Monday, March 28, 2011

paper nests and homemade crackers

Since the weather here continues to be soooo cold and snowy, our robins and other birds have yet to return. We have taken it upon ourselves to make bird nests and decorate Easter trees to feel more springy while wearing layers of wool and huddled near the fire.

My friend V from recycled+revamped gave me the idea for paper nests. Leaf and I jumped into this project with much enthusiasm. Forgive me for only having a few photos of the process, glue fingers + camera = not great.

1. We took magazines that showed up in the mailbox full of bright spring children's clothes (you know, "junk" mail..... or more recycling as I call it) and tore them into thin strips. 2. Next we found small bowls that had a pleasing nest-like shape and wrapped them in plastic wrap. I am not sure if this is necessary, but I certainly did not want paper glued and stuck to my favorite bowls.

3. Then we made the "paste." A small amount of school glue mixed in a dish with warm water.

4. We dipped the paper strips into the paste and began to layer them into the bowls, some hanging over the edges to look like grasses. Occasionally, I would pour glue-water out of the bowls because it tended to puddle. I wanted the nests to be sturdy, but not too thick so they would dry faster.

5. When finished layering the strips and satisfied with how they looked, I placed them on a piece of cardboard to dry overnight. In the morning, I carefully pulled the nest and plastic wrap from the bowls. The nests were still damp, so I placed them near the woodstove to finish the process, peeled them gently from the plastic, and continued to dry them. I turned them over and rotated for even drying.

The results: sweet little nests for our felted birdies! These are great on the spring table and also make nice little gifts. We put a bird and some tiny stone "eggs" into one gift. Can you see the nest that has the word "love"? Must have been a picture of a graphic t-shirt, true magic at work!

As is the way of early spring in the north, the pantry is kind of bare. Leaf and I were craving crackers, so we set to work this morning to make it happen! She helped with measuring, mixing, rolling, and loved cutting them into fun shapes. We determined that the hen made the best cracker shapes. Here's to the spring hen! And, as I have an odd way with my recipe-less baking, I found a link to a recipe that is almost exactly how I make my crackers. The funniest part - it's from another Julie. Enjoy!


  1. Oh, how pretty are your little nests and birdies! What a neat idea :-)

    Our pantry is kind of bare these days, too. Lots of empty mason jars waiting to be filled back up again. I keep telling myself that this will be the year I learn how to can so I can fill them myself. In the meantime, perhaps some of these tasty looking crackers?

    Best wishes!

  2. Awesome! I'm so excited to have inspired you to do this! Your birds are pretty cute too. Eventually I'll get around to posting my nest photos...