April Hoop Art of the Month - Robin's Nest

This month's hoop art was inspired by a photo I shared on my Instagram last spring.

We have a tall Japanese maple near our garage, and a Robin build her nest on a branch that was very close to it. I couldn't believe she wasn't scared away, since that's where we come and go, but she stuck with it until those blue eggs hatched into these hungry babies. 

All four eggs hatched and were cared for by their mom until they learned how to use their wings and left the nest. If that's not a reason the commonly used term "Mama Bear" should instead be "Mama Robin" I don't know what is. Her persistence was admirable. 

Speaking of persistence, let's talk about the hoop art. This one has been on the list since the beginning, I just didn't know what I would use to make it. This is the first one that hasn't involved sewing or fabric, and I wanted to keep it that way. I considered several options, even going as far as buying supplies at the craft store, then returning them once I realized I hadn't hit the nail on the head. I couldn't be happier with the final result though, and can't wait to show you how it was made!

To make this one you'll need:

  • 6" embroidery hoop
  • cardboard, larger than the hoop
  • decorative eggs or painted wood eggs
  • feathers
  • jute rope (1/4" in diameter, 4 ply)
  • ribbon (for hanging)
  • hot glue gun

Trace the outside of the hoop onto the cardboard. Cut out just inside the line.. You can use recycled cardboard, but make sure the area facing up doesn't have print on it in case it shows through the rope.  Tighten the hardware on the hoop that holds the inner ring in. Glue the cardboard onto the back of the hoop.

Starting from the outside of the circle, glue the rope to the cardboard, spiraling toward the center.  The reason I didn't give you a quantity for the rope is because it can vary wildly, depending on how tightly you glue it together.

Make sure the center is filled in with rope.

Spiral from the center back to the outside edge, gluing a new row of rope on top of the previous, so your rope is two layers thick. You can see how I didn't worry too much about making sure the first go-round was tight or twisted correctly, because I knew it would be covered. I was more careful on the second row.

Glue rope to the front of the hoop, which should fit two rows wide.  Add another row on top of those, centered on the first two, to build up the height.

Wrap the rope around the outer edge of the hoop to cover, continuing to glue as you go. Cut the rope and tuck the end between layers and glue.

Glue the feathers in place.  I know, these are not robin feathers. I just couldn't find that section at the craft store.

I intended to buy wooden eggs and paint them myself, but when I saw eggs that looked exactly like I pictured, I took the out. They aren't quite as pretty as wood would be, but they are lighter, so probably less likely to drag my hoop down.

Glue the eggs on so they cover the ends of the feathers.

Tie some ribbon around the top to hang, or if you prefer, lay it on a flat surface.

I don't think this will fool Mama Bird, but maybe she'll see it as a welcome sign. There's no better way to celebrate spring than to wait for new babies!