Turn an old grapevine wreath into a garden art bird nest with this simple tutorial.
If you love big garden art, also see this DIY Giant Bird Nest (with eggs).
DIY Garden Art Bird Nest
This giant bird nest is an easy, repurposed garden art project.
I got the idea when I noticed a rock in my garden looked like a giant egg. I thought it would be fun to have a giant bird’s nest to go with it.
You’ll need a couple of unwanted grape vine wreaths and some matching wire — the larger the nest, the more wreaths you’ll need.
The initial preparation of the wreath takes 24 hours (while you wait for it to soften up) and the assembly of the nest takes about an hour.
With the declining popularity of wreaths in recent years, you should be able to find some used ones at a thrift store.
I’ve also had several emails asking where to find the cardinal peanut feeder pictured here. I bought mine at a local farm supply store. I haven’t seen any online but you could try a local bird seed and supply shop or crack open Google and see if you can find one.
Besides a giant nest, there are other creative options: you could make smaller nests or something entirely different such as a garden sign using the grape vine to spell the words. The giant nest is a perfect first project to get a feel for what it’s like to shape the grape vines.
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- 2 Grape vine wreaths (pick ones that can be unravelled)
- Wire (16-20 gauge) – in colour similar to the wreath (I used about 5 feet of wire, total)
- Wire cutters
- Spring clamps (to hold the nest in place while you’re working)
- Large tub of water (to soak and soften the wreaths)
- Twigs and leaves (optional)
- Giant decorative eggs (or rocks that look like eggs)
The wreaths shown here worked very well – they are made of long grape vines stems, wrapped around each other.
To get started, find any wires holding the wreath together and remove them. You can reuse these wire pieces for your bird nest assembly.
When all of the support wires are removed, soak the wreaths in a large container of water for at least 24 hours (a few days longer is fine too). This will soften the grape vines so they will be fairly bendable without snapping.
Add something heavy like this watering can to ensure that the wreaths stay fully submerged and do not float to the surface.
After soaking the wreaths (24 hours or more), it’s time to make your nest. The grape vine stays bendable for an hour or so and then gradually stiffens up again as it dries.
Gently unravel the vine until you have several long pieces. You may want to use a large bowl (like the yellow one pictured below) to have a model size to base your nest on.
I found this covered wire at Michael’s—it goes nicely with the colour of the grape vine.
Start winding the grape vine in circles (this will be the bottom center of the nest), starting with the smallest circle you can make without snapping the vine. As your work, hold the sides together with clamps.
I added wire as I worked, winding it around sections of the nest and tucking in the ends. This is where you get new respect for how hard a bird works, although their methods are a little different!
When the nest reaches the desired size, finish joining it with wire until everything is securely in place. I added twigs and leaves to give it a more natural look. We all have nesting instincts!
Find a good spot in the garden. Here I’ve got it filled with rock egss below the very popular cardinal peanut feeder:
Here’s my favourite setting:
Three blue eggs! I actually spray-painted a few decorative balls blue. Alternately, decorative eggs – painted and splattered with speckles would also look great.
I’m quite pleased with my giant nest. Now I just need to make a giant bird to go with it.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛