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12. Cardboard birds, the Robin Tutorial

12. Cardboard birds, the Robin Tutorial

November is when the fluffed up Robin starts getting into winter mode!  Did you know there are 2 types of Robins that you’re likely to spot, the UK and European. It’s about this time that the European decides to migrate for warmer climates while the UK Robin stays put and seeks out a partner, which means you’ll hear their beautiful song even more! 

I’ve been frequently asked for a tutorial for our big cardboard birds and am finally getting to it. Follow the steps below to make your own.

Top tip, use food colouring rather than liquid water colour, its goes a lot further!

You will need: 

  • A3 or A4 Watercolour card
  • Food colouring or liquid watercolour
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Bowl
  • Paint brush
  • Hot glue gun
  • Toilet roll

Step 1
Preparing your coloured card. For this we used food colouring, its a lot cheaper than liquid water colour and goes a long way. We added the orange food colouring to a spray bottle and sprayed the colour onto our watercolour card. This is one of our favourite paint techniques, its messy so prepare your surfaces or better, do it outside!

Step 2
We used a thick paintbrush to brush 3/4 of the sheet, leaving the bottom 1/4 white (the Robins lower breast).

Step 3
Once the watercolour card is dry turn over and trace a circle, then add the head and beak. We repeated step one with black food colouring diluted down to create the greyish Robins wing. Do the same with the dried paper turn over, using the stencil you have created for the body trace and add the simple wing shape seen in step 7 (note the grey wing extends over the orange to form the Robins grey cap).

Step 4
Use your Robin Template (cut from the watercolour card) and trace the shape onto 2 pieces of cardboard and cut. This is a simple shape so scissors are good, otherwise a cutting knife if you want to be more precise.

Step 5
Cut a strip of cardboard about 4cm wide x 15cm long. Cut a circle using your toilet roll as a template and insert the toilet roll into the strip of cardboard, hot glue gun to secure.

Step 6
Secure the cardboard strip in a circle to one of the cardboard bird templates with hot glue gun. Glue the other side in place.

Step 7
Glue the grey wing to the orange body, add a beak and eye and glue to the cardboard template.

Go outside and find some earthworms to feed to your hungry Robin!