Make a Bird Mobile Home

here is what it looks like when it is done.


Start by finding a gawdawful cheep (ha) and nasty bird house to alter:

Cover it with gummy 'strong PVA type' glue

apply dictionary paper or bible paper or serviette tissue or tissue paper over the glue - BE CAREFUL - don't get glue on the outside edge of the papers or let it come through the tissue paper as it will prevent your paint layers from 'taking' because PVA has a plasticky finish that doesn't work well with inks ( for the same reason never use modge podge) . Go light with the base glue, and worry not if the paper is not well stuck down as  later the paint wash with a gloss medium varnish glaze will stick down any loose edges and seal the whole thing beautifully.


Slap on the papier


see - not neat - doesn't need to be at this point - just leave it to dry, and whilst it is drying make the dangly bird mobile:

use a closure clasp (means of attachment to the home) - pass the string through the clasp - use beads to create a gap on the string before the first bird:

cut out three bird shapes and wings, make the birds slightly smaller each time, but keep the wings the same size (it helps to 'see' that the birds decrease slightly in size as you go down the mobile)

I used leather and I sewed the wings on first

I did some bead detailing ( catches the light when hanging spinning etc)

 then you need to be a bit clever.

You need to sew the 'mobile string' so it passes through the body of the bird,

lay the body piece down, lay the string along the centre line, second piece over the top, stitch it leaving the hole for the stuffing, stuff, stitch up the hole, and you will have a stuffed bird with string above and below - I used wooden beads as 'separators' repeat until all three birds are stitched onto the string i went big to little as it helps the balance of the mobile....

By now your glued paper will be dry

apply a base coat layer over the paper - I used the ranger distress stain thing-  don't cover the whole thing - ease off a bit.

let it dry

(if I was being patient I would use gesso instead - but i was not, so i did not)

spray it ( don't cover it all)

let it dry

then mix a tiddy bit of acrylic paint with loads of gloss medium and paint (not all over)

when your brush is nearly dry go over the areas you want glazed but not too 'painted' so you get more colour on some areas and less on others, if you don't load too much paint onto your brush you will find the colour picks up on the paper textures as you brush over the home.


you don't have to use liquitex - it is scarily expensive and really good, but any old gloss medium will work.  At a push just water down your acrylic - it might peel off though (the medium seals the work finishes it and if you use gloss gives it a glorious shine)


let it dry (overnight)

use upholstery tacks to attach the birdies mobile

hang it

love it


I hung a heavy key at the very end so it will cause serious head damage when hung up in our hall way - it adds to the fun...


what is the blue paper under my work?  my messy mat often is too messy to work on, what you see in bright blue is the blue freezer paper that lazy people like me - who don't make their own pastry - find wrapped around their shop bought ready rolled pastry.  Nothing sticks to the stuff so it is perfect for glue jobs, it peels off your work and is simply marblearse (marvelous)


And there you have it


a three bird mobile home



Donna Garner