Thursday, 26 June 2014

Flamingos flock to the Zoo

A blogger friend told me recently that cardboard egg boxes were being phased out in favour of plastic ones, and honestly my heart sank. Now I know it's not the most earth-shattering news in the great scheme of things, but I'm very attached to my cardboard egg boxes; they're my crafting staple; my recycling rubbish of choice. I look at them and I see…well, I see animals and flowers and all sorts really. Most of the Roll up to the Zoo gang have an egg box bit.
I just don't feel the crafty love for the flimsy plastic boxes; just don't inspire me at all, and my husband set one down in a bag with a little too much enthusiasm the other day and broke 4 eggs. Yeah I'm biased, but that's rubbish isn't it.
Thankfully it turns out the new plastic packaging isn't being used by all supermarkets, or for all types of eggs, so, panic over. For now.

I haven't rolled up to the zoo here for a while, mainly because I'm still trying to see if there's any hope of making it into a book (one of the first pieces of advice I read in a guide about getting a craft book published was to keep your idea to yourself, so I've completely blown that one haven't I…)
Not sure what to do if I'm honest - some days I feel positive, and certain it's a good idea; other days I doubt EVERYTHING.
Never used to be so scared of having a go.

Anyway, enough of that - on with the flamingos!

 I know I've said this before, but they've got to be the easiest so far.

As well as an egg box, you'll need some pink craft feathers, glue, paint, black felt tip and a pipe cleaner.

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.

Cut out an egg cup and push the bottom up with your thumbs to round it a bit. Paint pink + part of the egg box lid (doesn't have to be a big piece - pull off any label)

Draw your flamingo's head and neck - sort of like a big S shape, wider and straighter where it joins the body and long enough here so you can slot it into a hole make on one side of the egg cup (see pic).
Use as a template if you want to make more than one.

Fold the pipe cleaner and use a little bit of card to glue it in place underneath - leave yourself a good length of pipe cleaner.

Draw on eyes and a beak with a marker pen and glue on two feathers.

For the watery setting, get some blue paper (or paint some), draw around the lid, cut out, then press this bit of paper into the edges of the lid before cutting out the water (see first pic) - this helps get a good fit.

Do the same with a bit of yellow paper, then cut away some of the blue, in a wavy fashion. We added another shade of blue, using the waves on the first piece as a guide. And if you're using different shades, circles look good (where the flamingo is going to stand), giving a kind of ripple effect. Or you could just paint these on.

Before sticking, cut a strip of green, draw a pencil line a cm or two from the bottom and fold along it. Cut a fringe of grass up to this fold. Looks better if it's uneven and different heights. Add a few yellow rush grass tops if you want.
Press the grass around one end of the lid and snip almost up to the fold in the two corners (pic 4). It will now sit better under the water. Glue everything in place.

Poke a hole through the middle of the ripple circles, or where you want to put your flamingo (keep the hole small - made mine too big!) Bend the pipe cleaner over when you're happy with the leg length and sellotape underneath. Bend over the end of the other leg until they're both the same size, and 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 :)