Happy New Year guys. May your troubles last as long as my New Year’s resolutions, which have already flown out the window 😉 Talking about flying, our Yakisugi junk birds were a huge hit with our friends, but not everyone owns or wants to use a jigsaw, so I thought I’d share an easy tutorial to make a polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail.

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

This cute little ball bird can be made in a morning and doesn’t require any fancy tools either?

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

To make the polystyrene ball look less polystyrene-ish I covered it with our homemade texture paste.

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

So, in this tutorial I’ll show you how to make a ball bird, and how you can mix up a batch of your own texture paste, using common household ingredients.

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

But, before I to the tutorials, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

For the bird

  • Polystyrene ball
  • Florist wire
  • Craft paint
  • Rusty metal bits
  • Feathers (cruelty-free if you can find them)
  • 2 x Wooden beads
  • Wooden skewer
  • Piece of wood or interesting branch
  • Two wood screws

What you need to make a polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail

For the texture paste

  • PVA Glue
  • Texture additive

You can use cornflour, starch, Plaster of Paris, or baby powder as an additive. Play sand works well too.

You can use cornflour, starch, baby powder or Plaster of Paris to make texture paste

I’ll share how to make the texture paste first and then use the paste to make the ball bird.

How to make texture paste

The additive you use will determine how rough or smooth the final effect will be. Play sand gives the texture paste a very rough, grainy finish, while with cornflour, baby powder, and starch the finish is smoother. You can even use cold charcoal ash. My favorite is Plaster of Paris. It has a slightly rough texture, dries really quickly and you can sand it afterward. Most of our faux concrete creations are made using Plaster of Paris. To make the texture paste you’ll need a 1:1 ratio of glue to additive.

Mix the texture paste additive with an equal amount of PVA Glue

If you’re mixing a batch of texture paste using Plaster of Paris, make smaller batches because it will dry out before you can use it all. The other additives stay wet and workable for at least an hour, or however long it takes your PVA glue to dry. Mix the glue and additive well. You’ll know it’s ready once the paste holds its shape.

Texture paste should hold it shape after mixing

If you want texture paste that cracks when it dries, add some craft paint to the mixture. The more paint you add the more cracks 😉 For my polystyrene bird, I mixed 2 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris, 2 tablespoons of PVA glue, and 1/2 a teaspoon of white acrylic paint to end up with this mixture.

Close up of texture paste mixed with Plaster of Paris

You can store the texture paste in an airtight container unless you used Plaster of Paris as an additive. Then it’s best to apply it immediately. Okay, let’s use some of this stuff to make a cute ball bird.

How to make a polystyrene ball bird

Insert a wooden skewer into the middle, center of the polystyrene ball. The skewer serves two purposes. It helps keep the texture paste off your hands when you apply it and will support the beak when we add it later.

Stab a skewer through the polystyrene ball and place it on another piece of scrap polystyrene to make painting easier

To make it easier to apply the texture paste, stick the skewer into a scrap piece of polystyrene. We did the same when we made our giant bead garland.

Stab a skewer through the polystyrene ball and place it on another piece of scrap polystyrene to make painting easier

Paint the ball with white acrylic paint. This step is optional, but polystyrene can do funny things when it comes into contact with glue.

Paint the polystyrene ball to provide a protective coating.

Use a sponge or old paintbrush to apply the texture paste all over the polystyrene ball.

Apply the texture paste using a craft stick.

Leave the ball to dry completely.

Leave the texture paste to dry completely

Once dry, trim the flat end of the skewer with a pair of sharp scissors or wire cutters.

Trim the skewer with a sharp pair of scissors or wire cutters

You only want a small piece (about 2 cm or an inch) sticking out of the polystyrene ball. We’ll be using that little piece for the beak.

Making the Beak

Cut a rectangular shape from your rusty metal. If you don’t have any scrap metal bits, you can use sturdy cardboard instead or make a beak from clay. Bend the rectangle in half.

Cut a piece of rusty metal and bend it in half to form the beak

Place the bent rectangle on the skewer and eyeball how to trim it into a beak shape.

Glue the rusty metal beak onto the skewer and trim away any excess

Place the beak to one side.

Making the legs

Cut two pieces of florist wire about 3 times as long as what you want the legs to be.

Cut a piece of wire that at least 3 x as long as you want your legs to be

Fold the wire in half and then bend the wire on either side of the “half bend” as shown below to create feet.

Use florist wire to make the legs for the polystyrene ball bird

Fold the leg portion over and twist the wire together. Repeat for the second leg.

Twist the wire legs together

Use wood screws to attach the legs to a piece of scrap wood.

Use wood screws to screw the legs onto the piece of drift wood or branch

Painting or glazing the polystyrene ball bird

I wanted my little polystyrene ball bird to resemble clay so I used oil paint and turpentine to glaze the textured ball. You can paint or glaze her to match your decor style.

Paint or glaze the textured ball. To make a glaze mix oil paint with turpentine

Wait for the paint to dry completely and then sand lightly to expose some of the layers.

Sand the texture paste after painting to expose the layers underneath

Once you’re happy with the look, you can finish up and assemble the polystyrene ball bird.

Finishing up and adding some feathers

Glue the rusty metal beak onto the skewer.

Glue the rusty metal beak onto the skewer and trim away any excess

My polystyrene ball bird has feathers on her head and her bottom. To add the feathers to the polystyrene ball, put a dollop of glue inside a wooden bead and insert some feathers.

Put a few feathers in a bead and glue the feathered bead in place

Glue the beaded feathers on the ball bird’s bottom ……

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

…. and on her head 😀 Stick two rusty thumbtacks on either side of her beak for eyes. If you can’t find rusty thumbtacks, you can use this quick faux rusting technique to make some.

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

Place the bird on top of the legs to get an idea of where to make the holes. Use a skewer to make two holes and insert the wire legs. And that’s it, your polystyrene ball bird is finished.

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

Easy, right?!!

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

I think a family of birds would look really cute too. What do you think? Would you add a textured and feathered polystyrene ball to your decor?

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

If you like the idea of making a polystyrene ball bird, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

Sharing is caring

Looking for a budget-friendly craft idea? Then you'll love making this easy polystyrene ball bird with rusty detail. The tutorial will also show you how to mix up a batch of texture paste using common household items. #polystyreneballcraft #ACraftyMix #TexturePaste

Creative things you can do with homemade texture paste

Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used in this post, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉

SMITHERS Brown Rustic Wire 70' 18 Gauge
Pllieay 20 Pieces 5 Sizes White Foam Balls Polystyrene Craft Balls Art Decoration Foam Balls for Art, Craft, Household, School Projects and Easter Party Decoration
Sale 180pcs 6 Style Natural Feathers Assorted Mixed Feathers for Dream Catcher Crafts Decoration (6 Styles/180 Pcs)

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.

Melrose 78827 Resin Bird Figurine, Set of 2
WHW Whole House Worlds Baby Sparrows, Set of 2, Bird Figurines, Vintage Style, Rustic Brown, Detailed Feathers, Table Top Accent Sculpture, Hand Cast Poly Resin, 4 L x 2 1/2 Tall
Set of 2 Assorted RAZ Imports 4' Polyfoam Brown Winged White Winter Owl Figurines

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix