Like many other people, I am really glad to see the arrival of spring. If you are hoping to welcome spring into your home, with a nature display or looking for a fun way to present easter gifts next month, then you might like to have at go at making a spring nest.
You don’t need any tools (well some secateurs would be handy!) and you can adapt the design to work with whatever natural materials that you can find. It’s a great project for kids too and a really good excuse to get out in the garden or go for a nature walk.
We are very fortunate, that most of our land is quite wild with trees, vines, grasses and mosses galore. So, I was able to pop out while my kids were tucking into a pile of scones and collect enough bits and bobs to make this little nest.
Because I am working with freshly gathered plants, I could weave them straight away, but if you are going to use anything that has been cut a while ago, you will need to soak them first.
First of all, get out and collect a whole load of natural materials. Sticks or stems(they need to be flexible, willow etc), vines like ivy, grasses, mosses, leaves and feathers. The sticks or vines are going to give the nest structure, while the softer things like leaves and mosses will help to fill in gaps and give a lining to your nest.
We’re going to make a rough framework, that we can weave into. Begin by bending one of your stems or vines into a circle (the size is up to you) and secure it by weaving the ends under and over itself.
Take a second stem and weave it around the first, in the same way. It is best to make sure that the joins fall on opposite sides of the ring – it just helps everything to stay together.
Now that we have a rim, we can frame out the bowl shape of the nest. Use another stem or vine and wrap it securely around the rim. You can tie with some raffia or twine to keep it in place.
Bend it to the right shape and the wind it around the opposite side of the rim.
Repeat this process, with another stem to create a cross at the bottom of the nest. Again, secure with some raffia or twine (you’ll be able to remove this later, or just weave it in).
Repeat twice more, evenly spacing the stems.
That’s the frame complete and if you are making these with children, you may want to prepare this in advance – depending on age and ability.
Now you need to work instinctively, weaving stems and vines under and over the frame. There is no need to be really neat here, in fact I think that it looks better if you use a mix of materials and leave ends sticking out here and there.
The look of your nest will very much depend on the materials that you have been able to find. I included some budding willow and honeysuckle with its first spring leaves. Mix up textures and colours and have some fun with it.
Once you have filled in the whole nest structure, you can add moss, leaves and feathers to line the inside of the nest. You might want to weave grasses in between the stems and vines. Let your creativity guide you and don’t forget to stand back and look at it and turn it, to see it from all angles.
Now you just need to decide what to fill it with – egg shells, easter eggs, felt chicks?
Enjoy making your nest and even more importantly, enjoy all that spring has to offer!