Allen’s Birds


Cardboard bird created by Allen and Kevin.

Most visitors who come into MAKESHOP spend most of their time exploring and tinkering with the materials. But there are is a group of return visitors who always seem to come in with a plan already in mind. Allen is one of those visitors. This visit he wanted to make a bird. Typically the first step with Allen is find the right materials to create his idea. He usually tends to use tape and recycled materials. He is at the right age where tape and scissors are a really interesting set of tools to use and explore. I was working with some thick foam for a different project (sort of bird related.)


Two props for our MAKENIGHT event last month: Kevin’s sewn egg and Derek’s cardboard frying pan.

I was sewing a pair of eggs out of felt and using the foam to stuff them. I told him that he could use some of the foam to make the bird. We then decided that it would be best to draw out the shape of a bird on the foam so that it would be easier to cut out (side note: do not use markers on foam, it doesn’t dry and it gets all over your hands). I asked Allen what kinds of parts there are to a bird. “Wings,” he said.  So we drew some wings. “A body,” so we drew a body. “A beak,” so we drew a beak. We decided not to draw feet and instead started working on cutting out the pieces. I drew the parts in separate pieces on the foam and let Allen try his hand at cutting them out. He had some trouble with the more detailed feather parts of the wings. After we prepped our pieces we started to attach them. Allen and his mom spent time cutting pieces of light blue tape and then used the tape to connect the parts of the bird.


Allen’s foam bird hanging from MAKESHOP’s ceiling.

After we finished this foam bird Allen asked if I could hang it up from the ceiling. I love it when people add their projects to the space. Allen then wanted to make another bird out of cardboard. Now that we had the plans from the foam bird making the cardboard bird was a breeze. We drew our pieces (markers dry on cardboard better than foam). We cut them out. And then we assembled them. Allen decided to take the cardboard bird home with him. He planned on bringing it to school for show and tell on the letter “B” day.

It was a real pleasure to be a part of this project.  I can’t wait to see what Allen makes next.




Kevin is a teacher by trade. He loves dinosaurs, sloths and magnets.

Leave a Reply


captcha *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.