craft glue.

4. Sprinkle powder on your work surface; a glass cutting board is a good option. Roll a 3” ball of clay to a 1/8” thickness.

5. Press clay onto bird’s body, completely covering it with a thin layer of clay. Add a little extra to the tail area. Add a small piece of clay to bird’s face, forming a beak. Build up an eyebrow area above each eye.

Detail of the Patriotic Folk Art Bird by Rebekah Meier.

Add extra clay for the beak and to build up a ridge for the eyebrows.

6. Smooth clay with wet fingertips until all seams are blended.

7. Insert two, 2-1/2″ bamboo skewers into the bottom of the bird for legs. Let dry completely.

8. Sand clay with fine sandpaper until completely smooth. Remove excess dust with paper towel or soft cloth.

9. Repeat Step 4 to roll out a small ball of clay and cut out a clay star. Dab a small amount of water on the center of the bird’s body and apply the star. Let clay dry.

10. Refer to photo and paint bird:

  • Lower half of body: Deep Midnight Blue
  • Top half of body: Tomato Red
  • Head: Tapioca
  • Legs: Tomato Red
  • Star and beak: Antique Gold
  • Body detail: Use a liner brush to apply a thin gold line between the blue and red halves.
  • Beak detail: Use liner brush to add line details with Raw Umber.
  • Eyes:
    • Dip pin heads into Raw Umber to create dots for each eye.
    • Add a fleck of Tapioca to each eye.
    • Paint a curved line of Raw Umber above each eye for eyebrows.

11. Mix equal parts Maple gel stain with Staining & Antiquing Medium. Apply stain mixture with a paper towel and immediately wipe off the excess.  Let dry. Apply a coat of varnish and let dry.

11. Cut one 1-1/2” x 6” strip and a 1-1/2” circle from navy blue felt. Roll felt into a cylinder and secure with glue.  Glue cylinder shape to circle (brim).  Cut a felt circle for the top of the hat and glue in place.  Glue hat to bird’s head.

DIY this keepsake folk art by Rebekah Meier. This is definitely a keepsake! #PatrioticCrafts

Top it off with a top hat!

12. Apply cream blush to cheeks.

13. Insert legs of bird into glittered half ball.

14. Decorate hat with red and silver glitter glue. Outline star with silver glitter glue.

15. Cut 2” lengths of red, blue, and silver chenille stems.  Twist together at one end and pin or glue to the tail of bird.  Wrap silver chenille stem around the neck of bird. (Tip: If you’d like to antique the chenille stems, apply a tiny amount of black acrylic and wipe off immediately with paper towel.)

And you’re done. Display proudly!

A mini-series of three, patriotic flag crafts on Crafts 'n Coffee. Choose from a Vintage Ruffled Flag, a Duct Tape Flag, or a country-style no-sew fabric flag. #PatrioticCrafts

A glimpse of last week’s patriotic crafts.

Did you miss last week’s mini series of flag crafts? If you’re looking for a quick & easy patriotic craft idea, you’ll want to check these out:

Vintage, Ruffled Flag

Duct Tape Flag

No-Sew, America-The-Beautiful Flag

Happy red, white and blue crafting,


This entry was posted in Craft Tutorial, Home Decor, Patriotic Crafts, Vintage Crafts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Make your own Patriotic, Folk Art Bird

  1. LisaM says:

    that is one cute bird. Love all the Patriotic crafts. 🙂

  2. Cookie 17 says:

    Love this little bird sooo cute,great job,,,,

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