To create these beautiful PVC Pipe Birds, you will need a small variety of tools such as a jigsaw, a heat gun, some sandpaper or a file, a drill and drill bit and spray paints meant for plastic and some scrap 4" PVC pipe and blocks of wood or logs. Make a modern twist on the pink flamingos that'll last longer, too!
- heat gun
- sandpaper or file
- safety glasses
- respiratory protection
- Sharpie or black marker
- paper for a template
- screws and washers
- PVC glue
- E6000 craft glue
- Rhinestones or realistic bird's eye beads for eyes
- spray paint suitable for plastic
- spray clear acrylic sealer
- masking tape
- cordless drill & drill bits
- scrap 4" PVC pipe
- scrap rags
- Scrap wood, blocks, boards or logs as sturdy bases
The attack of the PVC Pipe Birds will have the neighbors envious of the unique yard art.
Start by creating a pattern for your birds. An easy way to visualize your design is to get a piece of paper, fold it in half, and draw the profile of a bird on it, with the bottom of the beak on the crease. Cut it out, lay it flat, and then you have the pattern. Keep it simple! The more intricate the design, the more difficult it is to cut it out. This part was the most difficult for me as it took several tries to get a good pattern. You can find my patterns on my blog - CrazyDiyMom. Trace the pattern onto the PVC pipe with a marker and use a jigsaw to cut out the shape. Use sandpaper or a file to smooth out the edges.
Turn up the heat to shape your PVC Pipe Birds
Use a heat gun to form your bird. A little patience and practice go a long way here. If you mess up, no problem. You can quickly reheat and reshape the bird until you get it perfect! Use the heat gun again and bend the bird's feet so that it can be stood up. If you have difficulty cutting the whole bird in one piece, you can cut pieces separately and glue them together with PVC glue (yes, it is available in clear). Secure with small screws if you choose.
Help those birds stand up proudly!
When you are happy with the shape of your bird, it is time to drill some holes in the feet. Later, you'll attach the bird to a sturdy base to keep it upright. Use your drill and a drill bit sized appropriately for the screw that you plan to use to make a hole in each of your birds' feet. Use acetone and an old washcloth or shop rag to remove any manufacturers barcode ink on your bird. If you are having a hard time removing the ink with acetone, use a sander and some sandpaper to remove the markings.
Make them come alive with paint and accessories!
Paint the project however you would like. Make sure to use spray paints that designed for plastic for proper adhesion. When you have the bird painted, and it has dried completely, spray it with a good coat of a spray acrylic sealer to protect the paint job. Use masking tape as needed for detailed paint jobs. Next, add some rhinestones or some fake eyes to your bird to give him a more realistic look.
The eyes have it.
I used E6000 glue to attach my bird's eyes. After the paint has dried, you are ready to put him on display. I connected my birds with screws to pieces of driftwood and concrete blocks to make sure they are anchored down nicely and can't blow over in the wind. Each bird takes about an hour to complete, and I usually cut out a few birds at a time. I shape them all, and then I paint them all.