True story: 
When I was 10, I raised a family of wild baby birds.

For who knows what reason, I went through this stage where I was obsessed with finding birds’ nests.  I used to wander through our woods, and–get this–pray earnestly, through {real} tears, asking the Lord in heaven if He would please help me find a real nest with eggs in it, or at least help me catch (!!!) a real bird.

Clearly, I was a very strange child.

But the good Lord must have been entertained by these antics, and so one spring day, when I climbed a small tree where I had spotted a nest, to my utter amazement and absolute delight, I discovered 3 small eggs tucked inside.

I tell you, it was life-changing for me. 

And right then and there, I adopted those eggs.  They were mine, and when the birds hatched, I was determined to be there for them, to somehow, someway, care for them and feed them and see them through until they could fly on their own.  

(the poor bird mother, she must have been so annoyed).

Each day after school, I would run, still in my school dress, down through our horse pasture, across the stream, and into the woods to my tree to take care of {read: stare at} those eggs.

I was old enough to know not to touch them or move them or stay too long near the nest, and the mother bird was always around, waiting for me to climb back down so she could return to her our eggs.

I can remember the day I climbed that tree and peeked over the nest to see three naked, bulgy-eyed babies inside.  Those babies were uuuuugly, but I loved them anyway.  And now, I had some serious work to do.
Taking care of baby birds is no joke.
Every time I’d climb that tree and get near that nest, those little birds would open their mouths and beg me for food.  Poor things always seemed like they were starving, and I was certain that the mama bird needed my help feeding them.

So I literally spent my afternoons down by the stream, digging up small worms, washing them off, and carrying them in my hand back up the tree to drop them into the squawking mouths of my babies.  
I can distinctly remember feeling frustrated that they never seemed satisfied, and feeling so bad, I’d always make one last trip to the mud by the stream, and take one last pile of worms up the tree and literally, dump the worms into the nest before heading home for the night.  I truly thought I was saving the mama bird some work since she wouldn’t have to look very far for some food when it was her shift.  I was very possessive of my birds, and quite honestly worried about her babysitting skills.

My birds soon grew feathers.  I loved them, and I think they loved me too.  I mean, I brought them fresh worms daily, so that had to be fun.

They were so cute when they had feathers, but oh my, did they grow quickly!  Soon that nest was totally squished with the 3 of them in there, and they certainly did not look like babies anymore.

Then one day when I visited the tree, there was only one bird in the nest.  
The day after that, my nest was empty. 
I cried my eyes out.  My bird-raising adventure was over.

But– I was so glad to have had such a special experience, and only now, as an adult, do I realize how truly weird and crazy it was! 
My kids make me tell them this story over and over and over.  It’s pretty much their favorite of my childhood stories.  And naturally, they are bound and determined (especially my nature-loving daughter) to find their own nest of eggs, and raise some babies too.

In the meantime, though, we sometimes enjoy making our own nests.

Birds have been a big decorating trend for the past couple years.  
Like with all things “trendy,” I get on board waaaaay late, then ride it out waaaaaay past its expiration date, not caring it it’s still in style or not.  Especially when it’s something that I love and that goes with my decor anyway.  
And since I love things natural and neutral and nature-y in my home, birds and nests look great.  
So I’m calling it good and parking here for a while, regardless of the rest of the world’s decorating trends.

A word to the decorating wise though–
You can’t go totally crazy with something like this (which is tempting, since there is bird this and that ALL OVER the place). You just have to “sprinkle” it here and there, so it doesn’t overwhelm.

But for spring, it’s fun to amp up the bird decor a bit more. I mean, tis the season, right?

We’ve also found a couple bird’s nests over the years.  
We found this one last summer when we were berry-picking.  It was empty, and nestled down deep into the brambles of the black berry bush.
I pulled it out for some inspiration while I made my own nest.  Look at that sweet little bed of pine needles in the center.  

They are marvelous and beautiful and amazing little structures.  So intricate.
 By the way, did you know…most birds do NOT return to the same nest, or use any other bird’s previously occupied nest?  Makes you feel a little better about bringing one home when you do find it.

But you certainly don’t have to wait to find a nest out in nature!  You can gather some natural elements and make your own very realistic-looking fake.  Here’s what you’ll need.

Any natural looking branches or vines.  Even some thick hemp cord makes a lovely looking nest.  For this tutorial, I used part of a dollar-store grape vine wreath, a branch from the back yard, plus some embellishments, which I’ll show you in a bit (they really add a lot to your little nest, so don’t leave them out!).  You will also need a hot glue gun, unless you are REALLY skilled and bird-like and can built without using glue.  Is it possible? Of course, but I’m too impatient, so I definitely added a couple dabs of glue here and there as I built.
 First thing to do: unwrap your vine from its wreath-shape.  This will probably require you to cut some type of wire that is holding it together.  Once you remove the wire, the whole thing can unravel easily.
 Remove about 4 or 5 strands from the wine.  You’ll use these to build your nest.
 First, re-wind your vine (all 4 pieces) to form a tight circle, which will be the bottom of your nest.  Here you can see I hot-glued these pieces together to make it easier.
Then just continue wrapping the vines around one or two times.  Add a dab of glue if you need to.
At this point, you will want to CUT some of your vine off so you can begin weaving.
I cut each of my four pieces in a different place, so it didn’t look so obvious.
Then, you can just “weave” each piece under and over and through and around and tuck it in.  Now you don’t really need to use the glue.  Just weave it until each piece is coiled into the nest, like this:
However, when you turn it, you can see, it’s still pretty flat.  Now it’s time to build up the sides / top of the nest.
I grabbed a few more pieces of vine…
and taking one or two vine pieces at at time, just weave these under and over like you did before, but gradually make each circle wider.

 You can also “cheat” by taking a few pieces and making a whole new loop, like I did here…
 And adding it (with a couple dots of glue) to the top of the nest.  
I also tore off a few thin pieces from this pine tree branch and worked them into the nest for some variation…
Now the nest is deep enough, and it’s time to embellish!
Gather some moss, crafting feathers, craft eggs (or beads!), string, and even pieces of paper, mulch or dried leaves.
(Tip: this part is fun to let the kids help with)…

 Birds are very resourceful and will use all sorts of bits and pieces of trash and string as building materials–we even found human hair and decorative tissue paper in one nest by our house.
Here we added some string and dried leaves.
 Then some natural looking craft feathers and a bit of moss…
 And finally, we added some craft-store eggs and found a pretty place to display it.  
I love the natural looking eggs, but I also think this nest I did with my daughter turned out great…for hers, she used 3 cream-colored wooden beads for eggs.  It’s an interesting variation to use beads, but they had just enough of an oval shape to work.

That’s it for today ~ hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and oh my, I just can’t wait to wake up to a little more sunshine and bird-chirping!  

Until then, we can enjoy some spring crafting at least!
 See you back here tomorrow for our final day of our Bring in Spring! projects.  


And in case you’d like to read the other tutorials in our series…

Read the Intro to the Bring in Spring! Series HERE
Learn how to make a Mossy Monogram HERE
Learn how to make a Live Moss Wreath HERE
Learn how to Build Your Own Terrarium HERE
Learn how to create a Resurrection Garden (with Bible Study) HERE.

5 thoughts on “Bring in Spring! Day 4: Homemade Bird’s Nest

  1. Bethany

    This is cute! Yes, a little “bird decor” goes a long way; otherwise you’ll be known as that lady with all the birds in her house. Or “the bird lady”…and no one wants that. 🙂

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