Friday, December 16, 2011

25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Series - Day 16

The Gift of Health And Happiness Ornamental Bird Nest
A little bird nest that I found last year
while trimming the bamboo.
According to an old German legend, if you find a bird nest in the tree you harvest for Christmas, you will have an entire year of health and happiness.  I cannot imagine the excitement a young German family would experience if, indeed, they brought the tree home only to find that a lovely little bird had left behind this amazing gift! 

A simple, thoughtful way to send health and happiness to a friend is by conveying your well wishes by making and giving a wonderful little bird nest for their Christmas tree.  My sister told me about this legend a few years back.  I was charmed by the thought and I wanted to make a few of these little precious ornamental nests for a few friends on my list.

The following tutorial explains how to make your own nest, but of course you can buy a pre-made nest at your local crafting store, or perhaps you have a real one left behind in your yard.  Now that would be neat too! 

Spanish Moss
Wire for the nest frame
Floral wire
Decorative birdie
Clothes Pins
Assorted accents
Narrow, small holiday ribbon
scissors, wire snips, hot glue gun

I first made a little make shift basket with the base wire.  I did this by first making a loop the circumference of the nest.  I then used three additional pieces of wire to create a basket bottom, twisting the ends of the wire around the top loop. 

I then grabbed a handful of moss and rolled it in my hands, tangling the material.  Then I gently shaped the nest, digging into the middle with my thumbs to create the bowl-like shape.

I put a big glop of hot glue on the outside bottom of the nest and pressed it into the wire frame working it around to create the basic nest. 

I then turned the nest upside down and hot glued a clothes pin to the bottom of the nest. Allow the hot glue to set up on the clothes pin.

Turn the nest back over and prop it up.  Next you will place the bird, the accents you have chosen and a little bow on the top of the nest. 

First start with the bird.  A few of my birds came on clips, some on sticks, one on nothing.  The one that had nothing, I jammed and hot glued a skewer into the bottom of that bird, cut off the excess skewer and used hot glue to place him in the nest.  The extra reinforcement matters for stabilizing the bird to the nest. 

Form the small bow and run a floral wire through the back of the knot.

Fold the wire in half and twist together.

Put hot glue on the wire and work it into the front of the nest to secure. 

You are done!  Here are my results.

A little red bird with holiday accents and a white grosgrain bow.

I little white birdie with artificial holiday greens and a thin, red satin bow.

I made this one for a friend of mine who celebrates both  Christmas and Hanukkah in her home.

This little nest is one I made for myself.  The sparkly little gold darling has collected up her treasures.  They happen to be two of my mother's vintage clip earrings.  Since I love vintag-y stuff, think they make a wonderful accent.  More personal. 

The sky is the limit with this project.  You can alter what type bird you want to use, the accents and the bows according to your recipient. Just remember to include a little note with your nest, explaining the legend.  It makes it all the more special and conveys your wishes.  I hope you enjoyed this little project.  Would love to know which one was your favorite! Here's mine...

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for my
Day 17
25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Ideas and Gifts Series!!

-The End-
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Linda M. said...

Hi Again Lesley, Here I am at day 17. Thanks for the tutorial on making the adorable birds in nest ornaments. I'm going to try to get to all the days I missed. Linda

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

these are adorable! i have a friend who hates birds and i sometimes give her bird things as a joke- this would be great! ;) i personally love birds so we always laugh about it- and she buys me bird things and says she has to suck it up just for me.

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

Alright, you definately have my attention here! I never knew of the birds nest and the good luck belief until reading it just the other day in blogland. And of coarse, I LOVE bird's nest in my tree. I just may have to do some (a lot) of these for next year, because I intend to use the same theme for next year.

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I have an old nest that I put in our tree every year, but now I know there's folklore behind it. Darling nests! I especially like the earings placed in the nest, because birds love to line their nests with shiny objects they find while they're out and about.

KAT said...

Love IT !!!
I think I have all the supplies to make a few of these !
Thank you my crafty gal-friend !
- KAT -

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

These are so cute! But I wonder if I could just bring in the real bird's nest from my tree outside... ;-)

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Fabulous story! And so cute, though I may be more impressed by the basket you made from the wire. Great idea!

Sunny Vanilla said...

These turned out really cute but the legend that goes with it makes it even more special. What a great gift idea. I'm puttin' this in my memory bank. :-)

Twice Nice said...

OOOh! I LOVE the little gold birdie with all her shiny treasures. This is a great idea! I have a friend I was agonizing over what to get her and now I think a bird nest would be perfect!
Thanks so much for sharing! Deb

Grammy Goodwill said...

Robin and Jay asked me to find out what you charge for building homes, I mean nests.

AdrienneRose Gionta said...

Love your projects & How to's! You are AMAZING! Are there any Pink birds?

tofubeast said...

Very pretty!!I love the gold one too, esp. with the touch of your mom present in the nest. So special.

Butterbean Row said...

YOu are so clever! They are so pretty!


LDH said...

Stopping by again to see more of your Christmas projects! They are all so cute!

Margo said...

This is such a sweet idea; my kids would love to see a little birds nest on the tree!

Lisa Montsion said...

I like the bird that is blue the best.