years ago, i bought some crows from michaels (the craft store). they found themselves perched each year come october on the arch at our front porch. they served themselves well as they were for several seasons. however, as i was putting them away last year, i remember thinking that they were starting to look a bit scraggly. when i pulled them out this year, they were at the state where a complete overhaul was in order.
the first step was taking the remaining feathers off of the birds. they had lost many over
the past years, but there were still many more remaining. i figured pulling the feathers
off inanimate birds was good practice for down the road when
a. i get the guts to process a chicken or a turkey or
b. i am forced to process a chicken or turkey
after you have the majority of the feathers off soak the birds in hot soapy water to remove
after the feathers were off. i realized the crows needed something to replace the tail feathers
i had removed. they were a bit off balanced. i used some thin pieces of wood ... mine wasn't balsa, but that would work, as would cardboard. cut your tail feathers into a rectangular shape. the crows i used had a slit in the plastic where the original tail feathers had been. just slide your new tail feather replacement in that slit.
crows reborn by paper mache
i decided to use paper mache to cover my new crow forms. i used tissue paper as i wanted just a bit
of texture. my paper mache glue of choice has always been flour and water. for 1 cup of flour start
by adding about 1/2 of a cup of water, and adjust until the flour water mixture resembles thin pancake batter.
i cut my tissue paper into piece approximately 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. then dip each piece
of tissue paper into the flour mixture and the smooth it over your base, which in this case is the crow.
continue until all the crow is covered. i used about two or three pieces of paper overlapping each other all over the crow to form one layer. i stopped at one layer, but if you choose to do more than
one, be sure to allow each layer to dry before adding the next.
after the paper mache was completely dry, i painted my crows with black acrylic paint. they could
easily be done at this point. i chose to add embellishments to mine. this included sequins, beaded
trim, baubles, fabric, buttons, velvet leaves. have fun. be creative. make your crows as traditional
or as untraditional as you like. maybe instead of black paint, yours will be hot pink. or white. or
maybe instead of painting them you will decoupage them. let you imagination take flight...get it...
crows...birds...flight. tee hee hee.
now smile because you just gave a breath of new life into old crows.