Red Ted Art’ s Autumnal Bird Marionettes!

Photo of MaggyHi, I am Maggy from Red Ted Art and I would love to share with you our fun, easy and virtually free craft project – celebrating the great outdoors! Make these any time of year, after a lovely walk to the park – collect leaves, stones and sticks and then go home and Get Crafty!


  • 2 Toilet Paper Rolls per bird
  • Paper
  • Paint or crayons
  • String (or salvaged cords from gift paper bags)
  • Sticks for “marionette holder”
  • Sticks or stones for feet – If you use sticks, try and find a stick with a fork in it, it will give you that fabulous “bird foot shape” and a fun item to search for on your walk
  • Glue
  • Masking tape
  • Pegs, Scissors


  • Googly eyes

Make the basic body: Use two loo rolls. For the beak, cut 4 slots, twist together, tape with masking tape (see photos). Paint.

Illustration of craft

For the feathers: Decide on the type of bird you would like to make – use leaf rubbings (crayons), or leave prints (paint – we found ivy really printed well) or use the leaf itself (though remember, they will become brittle and will break, so you would have to varnish them). Or create a “mixed media” bird of leaves, rubbings, prints and feathers. Your imagination is the limit! Use colours that will go with the colour of your “body”.

Make up the bird: Cut out the feathers you want to use. Glue together before attaching to bird. On the tail leaf we decided to stick to leaf prints back to back, so that you get colour on both sides. Once dried (you may want to put a weight on them to get them nice and flat), stick to body and secure with clothe pegs whilst drying.

Once all has dried, carefully make holes for neck and feet. Thread through string, knot. Attach sticks or stones with more knots.

Add the eyes by gluing google eyes or paint or using a felt tip pen (often best to do it at the end, as then you know which way round your head is facing).

For the marionette: Make a cross with two sticks. Tie with some string. Make a hole in the head to attach the head. Then add an additional hole on the back of the bird. Thread more string as per photo and knot underneath.


Time to play and put on a little show!


Over a year later and we still have these marionettes in our house! Make sure you come back for lots more leaf projects! Leaves are a wonderful resourceful “tool” for crafting with and your imagination is the limit!

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One Response to Red Ted Art’ s Autumnal Bird Marionettes!

  1. Pingback: 5 Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day… | Nature Kids

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