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Ideas for arts/craft to make with kids

Whittle wood – Little birds

A relatively quick project using a block of wood and a wire coat hanger. It does need some power tools (jigsaw and drill), but you can involve the kids in sanding and glueing. You could go to town and spend a lot more time on them, making them more lifelike and painting them etc, but I think they look quite sweet as they are.

This genuinely is easy to do. Firstly, take a block of wood. I used this one.

Then draw the outline of the bird. Ideally I wanted to have the shape of a robin when I did mine, but it didn’t really fit on the the wood, so just went for a generic bird shape.

Once you’ve done that, cut a rough outline with a jigsaw. Leave yourself a bit of extra space around your edge so that you can refine it once its cut.

I realised that the wood I was using was too thick for what I needed, which gave me the idea of making two birds rather than one. I cut them in half up the length.

Keep the bits that you cut off as they might make a good base.

Now’s the time to involve the kids. Give them some sandpaper and ask them to smooth it off. This will take about ten times as long as if you did it yourself (and you’ll probably end up taking over anyway after a while when they get bored) but there is a novelty to using it that they will probably enjoy.

If you can’t get the shape you want just through sanding, then sharp tools or a wood whittling set (https://www.thecraftydaddy.co.uk/my-art-work/whittling-wood/) will help. This would allow you to get more detail, texture and shape but for today, I wanted to make sure the kids were involved and so left it as just sanding.

We got them nice and smooth. We also sanded two of the bits of spare wood to make the bases smooth too. If you wanted to paint them, this would be the time.

Next step, the legs. I took a wire coat hanger (actually harder to find than I thought as everything’s plastic these days) and cut four roughly equal pieces off it. I had to use gardening clippers as didn’t have anything else to cut it with, so I’ve probably ruined them now but never mind. Obviously if you’ve got any old wire lying around you won’t need to go the lengths of finding a coat hanger!

Drill two holes in the underside of each bird, wherever you want the legs to go. You can either drill straight or at an angle depending on what position you want the bird to be in at the end.

Take two of the metal pieces and glue them into the holes in the bird to act as legs.

Leave it to set for a few minutes then make two more holes in the base and insert the legs into them. I drilled in a small hole on each side for an eye too at this point. Then let it all dry, and Voila!

Look good!