Celebrating Spring: Mixed Media Birds

This session we are celebrating spring! In this project we used a variety of materials to create fun and dimensional “birds in a nest”.

  • Construction Paper
  • Googly Eyes
  • Feathers
  • Twigs, Yarns, Paper Shreds, etc.
  • Leaves (real, fabric, recycled art)
  • Blue Tempera Paint
  • White Cardstock or Construction Paper


  • Large Circle Punch

We opened with a reading of Birds by Kevin Hankes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek.
We used a 1/4 sheet of construction paper and punched two circles, one for the head and  on for the body of the bird. If you don’t have a whole punch handy, you could just as easily trace a glass or round lid and cut that out with scissors.
The nests were a half oval shape that we had prepared ahead of the class.
This is a fun project for kids because they get to use a lot of glue. Sometimes we use “drizzling” and sometimes we use “dot, dot, not a lot”.
We did not have an explicit order of operations. The kiddos were given the next making materials and bird materials at the same time.
In some cases the birds went on first and in others, stuff was collaged onto the nest first and the birds were placed on top.
After building the birds and their nest we painted the background of a full sheet of cardstock.
The students used a variety of blues with white and had a great time mixing on their paper.
Master’s Class Notes:
In master classes, we made our own leaves. We used paper that had previously been painted and traced leaves on the back so that our marks did not show on the front. We then cut out several leaves and made a “community” leaf pile.
Rather than pasting construction paper branches, the older students first drew a trunk and branches in chalk pastel which we then painted over. Drawing with the chalk first helped our students understand exactly where they were painting in the lines and where the background was.
We then allowed these to dry and created our nests using the instructions above.
With our nest done and our trees dry, we carefully traced our trees’ edges in blue paint and filled in the remainder of the sky.
While the paint was still wet, we added our re-purposed leaves and our collaged nests to finish off our fun spring scene!

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