Thursday, 26 June 2014

Flamingos flock to the Zoo

I haven't rolled up to the zoo for a while, so, time I think for a bit of pink! Bring on the flamingos!

As well as an egg box, you'll need:
ice-cream carton lid
orange pipe cleaner (20cm/8" long)
2 pink feathers
green, yellow and blue paper (or plain paper to paint)
PVA craft glue
glue stick
sticky tape
pink paint (red and white)
craft scissors
nail scissors
small ball of plasticine
black felt tip pen

We had a bit of a pipe cleaner quandary, because (as we found out) flamingos have pink legs - but the pink pipe cleaner didn't look quite right with the pink paint we used, so we opted for orange instead.

1. Cut out an egg cup for the body and push the bottom of the cup up with your thumbs to make it more dome-shaped. Paint pink, plus both sides of part of the egg box lid, for the head and neck (pull off any label - doesn't need to be a big piece)

2. Draw your flamingo's head and neck - sort of like an S shape - wider and straighter where it joins the body (but make sure this bit is no bigger than the height of your egg cup body) and long enough here so there's enough to push through a slot. (See picture below)

3. Make this vertical slot in the middle of one side. Draw a pencil line where you want it - put a ball of plasticine behind, so there's something to push against.
Use the nail scissors to make a hole on the line (keep them closed, press down and twist slightly from side to side). Once you've made the hole cut along the line, making sure it's the right size for the bottom of the neck. Wiggle the scissors in and out of the slot to make it easier to push the neck into place.
Leave out for now though, while you finish the body.

4. Fold the pipe cleaner in half and attach under the egg cup body with sticky tape.

5. Glue on two feathers either side of the body, and draw eyes and a beak with a fine black pen before slotting the head back in.

6. For the watery setting, take some blue paper, draw around the lid, cut out, then press this bit of paper into the edges of the lid top, before cutting along your creased line (see first pic) - this helps get a good fit.

7. For younger makers or if you'd like to simplify your watery scene, glue the blue paper to the lid now and jump to step 11, OR, if you want more detail, leave the blue piece to one side and cut a sandy yellow piece to fit the lid in the same way as you've just done for the blue water. Glue the yellow piece in place on the lid (a glue stick is great for this)

8. About two thirds of the way along your blue piece, cut a wavy line. We drew around this wavy line on some pale blue paper (see second pic -white paper would be great too). Make a few waves if you like, about a cm or so wide. Or you could paint waves on instead.

9. Before sticking the water down, cut a 4cm (11/2in.) strip of green paper, long enough to go around one end of the lid. Draw a pencil line along the strip, about a cm from the bottom edge and fold along the line. Cut a zigzag fringe of grass along the wider top part, up to the fold. It looks good if the grass is uneven and different heights. Add a few yellow rush grass tops if you want, with snips of yellow paper or yellow paint.

10. Make a few snips below the fold, this will make it easier to press the grass around one end of the lid, especially in the corners (pic 4). Glue the grass in place then  glue the water and waves on top. Add a few cut out circles where you want your flamingo to stand, giving a kind of ripple effect. (Or paint them on)

11. Poke a hole through the middle of the ripple circles with the nail scissors (best done by an adult as the plastic is tough). Keep the hole small or your flamingo will wobble.

Bend the pipe cleaner over when you're happy with the leg length and sellotape underneath. Cut the other leg so it's a similar length and fold the very end of the sharp tip over. Strike a flamingo pose!


  1. Flaming fantastic usual. You've got to do that book.

    1. I'm going to keep trying! Thanks Fiona x

  2. It a brilliant idea for a crafting book but there would have to be a reason to buy the book if most of it was already out on the net. Extra animals, buildings??? A zoo club for children to join? Does that sound a daft idea?- probably.
    My husband has been trying to get a medical textbook published and made the mistake of writing the book before checking with the publishers what they wanted. result, an unpublished book, so far.
    Great flamingo by the way.

    1. It's a good point, though a tricky one - publishers seem to like you having an online presence and definitely helps if you can show your ideas are popular (page hits), but then, as you say, it's all out there… I had the idea for a book at about animal number 3, and I have kept a lot back, so if there was ever a book, there would be plenty of extras :)

  3. You are so AWESOME at crafting. And you must do a book :o). BTW I received my lovely little penguin today. It's gorgeous, and it brought a tear to my eye. That was so thoughtful of you. XXX

    1. you are very welcome! And congrats again on your award, so well deserved xxx

  4. Definitely a book! This is a lovely flamingo; such a colourful bird and beloved of crafty people everywhere. I once made a soft toy one for my kids years ago and now there’ a knitted one in LGC Knitting and crochet mag that I my add to the list..

    1. a knitted flamingo sounds fun! How do you do the legs? Hope it goes on the list. Thanks very much Marilyn x

  5. I think the flamingoes might be my fave! :)

    1. really pleased you like them! Thanks Emma :)