Learning about hummingbirds can make a fantastic unit study for your homeschool classroom. Especially if you time your studies up with Spring & Summer when hummingbirds are likely to be out and about. Besides nature journaling, you might consider making some beautiful window art so you can enjoy hummingbirds year-round.
We’ve designed two different ways to make stunning window cling hummingbirds. The easier version is presented first and the more difficult version is second.
Hummingbird Art Material:
For either project, you’ll need the free hummingbird template along with some basic supplies. The reason you’ll need a laminating sheets is because that is how we’ll be making the plastic for the base. You’ll also need a laminator to run the blank laminating sheets through to strengthen the plastic. If you don’t own a laminator, you might consider just purchasing plastic sheets for crafting. However, I believe that the least expensive method is with the laminating sheets, especially if you’re doing this project with a large group.
Hummingbird Art Project 1
This first hummingbird art project tutorial creates a more modern stained glass looking bird. It’s also a bit easier so it might be better for younger children. A hummingbird art project for older children can be found below. However, the first few steps are the same as far as prepping so read through the next few steps before scrolling to the more realistic version.
Before starting the project, you’ll want to prepare your plastic. Basically, you’ll run your laminating sheets through the laminator wihout putting anything in between the sheets. The end result is a stick plastic sheeting you can use as the backdrop for your project. I always run a few extra so I have plastic sheets on hand. TIP: Purchasing laminating sheets is much less expensive online
Tape your plastic sheet on top of your hummingbird template. If you need to be able to move your project while it’s drying overnight, then tape them both to a piece of scrap cardboard as well.
Using black paint, outline the shape of the hummingbird. Set aside to dry. I set mine aside for about 40 minutes, and it wasn’t dry, but it had set enough that I could continue.
Here is how the bird will look when fully outlined. If you are doing this project with younger students, you might consider doing the outlining for them. That way there is no waiting and no frustration with outlining.
Once your outline is set enough, you can fill in the colors. Just be careful not to jab your paint nozzle into the black paint. The outline seems to help the paint settle into the unpainted areas, so don’t worry if you don’t get the paint right up to the edge as it will settle a bit and spread out as it dries. I started with a blue beak and a green head.
Continue to add colors to fill in the hummingbird’s body. I used Pink, orange, white, welly and green on the rest of the body. Then blue on the tail.
Using different hues is a good way to add colors to the bird’s tail. I added turquoise, light blue, and then violet.
Here is how I filled in the hummingbirds wings. I used blue, green and yellow for the top of the wings and then orange, pink and white for the underside of the feathers.
Here is how the bird looked once completely painted in. You can fill your bird in any way you want though! The more color the better! When finished, set it aside to dry overnight
Here is how the bird looked in the morning. The colors all seem to have darkened up a bit, but don’t worry…once the light shines through you’ll see those beautiful colors again!
Use a pair of scissors to cut out around the hummingbird. I don’t know if you can see in the photo above, but I went about 1/3 of an inch all the way around the bird.
Once you’ve got your bird cut out, it’s time to hang it on the window! How stunning is that!? Mine stuck on either side, but the side with the paint did seem more secure. However, I’m not sure if the paint will transfer to the window on a hot sunny day so I’m going to leave it with the plastic side touching the window for now.
Hummingbird Art Project 2 (Realistic)
If you have older students, or maybe you want to create a hummingbird alongside your kiddos, you might appreciate these more realistic version. This tutorial is pretty much the same, however we won’t be outlining the bird, and we’ll be blending the colors as we go.
As mentioned above, there is no outline, so you’ll basically be painting on top of the plastic/template with the colors you want for each section. Here is a look at how I’ve painted my bird. I used purple then blue for the beak. Turquoise for the head, then a row of orange and pink. A section of white, yellow and green. Each time I’ve added a new color, I used the tip of the paint applicator to blend streaks into the previous color. I did so in a curved fashion to create the appearance of texture for the features. It sounds more difficult than it is, once you get going on it, it’s pretty simple to blend.
Here is an up close look at the blending. This was all created simply by dragging the tip of the paint applicator through different colors to create “movement” I’ve also used the purple and darker green to create depth where there should be shadow (at the base of the wings, and where the tail feathers meet the body, those areas should be naturally darker).
I actually used quite a bit of white for the center parts (the center of the body, and the center of the feathers). After the base of white, I blended in some greens and blues to help the appearance of individual wing feathers. I also pulled some orange up into the top of the turquoise head.
Here is how the bird looked when I was done painting. I set it aside to dry overnight.
This is how the bird looked in the morning. Again, it looks as if it has darkened up, but that is just because there isn’t any light shining through the colors.
Once I cut out the hummingbird and hung it on the window the colors brightened up nicely. A lot of the different colors and textures cam through very nicely. In the photo you can see the edges of the plastic, but from a distance, you really can’t see it at all, and it looks quite stunning on the window.
The only problem with this little guy is that he needs some friends! How pretty would it be to have multiple hummingbirds on the window?! This is definitely a project you can do alongside your kiddos. I’ve even recommended that my kiddos make some into Christmas gifts for family members. And this art technique can be used with a variety of different pictures. In fact, I’ll have some more tutorial and templates coming soon so stay tuned for those!