It’s that time of year again- Christmas craft extravaganza time! Usually my Christmas crafts involve a Brooklyn apartment, a group of lovely friends and copious amounts of wine and/or hot buttered rum. This year I’m mostly on my own for the crafting, but I have added inspiration- I’m actually going to sell this stuff at our local holiday market. I figure what better product to offer at a small town Vermont craft market than some sparkly, colorful, cinnamon-scented bird ornaments?
I found the directions for these ornaments from Martha and you can check out her fancy pictures and instructions here. You can also print out her bird templates here. My easy breezy instructions for making these adorable little critters are as follows:
1. Make your templates: I printed them at about 140% size, traced them on to card stock and cut them out. (For reference, my cardinal is about 3.5″ tall.)
2. Make your dough: combine 1c cinnamon with 1/4c applesauce. Stir in 1/2c craft glue and let it rest for one hour. (I covered with plastic wrap, as I was a little worried about it drying out. That may not be necessary, but it didn’t hurt.)
3. Cut out your birds: I had to knead the dough for a couple minutes to achieve a smooth consistency. Then I worked on one quarter of the total batch at a time. Roll the dough on a cutting board to about 1/4″ thickness. Place your template on the dough and use an exacto knife to cut out your shape. Poke a hanging hole using a straw (or if you’re like me and don’t have a straw lying around, you can disassemble a pen and use that.)
4. Dry them out: Transfer your birds to a couple baking sheets and dry in a low temp oven for a couple hours. I set the oven to 195 and flipped them over after one hour. You can also dry them on wire racks for 24 hours, flipping every few hours, but who has the patience for that?
5. Bedazzle time! Gather your glitter, seed beads, micro beads, glue, bowls, spoons and toothpicks. Following the color blocks indicated on Martha’s template, I started gluing and glittering one color section at a time. You want to make sure each section dries about 30 minutes before applying a different color, so work your way through all the birds, then start again with your next color. I used a toothpick to achieve any fine details, otherwise the nozzle on my craft glue worked just fine. I would recommend locking away any helpful cats or other pets during this process. I had one glitter-footed kitty before I was through.
6. String ’em up: Tie fine ribbon in a loop through the hole and enjoy your birds! Hopefully they’ll be a hit at the market this weekend.
UPDATE: I enjoyed making these birds so much that I tackled some deer. Hunting season is almost over, but these little guys are too cute to shoot.