Joyful Bird Tutorial

Joyful Bird Tutorial

Scrap Paper Bird

When you read this blog….do you ever get  frustrated with me?

Just a little?

I think if I read this blog…..I would totally get on my nerves sometimes.


I’m not even kidding.

I mean….I write a post about a spring mantel with painted bead board and multi-colored birds perched on hanging spray-painted turquoise branches that are suspended in mid-air…..

….without a single word of instruction.

Not even one.

What was I thinking?

I was just so excited to talk to you about the day and I got a little sidetracked with the rain and the cold and the dreariness and the slide show and all the joy.

And I forgot to tell you how I hung the branches.

Or what I put behind them.

Or where the birds came from.

Or any piece of remotely useful information or how-to….

……just in case you wanted to create your own joyful mantel.


There isn’t even that much to tell, actually.  I put bead board as a base for the branches and added the word NEST to the side.  I bought the birds on clearance after Christmas at a little boutique store and I couldn’t find them anywhere else.  So I recreated them for you with this tutorial.   To make them, all you need is a dollar store bird, scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.


And here’s a tutorial and instructions and helpful information…..and just a little discussion on joy…..all for you. 🙂


 Joyful Bird Tutorial of 2013


Scrap paper/different patterns and colors

Dollar store bird

Mod Podge


Poster board

Hot glue

Dollar Tree Bird


Step 1:  Find bird to use as base

This is the bird from my Noel mantel.

I bought it at the Dollar Tree.

If you live in western KY you might be out of luck….because I think I bought every one within a 100 mile radius to decorate for Christmas with.

I took the feet out and plucked some of the feathers off to make it easier to apply the Mod Podge.


Mod Podge


Step 2:  Apply scrapbook paper

Cut scrapbook paper into small pieces.

Apply to the bird with Mod Podge and a sponge brush.

Scrap paper bird


I used one pattern (yellow polka dot) for the belly and three (different pink patterns) for the top.

Between the two colors I cut a scalloped edge to separate them out of the pink.

Let dry overnight.

Bird Tailfeather


Step 3:  Make tail feathers

Cut long tail feathers out of poster board.

Cut a front and a back piece out of scrapbook paper to cover poster board.

Mod Podge scrapbook paper onto the poster board.

Cut away any excess.

Bird Front Wings

Step 4:  Make side wings

Repeat step 3 for side wings.

Cut away any excess.


Step 5:  Hot glue tail feathers

Tail feathers


Cut away white tail feathers on bird body, leaving behind base to glue scrapbook feathers to.

One at a time, overlapping each one, hot glue tail feathers onto back of bird.




Step 6:  Hot glue side wings

Hot glue side wings onto body of bird.

Cover the edge where they attach to the bird with scalloped trim.

Glue ribbon or feather trim to cover where the tail feathers were glued onto the back.

Clip on

Step 7:  Glue clip to back of bird

Glue a standard office clip to back.


Scrap Paper Bird


I know this is silly….but that bird makes me smile.

It’s so happy and joyful and pink.

And just a tiny glimpse of spring.


It poured again today with dark dreary skies and a high of 34 degrees.

But inside….the house smelled like pomander…..the fire was roaring…..little pieces of pink scrapbook paper covered the floor…..

…….and my heart was smiling. 🙂


Nest Mantel


PS  I hung the branches from clear fishing line.  We tacked thumb tack to the back of the bead board…..then wrapped fishing line around the branches and tied it off on the tacks.  The branches look like they are floating!

PPS  If your day is long and dreary, too….no worries….I have a whole page of projects to keep you busy. 🙂


Want Thistlewood Farm delivered right to your inbox?

It’s easy!  Just add your e-mail address below.

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Compliments! Is a very beautiful idea!

  2. Wow!! I’m glad I don’t live in Western Kentucky….because I want to try this on some of those birds! Happy Monday dear!

  3. I had no idea that you made those darlin birds. Gotta give this one a try.

  4. Is there anything you CAN’T do, Karianne?? What a fun and colorful project — love it, love it, love it. 🙂 Happy Monday!
    xo Heidi

  5. Oh girl! Your blog never annoys me! On the contrary, it is always like a breath of fresh air! Happy Monday Miss Karianne, rain clouds and all :-)!

  6. Girl, you could make and sell those cute birds. Just saying.

  7. I loved these on your original post and thought they were store bought. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tutorial.
    Have a Lovely Day,

  8. Oh Karianne, never have I been even the slightest bit annoyed with you. In awe, yes. Annoyed, never! I am continually amazed at your creativity. It’s dreary here too, so thanks for being the ray of sunshine!

  9. No, I never get frustrated – just amused and educated and joyful! Thanks so much for posting this tutorial! I was going to try to figure out how to make those birds myself, but you’ve saved me a lot of time (and frustration, I’m sure), so THANKS!

  10. The perfect little ‘mentally preparing for spring’ project!

  11. Hi KariAnne, It is a joyful bird! Thank you so much for showing how to make these. Joyous Wishes, Linda

  12. Annoying…not so much. Inspiring…always! Gotta love the birds…so darn cute! 😉

  13. Your birds are amazing!! Love the hot pink…
    Such a fun project……

  14. You could never get on my nerves, KariAnne. I love these little birds, cause I am tired of all the gloom and rain. It is definitely getting on my last nerve 🙂

  15. Love how the mantel looks, Karianne! How could you not smile seeing that lovely display of birds. It has been raining here and even the birds are in hiding.

  16. Of course I get annoyed with you…NOT! Thank you for sharing your beautiful birds-just the touch of joy needed to turn this gloomy, wet day into sunshine…inside my house at least. I’m trying remember to be grateful for this rain, considering it is January in Kentucky….. it could be SNOW!

  17. I could use a little touch of Spring, but with the temps outside being below zero, it seems a tad inappropriate at the moment. Love the creativity on the mantel! You’re just too much!

  18. You don’t frustrate me or get on my nerves, but it makes me mad that you come up with this stuff in that head of yours. I must need to take more vitamins, or eat home made mac and cheese. Or maybe it’s the lipstick? YEAH, that’s it, I never wear lipstick, now I know where I’m deficient.

  19. Never! Never! NEVER annoyed 🙂 It’s a breathe of fresh air to come here and I am absolutley in love with your birds!! I’m off to find birds for myself now :0)

  20. No I don’t get frustrated reading your blog.I thought you bought those birds like that LOL! So I have to actually create those sweet birds??? Hmmm not sure mine will look as beautiful as yours but I will give it a try.

  21. They make me smile! Thanks for the tutorial!

  22. I crown you completely and utterly BRILLIANT!!!!!!! AWE STRUCK!!!!! hugs…

  23. How do you do it? Your creativity amazes me!!!
    Thanks for the wonderful inspiration.
    I’m off to pin for easy reference.

  24. You are so clever.

    And heck no, bloggers ‘tease” like th at all the time, not frustrated with you at all – I knew it would come in time.

    Love it.

    I am not crafty so it isn’t gonna happen but sure would love to see that in ivories, browns, blacks, off white, sage greens………..i bet old yellowed sheet music would look awesome.

    love this idea, you rock

  25. Love this – I may have to try it with some small ceramic birds I never took the time to finish and some maps that I have been looking at for a while.

  26. Karianne
    One last bird request, can we please se a longer view of the mantel to get a full effect? And what is that garland? Did I mis it? Love the tutorial, if we ever get some darn snow (perect crafting weather) I intend on making some pastel rosy ones! Thanks, Lori

  27. What a perfect day for a Spring bird post- dreary, cold (20s) and too many people coughing. Thanks for brightening my day and giving me some “Joy”.

  28. Love this diy! Your little birdie is so pretty and springy!!

  29. Love your posts..I guess I though that you bought those birds..Should have known better..

  30. So, So ADORABLE!!! I really want to make these, thanks for the inspiration!!!! Hugs, Jennifer

  31. Hmmm . . . did you get as far East as Marion? 😉 Maybe there are some birds left in THIS part of Western KY! LOL Very cute! Someday (not a Monday, unfortunately!), I’m going to get crafty. Until then, I’ll sit back at my desk at watch YOU be crafty! 🙂 Have a great week – the SUN is shining today!!!! Well, off and on . . . .

  32. Thank you for sharing!! I so love visiting your site, you are an endless source of inspiration! May I ask, how did you create the little streamers that the nests are lined with ? I have a vintage bird cage that this project would be perfect for. Thank you for your time, and again , thank you for sharing all your gifts with us.

  33. The world is a better place thanks to scrapbook paper & mod podge – so cute!

  34. Add a couple of hearts for Valentines Day, then on to decoupage eggs for Easter and you won’t have to change out that bead board until Derby! Looks like happy spring to me!

  35. I love these! I was wondering where you got those cute birds. They are perfect for so many things. Thanks for the tutorial~

  36. No way! I totally thought you bought the birds that way – really glad you shared the tutorial, can’t wait to try this out myself!

  37. I have never, ever, not once, been frustrated with your blog! It is like a breath of fresh air every single time. And besides, I always know that if I need more details, you, being the sweet person you are, will supply them, all one asks to do is ask!! You have the most amazing talent and imagination, and come up the very best ideas.
    It is dark, dreary, and cold here, too. Ten degrees last night, going to be colder tonight, and a coating of ice on everything. At lest it is beautiful when a ray of sunshine peeks through, and makes the whole world glitter as if sprinkled with diamonds!!! Stay warm and cozy, sweet friend.
    Hugs and blessings.

  38. You are incredible, KariAnne! I’ve talked about you writing a book, and still think you should:), but maybe you’d consider starting your own franchise so I could “Thistle-fy” my home??? Even your tutorials are delightful…only thing I can figure is that you’re gifted in that area, too! And while those adorable birds make me smile with joy, and I no longer have to face branches all over the floor instead of on the mantle :),each and every post you’ve written does that as well. You…frustrating…NEVER!!! You are that first breath of spring, that gift of joy. Thanks so much for everything! You are appreciated.

    Hugs, Zolane

  39. I love the birds! They are so cute and what is that neat garland made out of??? I thought it all came from Anthro!

  40. That bird is just darling…well, the whole project is darling. Great job and a wonderful tutorial- xo Diana

  41. this is so genius!! i really love the bright colors 🙂

  42. Uh oh. Now you need to do a garland tute too …

    🙂 me

  43. Those little guys are so charming and so sweet. Total joy all over the place. Just beautiful!

  44. I am such a fan of decorating with birds and of course here we are with Spring around the corner! I am thrilled with this wonderful tutorial! I will surely be making some of these colorful and delicate creations for myself! Thank you !! Just began following you:)

  45. First of all….I never get frustrated with you….How can you get frustrated with someone who always puts a smile on your face…makes you laugh till you cry…and you have to make sure that you are not drinking coffee when reading…as sometimes it explodes out of your mouth when you write something so hilarious!!…Love the birds Kari!!…so creative and beautiful….

  46. I never get frustrated, but I definitely love a good tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing how you made those adorable little birdies! 🙂

  47. Way cute! They look just as good with the scrap book paper as they did white. Great idea!

  48. No, I don’t get frustrated with you. =) I enjoy looking at what your creative mind makes, and the pleasure of looking at your pictures is plenty. While I’d like to have you decorate my house, it isn’t likely I’ll ever do it, though I could by following your posts. =)

  49. Beautiful! I hope I come across a little bird, so I can give this a try. Thanks for the great post!

  50. No, I don’t get frustrated with your posts, they are actually quite entertaining! And this mantle decor is precious…love how you did the branches, and those birds???? Priceless…
    Debbie 🙂

  51. That little pink bird makes me so happy too! What a cute project! I’d like to make some, we are birdie around here. We love having a little bird here or there, or everywhere for that matter.

  52. I love the mantle and would love to show my 9 yr old this tutorial, but my favorite part about this post is thinking of you being deliriously cozy and happy in your birdy house. It makes my heart warm.

  53. Confession. i was in a cleaning mood and that meant blogs. Unfotunately i must go through one last read before i do the unsubscribe!!!!! you see i just dont need to do that many craft projects and well my house is okay except for a project or two before i hire someone to do the rest in my own sweet time…so like i said, it was hatchet time at my house–Okay…God really used you yesterday on the posting of this (gulp) ugly bird. There I said it. You see the day before or whenever NOEL was put away I got so caught up in the sticks appearing and nests (yes, Power Point 101 but I’m easily entertained) and how awesome it all looked and how you’d found these awesome and I mean wonderfully unique awesome wallpaper birds that I’d actually not put you with that wonderful blogger. I mean this bird was PINK!! And then tail feathers and I howled. Is that mean? I’m not laughing at your bird. He truly brought me such great joy for being so absolutely different than his elegant cousins perched on turquoise twigs that I just could not push unsubscribe. Your post is just too great and that bird is what saved the day. He just made me giggle and giggle and giggle some more! So have a great day and no I’m never bored or lost or confused by your posts!!! Just happily entertained.
    A merry heart is like good medicine!! Have a good day!!!

  54. 🙂 You have every right to be happy about that bird – he is totally cute. I pinned him 🙂

  55. Really loving this bird! And your tutorials are so well written and photographed, that I think even I could make something like this. (And that’s really saying something, coming from this non-crafty person.) Just one “dumb” question…why the office clip on the bird’s belly??

  56. Dear Karianne,
    I am so glad you like red lipstick and you are way too young-looking to be a mother of 4…can I move in and be your maid. Boy, God filled you to over capacity with talent and loving life.
    I borrowed/stole the one picture of your bird so I can do a post about you on my blog…I need people to see I hang out with the big gals…maybe I might get a wee bit of attention. (rolling eyes with a sheepish grin)
    love…love your home…you…your blog…everything about you.
    I’ll be back
    hugs and thanks for sharing