Crafters to the rescue?

on July 2, 2012 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 29 comments by

Dear friends,

I find myself in a bit of a situation.

See, I have this bird. My grandmother loved birds, she watched live birds, and she collected non-live birds.

I have this bird of Ma’s that sits on my desk. It reminds me of her and I love having it. But, be that as it may, and knowing full well that there is a chance people in Heaven can read blogs [sorry Ma], I’m still gonna say: I think this bird is so ugly.

I want to fix it.

I’m been crazy perusing Pinterest to try to find if anyone else had taken an ugly bird ornament and turned it into a cute and trendy piece of decor. But, as you can imagine, it is hard to figure out exactly what to google in this situation.

“Ugly bird craft”

“Changing an ornament”

“This bird deserves a better life”

Shocking no one, I had no luck.

So I’m hoping some of your Pinteresty/crafty gals out there will be able to help me figure out a cool way to transform this little guy into something not so, uhhh… ornamenty. [Though, since he is perched on a stand of holly leaves, it might be a bit hard.]

The ceramic bird is merely four-ish inches tall and he gets a little delicate at the wing. The string can come out of his back, obviously, but it’s gonna take some interesting work to turn him cool.

Any of you have an idea of how I can craft this 1980s Christmas bird into a 2012 trendy Nash-bird? 


  1. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 5:54 AM  |  reply

    I’m waiting to see what Nester suggests. Painting owls all white seems to be a trend now. Maybe it will work for a cardinal?

  2. Lauren
    posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 6:25 AM  |  reply

    Spray painting the entire thing white would be classic…or you could go with a fun color- bright yellow, turquoise, etc…you could even switch it up and spray paint over it from time to time!

  3. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 6:57 AM  |  reply

    Long time reader, first time commenter. I’m on the spray paint wagon here too– white or a nice ivory. And maybe replace the gold hanger thingy with a tassel in a fun color– turquoise, bright yellow?

    I love that you want to keep this to think of your grandma, but that you’re also willing to change it up to suit you.

    Good luck!

  4. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 7:00 AM  |  reply

    Absolutely spray paint it! Young House Love is always spray painting animals and it looks cute. Here’s one example:
    Good luck! And tell us how it goes and what you do, okay?

  5. Kelly
    posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 7:26 AM  |  reply

    Before I read the other comments, I was going to also say all white or silver spray paint. We seem to all agree. Solid white accessories are very trendy right now.

  6. Nicole
    posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 7:37 AM  |  reply

    Another spray pain’t suggestion, here!

    But, given that popularity, now I feel the need to come up with alternative ideas.

    Smash it to pieces and make a mosaic (perhaps even a mosaic with a bird)

    Modge podge, glitter, clear spray coat

    Hire a craftsman to whittle a replica out of wood

    Take a picture of it: edit it (black and white, edit out the holly, etc) and put it in a nice frame.

    Build/ buy a bird house (coo-coo clock?) that matches your decor. Put bird in it with only a portion showing.

  7. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 8:28 AM  |  reply

    Another vote for spray paint! I remember a post of Lisa Leonard’s where she did that with a truly awful bird she found while thrifting and it turned out really cute. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  8. Gretchen N.
    posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 8:31 AM  |  reply

    Get rid of the tassle and spray paint! White is always good, but a bright, fun color would look great, too! Just have fun with it! There is no right or wrong!

  9. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 9:31 AM  |  reply

    I was going to say maybe mod podge with book pages or something. Not sure that would work with all the detailing.
    So I think Nicole’s idea to mod podge with glitter is an excellent idea. Perfect for you! I’d probably spray paint it first and then add the glitter.

  10. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 9:44 AM  |  reply

    I don’t know about spray painting it, but maybe make a little nest with some eggs for it to sit on and cover up the holly and berries with them or parts of the nest. Then it looks like a papa bird protecting his young. Being a different color (brownish? or ivory) would make it more like a momma bird since they aren’t as colorful.

    So, there is something a little different from spray painting it. I hope you are able to salvage it and keep it as a great memory of your grandmother.

  11. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 9:47 AM  |  reply

    I’d take out the string for sure….and then either paint or camouflage the holly leaves.

  12. Face
    posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 9:59 AM  |  reply

    A different idea: Make it your potluck trademark.
    Anytime you go somewhere where you have to bring a dish, BAKE THE BIRD into your meal– cake, casserole, Jell-o mold, etc– and let it be a surprise to your friends.

  13. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 10:36 AM  |  reply

    I envisioned a light blue/light turquoise color for the bird (sans string). Nashville always makes me think of a cool blue color…kind of like what’s on your first book cover!
    And maybe finding a nest to rest her feet in, or put moss on the bottom to cover the holly.

  14. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 11:13 AM  |  reply

    I’m afraid I have no suggestions to add, but wanted to let you know that I had a good and proper lol at the bird. Made my day, thanks Annie!! (looking forward to seeing you soon!)

  15. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 12:05 PM  |  reply

    i agree with all of the spray painting suggestions. white, or an accent color to match your decor… turquoise, orange, yellow? since you seem to like glitter you could always use some on the wings 😉

    wish i could come up with a different suggestion but i am clueless when it comes to crafting.

  16. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 12:34 PM  |  reply

    I have not a crafy bone in my body, but I like the spray paint idea, too! The mosaic idea is also interesting.

    I hope you’ll show us the finished product.

  17. Alexandra
    posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 12:48 PM  |  reply

    Yes! Spray paint!

  18. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 12:49 PM  |  reply

    Um . . . hello! Obvious answer: paint it like a Mockingjay and hang it from a circle. Attach an arrow to the sucker and you’ve got an instant one-of-a-kind Hunger Games token to hang from the ceiling somewhere in your house. You might have to bust the holly thing-y part off, though. 🙂

  19. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 1:39 PM  |  reply

    I’m in agreement with spray painting him white! Instant cuteness!

  20. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 1:59 PM  |  reply

    I have to say I am on the spray painting bandwagon.

    Here’s an example, I got this ugly owl and spray painted it white and wow, it looks better. super easy to do, too.

  21. eastover
    posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 2:22 PM  |  reply

    Mercury Spraypaint would be my suggestion

  22. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 6:26 PM  |  reply

    I love the spray paint idea but I also like modge podge. Maybe with some pages of a vintage book?

  23. posted on Jul 02, 2012 at 10:43 PM  |  reply

    My mom and I have a game we play with a similar Goodwill prohibited family keepsake I was given.

    When we visit each other, we hide it somewhere in the other person’s house. Somewhere not too obvious, but it still won’t take them more than a few days to notice it.

    It’s quite a juvenile game and surprisingly entertaining. The thing even made it to Taiwan and back. It always makes my day when I get to hide it at her house or I stumble across it in mine.

    You could play this game with another friend or more. Still spray paint it some fun color though.

  24. Felicity
    posted on Jul 03, 2012 at 12:42 AM  |  reply

    White paint.

    And glitter. Lots and lots of glitter.

    Make sure you post pictures of the finished result.

  25. Rene
    posted on Jul 04, 2012 at 12:11 PM  |  reply

    I would love to get my hands on that little guy! (seriously, send him to me) because, well, dare I say it without offending….. spray paint IMO will make it look cheap. And not knowing just how sentimental you are about said bird, I think it needs to be painted with an antique white paint and glazed with a tea stain glaze to settle in all of the cracks and crevices. Now, I do not know your decor style. I stumbled onto you and your blog today via twitter. But to keep it in a vintage are darling feel, that would be the way to go. I envision it on a set of old books next to a lamp on a chest, etc. I also decoupage a lot of vintage bible pages on objects for my clients. That would look very cute too, as I saw some suggest. But if you plan on keeping it say, FOREVER, then it may be too trendy.
    If you are looking for silly, fun, whimsical…. well then, never mind ; )

  26. posted on Jul 06, 2012 at 10:47 AM  |  reply

    im on the modge-podge train. if you dont want to lose it’s coloring (as, i would think, that is part of the sentimentality of it) i would find some tissue paper color that you like and do a coat of that over the bird, that way, it’s all tinted with your color of choice, but your birdie colors will still be intact and noticeable.

    side note: use the glitter modge modge (at any craft store) and it will sparkle, too!

  27. posted on Jul 07, 2012 at 12:14 AM  |  reply

    Although the spray painting sounds easy and like a great idea, I immediately thought of trying something closer to the bird in the picture on this post at (in)courage.

    You would probably have to start with a white base, but it could be awesome. Also LOVE Rene’s suggestion. 🙂 Good Luck, keep us posted!!!

  28. posted on Jul 09, 2012 at 2:06 AM  |  reply

    Annie, if you don’t mind painting it. A great color is rustoleum’s Heirloom white. I have spray painted a few things that color. Very classic and very chic.


  29. posted on Jul 10, 2012 at 12:33 AM  |  reply

    I still remember an old post from Lisa Leonard…She painted some bluebirds she purchased. She has before & after pictures in her post:

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