Exotic Birds

Term: 2 Year: 2013

At Patterson Lakes Primary School we were incredibly fortunate to be given time in our timetable to do an Art Extension class of 1 hour, once a week over 5 weeks.

I chose Year 4 and wanted to extend their skills in felting. The project needed to be challenging and I needed to use resources already acquired.

We looked at a PowerPoint presentation of Exotic birds to get inspiration before commencing.


Wet Felting – We spent one lesson wet felting each body part (Body, Head and Tail) over a period of 3 weeks. I followed the instructions given on page 64 in ‘Beginners Guide to Feltmaking’ by Shirley Ascher and Bateman (Available from Zart Art). The wet felting process was very challenging on small rounded item but it is a quicker process than dry felting and saving time was worth it. After wet felting, set aside the body parts to dry.

Hint – If you find wet felting too difficult then you could achieve the same results dry felting onto Polystyrene balls. The dry felting will take longer.

The head (Egg Poly) was divided into 2 colours. One colour was for the head that matched the body and yellow/orange for the beak.

The tail was shape out of Armature wire. The tail was twisted so only one long wire was left to insert into Polystyrene ball. Hint – A simple inverted triangle works best.

Decoration – The bird was decorated with dry Felting patterns e.g. spots/stripes. Then feathers were inserted for wings. Supertac was placed on the end before insertion to keep feather in place. Sequins and pipe clears and joggle eyes were also used for decoration.

Construction – We used toothpicks with Supertac on either end to hold body and head together.

The wire tail was attached with Supertac on the end.

The legs and feet were constructed and inserted into body with Supertac on the ends.

Hint – Used a skewer to make a hole before inserting attachments.

Display – Most birds could stand. Some were hung with fishing wire and attach to a pearl pin.

Emma Munnikhuis
Visual Art Teacher
Patterson Lakes Primary School
Suitable for level 3