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Entertaining outdoors is one of the best things about summer, especially when you're hosting a garden party picnic with friends. In this tutorial you'll learn how to personalise a garden party with a tropical parrot theme. I'll show you how to make a cake topper parrot, customised food tags and some unique signage bunting. Let's get started.
- Soft wire
- Three pages from an old magazine
- Sticky tape
- Hot melt glue gun
- Two wooden cocktail sticks (toothpicks)
- Paper in pink, green, yellow, orange
- Pack of A4 white card
- 1 sheet of Kraft paper
- Wrapping paper
- Hole punch
- Three clean and empty jam jars
- Calligraphy pen
1. Make the Body of the Parrot Cake Topper
Make the body of the parrot by tearing out three sheets of paper from an old magazine.
Cut approximately 10cm of wire off your reel to act as the spine of your parrot.
Roll one of the torn sheets of magazine paper into a ball and using the hot melt glue gun, attach the top of the wire to the ball. Make a hole in the centre of the ball to do this.
Close the ball while the glue is still warm to ensure that the wire is contained inside.
Roll the remaining two sheets of paper into a bird body-like shape and wrap around the wire underneath the ball. Glue the body onto the wire with the hot melt glue gun.
Cut off the left-over wire from the bottom of the body.
Wrap the whole body in sticky tape to keep it all together.
The body should now look something like this:
2. Cover the Body in Feathers
Take your green paper and fold it in half. Then draw simple feather shapes approximately 1cm in width, as pictured below, and cut out. Repeat this step so that you have enough feathers to cover the whole body.
Start attaching the feathers at the top of the head by the nose. Only glue the top part of each feather, so you can slip the next layer of feathers underneath. Make sure to leave a little space for where the beak will go.
Work your way down the body in circular shapes, sticking each feather underneath the layer above.
Keep glueing and working your way down the bird's body. It should start to look like this:
Continue gluing and sticking the feathers down the entire body.
3. Create the Parrot's Eyes
Cut out two fairly large circles from your green piece of paper. Try drawing around the top of a glue stick - the size and circumference is perfect.
Using hot melt glue, attach both of the circles to either side of the parrot's head.
Now cut out two small black circles for eyes from paper, or draw them on with a black marker.
4. Craft the Parrot's Beak
Begin by folding your orange paper in half and drawing a beak-like shape by the side of the fold, as pictured below.
Cut out the shape and glue it together at the back of the beak. Gently push down on the top of the beak to create a slight curve.
Trim off the edges if there is any overlap.
Attach the beak to the parrot's face using your glue gun.
Cut out at smaller beak, following the steps above, and glue it underneath the top part so it makes a complete beak.
5. Create the Parrot's Wings
Lay a piece of wire behind the back of your parrot's body between the neck and the body itself. This will act as the basis for your wings. Attach the wire with hot melt glue, and try to conceal it underneath a feather.
Cut out two twin strips from your green paper and fold in half. Draw a wing-like shape on one side of the fold, as pictured below. Cut around the wing shape, making sure not to cut through the fold.
Glue alongside the fold of both of the wing shapes and attach to either side of the wire.
Cut out approximately 16 large feather shapes and begin gluing them to the wings from the body outwards.
Pinch the feathers in half to add a more realistic look.
Attach the feathers to both the front and the back of the wings as pictured below.
Now cut out enough feathers, descending in size, to cover the wings.
Cover the feathers that are attached to the top part of the wing by disguising them underneath smaller petal feathers. Cut out enough petal feathers to cover both the front and back of the wings.
The front of the wings should now look something like this:
Now take your pink paper and cut out about 10 large feathers. Insert these feathers one at a time between the two green feathers to add a pop of colour.
Once you've added a few pink feathers you'll get a lovely layered effect, as pictured below.
6. Make the Parrot's Tail
Cut out three large green feathers and stick them together so that you create a small fan effect, as pictured below.
Draw and cut out about five pink feathers and glue them underneath the green. Place your parrot face down and glue the tail to the body. Try to place the tail underneath some feathers to disguise the joint.
7. Add the Cake Topper Parts to the Parrot
Simply push your two cocktail sticks into place at the bottom of the parrot. This may need a bit of force, but once they're pushed in far enough they should stay in place because of the paper base.
8. Craft the Parrot Bunting
Draw an outline of a parrot on a sheet of yellow A4 paper.
Cut out the silhouettes of the parrots.
Using your hot glue gun, attach the parrots onto a line of twine about 1.5 metres in length.
Pinch the tails on each parrot in the same manner as the feathers to add some dimension to them.
The end result will look something like this:
9. Create the Banner
Simply draw outlines of letters onto individual sheets of A4 white card. Make them nice and large so they're easy to cut out. You can create any message that you like.
Draw three simple parrot silhouettes onto your pink paper, allowing for one wing to be longer by about 2cm than the other.
Cut the parrots out and carefully fold the longer wing over and behind the parrot.
Using your hot melt glue gun, glue along the inside of the parrot where the twine will sit. Place the first parrot in the centre of the twine.
Then glue the letters into place along the twine, spelling out your greeting or message. The two pink parrots will sit either side of the wording.
10. Make the Green Feather Bunting
Start by folding your green paper in half and drawing a rough feather shape. Cut out to get two feathers. Repeat this process another four times so that you have a total of ten green feathers.
Simply glue them to another line of twine, positioning them at different angles to create an interesting look.
11. Make the Custom Food Tags
Draw three tag shapes onto your kraft paper. If you find it easier, you can make a template on card and then draw around that.
Cut out three circles from your green, pink and yellow paper. These will be used to make a coloured ring around the hole at the top of the tag.
Using the same template of the parrot in the pink parrot bunting, draw three outlines onto a sheet of patterned wrapping pattern. Cut out to create three separate patterned parrots.
Fold under the longer wing in the same manner as the parrots for the bunting.
Add some glue to the back of the parrots using a hot melt glue gun.
Attach the parrots at an angle onto each kraft paper tag.
Glue one of the circles and place at the top of the tag.
Use a hole punch to cut a hole within each coloured circle.
The three tags should look something like this when completed:
Write the food labels on the tags using your calligraphy pen.
Take the twine and your jam jar and wrap it around the top of the jar a couple of times and then tie a double knot.
Thread the twine through the top of the hole.
Turn the tag over and tie a knot underneath it. Trim the twine near the knot.
A finished tag will look something like this:
Celebrate With Family and Friends
This parrot themed tutorial could easily be adapted for a sophisticated children's party simply by changing the wording in the bunting and having the tags used for party bags instead of food labels.
You can also use these skills for making greeting cards and tags, as well as decorating parcels and packages.
Do you love having a summer party outdoors? Let us know how you go with our bird-themed decorations!