Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Chicky Diorama

I got a very cute Easter card from my mom. And while I am not at all religious, I have always liked Easter. I think I like Spring, which is probably why I chose to get married in April a year ago.

Anyway, I was inspired by the card... it had an egg cutout that revealed a little yellow birdie. I decided to make a Easter diorama to take down to my mom's house this weekend. I have made a few dioramas like this. I like to reuse cardboard food boxes (cereal, cookies, etc).

Read the how-to after the jump.

Here's what you'll need for the box:
- a cardboard food box 
- Exact-o knife
- spray adhesive
- decorative paper (large enough to cover the inside of the box)
- wrapping paper
- scissors
- glue stick and/or white glue
- decorative trim and ribbon
- tiny flowers

Here's what you'll need for the chicky and nest:
- yellow yarn
- black, white and orange felt
- a pom pom maker (or handmade one) 
- shoe glue
- fabric stiffener
- old thread
- Easter grass

Here's the box I started with. BTW, these "Highbrow Chcolate Chip Cookies " from Trader Joe's are so good! I flattened the box, and used a Exact-o knife to cut out the egg shape. 

I didn't take pictures of this next part, which is "wallpapering" the inside of the box. Reassemble the box. Measure and cut 5 rectangles from decorative paper:  3 for the sides and 2 the top and bottom. Use a spray adhesive on the back of the decorative paper and cover the inside of the box.

Next, spray the outside of the box with spray adhesive (put up a piece of paper over the cut out shape so you don't get any adhesive on your new wallpaper job.) Starting on the back, wrap the wrapping paper around the box, making sure you smooth out all the bubbles. This is similar to wrapping a present, just with glue. Once the box is completely covered, cut the wrapping paper on an edge (around the back, to make it blend) and use a glue stick to glue it down. 

Optional : To eliminate bulk, cut the wrapping paper on the top and bottom just to 1/2" around the sides, and cover with another piece of wrapping paper cut to size.

Now your entire box is "wrapped"... including the hole. Run your fingers along the edge of the hole to show where it is. Poke the scissors through the hole and cut away the excess up to 1'2" from the hole. Fringe the 1/2" paper closely, making sure they will wrap around the inside of the hole. Use the glue sick to glue the fringe down on the inside of the opening. 

Here's the fun part - decorating!! I used some vintage tatting around the opening and glued it down with white glue. Arrange the tiny flowers and ribbon to cover where the trim overlaps. This little flower and bow cluster threw off the balance piece.

So I decided to print out a little "Happy Easter" banner to put on the top. Cut it to size, and cut the ends in a V. Tack it down with white glue.

Now your decorated box is ready to house your Easter goodies. 

To make the little chicky, I made 2 yarn pom poms (great video tutorial here). One should be a little larger than the other, to make the body, and the smaller one for the head. Glue the two pom poms together with shoe glue. Use shoe glue to add eyes and beak. 

To make the nest, take a few spools of coordinating color thread and make a ball. Keep pulling out the thread and arrange it into a nest. 

Make the nest bigger than you think, the fabric stiffener will mat it down a bit. Coat the nest in fabric stiffiner and mold back into the nest form. I used a bowl to help shape it. Once it dries, it's ready to go. 

Add a little Easter grass on the bottom of the box and set the nest and chicky on inside. 

Happy Easter and Spring!!

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