Thursday, April 19, 2012

Springtime Bird's Nest Centerpiece • DIY

I previously shared with you my trip to Cape Cod to escape the long power outage here at home last October.  If you'll remember I scoured the windswept beach for driftwood with the thought of creating a driftwood wreath. That project never materialized probably because wall space is so dear in our home and the driftwood had been relegated to "The Collection." Out of sight but not forgotten.  Yesterday I took those pieces of driftwood and made a stylized bird's nest as a spring time centerpiece for the table.  I was very pleased with the end result......

The nest was surprisingly easy to make. Into it I put some crumpled paper from a gift and several hand-blown eggs.  It is a soothing, natural centerpiece. It makes me smile.

Here are some notes and photos on the process....

First of all, collect your driftwood. Being a crafter means collecting supplies when you see them, not necessarily when you need them. I always stuff my backpack with important items as we explore. David said I have to again share this photo with you of me hiking along the National Seashore. I am sure others view me as one of the "eccentrics". On second thought probably not. We were the only two on the miles of beach!

I had stored the collection of sticks for the winter and brought them down from the top of the garage to use.

I started by taking a kitchen bowl, turning it upside down and covering it with plastic wrap. The size of the bowl reflected the size of the sticks I had collected. I used one with about a 10" diameter on the rim.

Using hot glue to hold things in place,  I started placing sticks on the bowl building an upside down nest. 

The first few sticks I held as the glue cooled.  The building took very little time.

My goal was to build a structure that would be strong and balance well when flipped over.  I avoided placing sticks that stuck out too far always thinking about having some to form the base when I flipped it over.

I also was sure to put additional sticks into the area that would become the bottom of the nest.

Once I had enough sticks glued in place to create a strong nest like form, I took it off the bowl, turned it over and continued working from the top.

The structure was surprisingly strong because I was sure to have every piece glued to at least two others. 

Once I had a shape I liked the density of, I used scissors to cut off all the hot glue streamers threaded through out the nest. I then added the crumpled paper strips recycled from a gift and three of the eggs I had hand-blown.  Ihad already used Spackle to fill the ends (tutorial here) of the eggs so the blow holes are gone.

The project took only about 1/2 hour! (Well, actually longer because of the photography but would have been 1/2 hour if I wasn't blogging about it.) End results are very beautiful and time invested was small. Material cost was almost nothing because I used driftwood, recycled packaging and blown eggs from breakfast. The birds have started nesting here on Ashbee Hill although I haven't seen any sitting on their eggs yet.  Ah, the glory of spring!

Come back and visit tomorrow because I decided to "dress-up" a few eggs as well and I'll share those steps with you tomorrow.

©Ashbee Design, Marji Roy


  1. The nest is striking! I love your use of driftwood. You are so kind to share the steps to creating. I don't have the lovely driftwood, but I do have some interesting limbs pruned from a crepe myrtle. I think this will be my weekend project! Again, thanks for sharing! Susan

    1. Susan, Send along a photo when done. I expect many different types of branches could be used to create this nest project, many with interesting effects. Love to see what you do. Marji

  2. What a clever idea to build up your birds nest with a bowl. I love how natural it looks with the driftwood. Really pretty.

    I am always wondering where to put my glue gun in the middle of a project; just love the use of the coffee tin to hold it, brilliant.

    1. Mel, I put some small rocks into the bottom of the can to give it added weight. It doesn't matter if the glue drips in there or not. It worked well, almost as good as a third hand!, Marji

  3. This nest is so fun!! What a great idea. Thanks so much for the tutorial! Will have to look for some branches though I sure they won't be drift wood as we are not near water.

    bee blessed

    1. Thanks for commenting Mary Ellen. I collect the branches while on vacation and brought them home. I am always on the look out for natural supplies when I travel. You never know when you'll need driftwood, or smooth rocks, or interesting seed pods. A crater is always collecting!

  4. I can't wait to make this......I usually find more sticks than shells anyway ha/ha...I live on the Gulf Coast so we go to the beach a lot.….I'd like to invite you to share this @CountryMommaCooks Saturday Link and Greet Party(now-Sunday)…..have a wonderful weekend:)

    1. Thanks Deana. As you collect sticks I found the ones that were about 12" long worked best and the ones with ends weathered smooth looked best. I used one that was an awkward color and had to take it out because it distracted from the serene effect. Marji

  5. Very nice!! Thanks for sharing the "how to"

  6. Ok... LOVE this! It is just so beautiful and organic! Thanks for sharing your nest with us this week!

    Take care,


  7. Wowweee. I pinned this project right away. I'm so loving nests lately. i have them all over the place. Thanks so much and this is so original. Best wishes, Lind