Christmas crafts: How to make bird themed tree decorations

Bring a touch of woodland charm to your festive tree this Christmas, with these easy-to-make bird ornaments

Bird decoration

These pretty decorations are a great gift for bird-lovers. The clay is really easy to work with and as it’s air-drying, there is no need to bake or fire, making this a great craft for children too.

Homemade Christmas teacup candles

Here’s how to make bird themed Christmas decorations


You Will Need

  • Air-dry clay
  • Acrylic paints in various colours
  • Thin modelling wire
  • Ribbon
  • Matt clear varnish
  • Glass of water
  • Glitter
  • Craft knife or sharp kitchen knife
  • Poking tool, (we used a nail)
  • Wooden board/chopping board
  • scissors
  • Paintbrushes

Step 1

Cut two slices of air dry clay, one 1.5cm thick slice and 1cm thick.


Step 2

Cut the 1.5cm half in two and roll one half into a ball all to make a body shape, pulling one side into a tail shape. With the other half, form another ball to create a head. Pinch a beak shape from the head and mould this onto the body and tail shape you have created.

Bird decorations - Step 1
Bird decoration – Step 1

Step 3

Take the 1cm slice from step 1 and cut in half. Ball up each piece and shape into a wing then mould onto each side of the bird to create a fatter, rounder bird shape. Dip your fingers into some cold water if you feel the clay is drying out. This helps to better mould the clay and smooth the joins.


Step 4

Use a knife to score three lines into the wings and tail to create ‘feathers’.

Bird decorations - Step 4
Bird decoration – Step 4

Step 5

Create a small loop out of modelling wire and twist the ends. Poke them into the back/neck of the bird – this will be where you hang it from.

Bird decorations - Step 5
Bird decoration – Step 5

Step 6

Leave to air dry. This takes around two full days depending on the size and thickness of the bird.

Step 7

Return to the dried birds and paint as desired. We have chosen to paint a robin and a blue tit, but you can create any pattern and colour you like. Add glitter to make it sparkle and seal with vanish.

Bird decoration - Step 7
Bird decoration – Step 7

Step 8

When the varnish is dry, loop with pretty ribbon and hang on the tree.

Bird decoration
Bird decoration – step 8

Storing your bird decorations

These are fragile ornaments, particularly the beaks and tails, so when you put the away on Twelfth Night, wrap them carefully in bubble wrap to protect them.

Photos by Steve Sayers.