Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bald Eagles and Ballard Birds!

I'm entering these guys over at The CSI Project


Come check out the other Ballard Inspired Projects!

 My 11 year old son is an avid birdwatcher and has become very good at identifying birds by sight and sound! He even has adults asking his opinion on bird identifications! He loves to take pictures of them and will spend hours outside patiently waiting on his next shot! He was presented with a very special photo op Friday evening at his brother’s ball game. A very large bird flew into the top of a pine tree and he quickly realized that it was a Bald Eagle! They are not seen around this area very often and so many people ended up watching the Eagle instead of the game! lol He stayed atop of his perch for the whole game, being “mobbed” by crows, and my son snapped quite a few pics:108_6053
These were taken with a point and shoot camera from across the ball field and up to the top of the tree!
My son’s love of birds may be part the reason they have had so much appeal to me this spring. In the past, I would have passed up the many bird decor projects, but not this year! I have some still on my “to-do” list  but no time! I was finally able to complete  one, inspired by these Ballard Design Birds:
Ballard Bird
 Ballard Bird Sp
They were especially inspiring to me because of their description:
“Original wooden birds like these were used in 19th century classrooms to teach students how to identify regional species. Our wooden sparrow, wood finch and wood swallow on stand are distressed to look they've been handled by curious students for decades.”
We home school and I think these would be a great addition to our school room! However, the price of $99 for the set, would really cut into my “school budget” for the year. So, remember these little guys flying around blog land earlier this spring?
They are from the Dollar Tree and are, you guessed it  , only $1 a piece! I went to Hobby Lobby last week and found these wooden circles for .35 each on sale. The branches were free, from my property. We have and abundance of Mountain Laurel, which is very sturdy and has great texture and curves!  100_6097
This is how I put them together:
First, I found some branches with as close as I could get to a 90 degree angle. Then borrowed hubby’s hacksaw (I’ve decided I really need on of those now!) and cut and trimmed up the branches. Next I sanded the cut edges and places where I had to cut off smaller branches. I gave the wooden circles a light sanding too. 114_1088
Then hubby drilled out a circle in the middle of the wood and we drilled out the bottom of the branch and glued and screwed them together!100_6098114_1087114_1086
They were ready for their coat of brown primer, followed by several coats of Krylon’s Oil Rubbed Bronze.
And finally the birds were able to perch! I just used pliers to bend their little feet around the branch and squeezed.
114_1108 114_1106
The Ballard birds were a wooden sparrow, wood finch and wood swallow and mine are:
Eastern Bluebird
and a Chickadee.

My cost, for the three birds on stand for study? A whole $4.05 plus the spray paint, which I had on hand! That’s a savings of $95.95!!! Now, I’ll have my birds and plenty  of budget for books too!
Good Night for now!
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  1. Wow -- this is a great project. I really love it. Would you allow me to put it on the Boardwalk Blotter? Here is the Boardwalk Blotter:

    I would show probably one picture and make sure it is linked back to your blog for all instructions, tutorial, etc.

    Just let me know if you would like to share this project. You can email me at

    Thanks so much! Great job!

  2. Those are brilliant and every bit as cool as the Ballard ones - I hope your son likes them too!!

  3. BTW I like how you staged them on that rustic table with the bird book!!

  4. Melissa has already used my word...brilliant, girlfriend!!!

  5. Great find and wonderful solution to your "bird" project!

  6. Those pictures are relly neat...and I love the birds! Thanks for sharing your ideas at M.M.M. :)

  7. OMG.......I have SOOOOOO been trying to figure out a way to knock those off, and in fact I tried doing the same thing but it was with a really thick wire and if you bend the birds feet that much they break :(
    We seriously must be kindred or something...I am TOTALLY doing this! Make sure you link this bad boy up on Wednesday! ;)

  8. What a great Do It Yourself project. You are a clever and creative gal.

  9. Awesome! I love those little dollar store birdies.

    Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

  10. What a great project!! They look every bit as classy as the overpriced Ballard birds. I'm also envious of your bald eagle pictures! We had one land in the field behind our house last year, several days in a row. Unfortunately, he was just out of range of my camera's zoom lens. Those are some awesome pictures for a point and shoot!

  11. Very cute. The bald eagles are amazing! Just stopping by from Tip Junkie!

  12. Those are delightful! What a great teaching aid as well as beautiful display.

  13. Thanks for linkin' this up! You'd be happy to know that your tipsy planter was the most visited link of my party last week :)

  14. Super cool!

    Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday at Life As Lori. Please join me next week for another great party.

  15. From one homeschool momma to another, "Way to go"! I love these (I also love that bird guide - we use the same one).

  16. The birds are adorable! What a GREAT creative way to get the LOOK without the cost. Nice work!

  17. So, so cute! I don't think our $ store has those little birds anymore :(. How great of an interest for your son.

  18. How very cute! My kids would love these birds....they love watching birds in the backyard....thanks for linking @ PonyTails and FishScales!

  19. Those turned out so great. I had been eyeing those little guys too. What a wonderful version!

  20. those are sweet birds! thanks for stopping by and linking on my blog!

  21. I like the branches, especially. What a fun project.

  22. What a great project!

    Thanks for linking up to Saturday is Crafty Day!

  23. That is so cute, what a fun idea!

  24. How fun! You got the gears spinning here!

    I just have to find the birds. Not all dollar stores are created equally, I'm finding out.

  25. Love those adorable little birds. Thanks for sharing and the tutorial!

    And congrats on winning the CSI Project!



Thank you for your visit. I appreciate your comments, they keep me inspired! Feel free to drop by anytime!