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Easter is around the corner. There are many ways of creating your own nests. Let the Easter Bilby choose the fabvourite. Here are activities for the entire family with varieties suitable for all age groups. The drying may take a little longer for some, but there is still ample time till Easter. Let's take you through the paces step by step for nests made of paper or fabric. 

What do you need?

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Follow the sequence of actions described below:

  1. Cover your work surface. This is messy.
  2. Turn the bowl over and coat with petroleum jelly.
  3. Cover the coated underside of your bowl with cling wrap and let the overhang disappear into the bowl (a substantial length will make it easier to pull the bowl out of the nest once the drying process has started hours or even a day later).
  4. Prepare a jar full of wallpaper paste (alternatively paste made from corn starch).
  5. Take fabric pieces of one type, coat with wallpaper paste and press onto bowl (cling wrap) with the face down. Cover the entire bowl with overlapping fabric pieces.
  6. Continue with fabric pieces of a different type and repeat the process of putting overlapping pieces down, this time with the face up until the bowl is covered.Place bowl on top of a jar or can with underside up, and let the nest dry at least overnight. Depending on weather conditions and thickness of material, the drying process may take longer. However, once it has dried the outside you may want to gently try pulling the bowl out of the nest via the cling wrap. Don’t force it or your nest will collapse. Be patient. Once you are able to pull the bowl out, the drying process will speed up.
  7. Place bowl on top of a jar or can with underside up, and let the nest dry at least overnight. Depending on weather conditionw and thickness of material, the drying process may take longer. However, once the outside has started to dry you may want to gently try pulling the bowl out of the nest via the cling wrap. Don't force it or your nest will collapse. Be patient. Once you are able to pull the bowl out, the drying process will speed up.

The same process can be followed when making a paper nest whether it’s created from strong colour paper, brown paper bags or newspaper (the latter two may require double layers of strips or pieces to retain the strength required for a nest).

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If you have a paper shredder at home you can basically use anything from flyers to newspapers to used obsolete colour paper. Take a small handful of the shredded paper, dunk it into the wallpaper paste (don’t try with cornstarch) and paste onto the cling wrap on a bowl. You can, of course, also use balloons to shape your nests. However, be aware that balloons lose air and you may find yourself having to blow them up before the drying process has finished. Also, be aware that children use a lot of glue, and the weight of the combined paste and paper may see the clumps slide down the bowl or the balloon. Gently put back into place, and teach children not to overuse resources. The shredded paper nests can be very attractive, but making them can also be very messy.

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To access the flyer on nest making as described above click here.  For an additional idea please see below. 

 

Nest making using T-shirt rope

There are many more ways of making nests. We love this very sustainable one.

You will need:

  • An old cotton T-shirt that is too worn, stained or holey to donate to charity.
  • A ball of wool. Colourful wool looks good!
  • A yarn needle (these have a large 'eye' that will fit wool through).
  • Sharp scissors. (Paper scissors won't be sharp enough to cut the fabric).

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Start from the bottom of the T-shirt. Trim the hem off and discard. Start cutting into wide  strips (at least 5cm wide) across the shirt. (The thinner the material, the wider the strip. My (Melanie's) shirt was very thin, so you might want to cut narrower strips than in the picture). Cut one side of the strip section along the seam (the sewn up side). Open out and stretch the fabric. It should curl up a bit. (if not, you might have the wrong type of fabric). Ta da - you have made T-shirt rope!

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Thread a yarn needle with good length of wool (about 1m) and knot the two ends together. Tie onto the very end of one length of T-shirt rope.

Then wrap the wool three times around the end of the T-shirt rope, leaving almost 1cm space in between each turn.

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Start to turn your rope into a spiral. Keep sewing around the T-shirt rope, but loop the needle under another wool loop from an adjacent section of rope. This will keep it in a spiral. 

As your spirals get bigger, add an extra wool turn in between sewing onto the inside wool loop. (Otherwise you won't have enough loops to sew to on the outer spirals). 

As you add more spirals, start shaping them into the walls of your bowl. 

When you run out of wool, snip off the needle. Re-thread it as before, and join your new wool-and-needle to the wool on your nest/bowl. 

If you need to join an extra bit of T-shirt rope: wrap the end of a new piece into the end of your sewn rop-nest/bowl, overlapping the ends by 2-3cm. 

Keep going until you are happy with the size of your nest. Finish off by tucking in the very end into a loop from the spiral next to it. 

Now you're ready for some eggs.

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If you would like to downloade the flyer for this T-shirt rope nest, please click here