Sunday, August 12, 2012

Custom School (or Office) Supplies: DIY Bird Agenda

Yesterday I bought my new school supplies. While most kids my age want to throw a chair at their television every time a commercial even mentions back to school shopping, I kind of enjoy it. There's something about the crisp, untouched notebooks and perfectly sharpened pencils that inspire me to actually use folders this year instead of the bottom of my backpack, and to write in an agenda instead of the back of my hand. But more important than this new sense of hope is that the folders, notebooks, and agendas are the perfect fodder for my craft and Modge Podge addictons. So I decided to start this series about how you too can ready your school (or office) supplies. After this post from Blue Cricket Design I have been obsessed with anything bird, so I decided to create this agenda. The full how-to is after the jump.

Hopefully you already have all the supplies needed for this project. You'll  need:

Not pictured: the bird template, scissors, a pencil
-The agenda you wish to decorate (you could also use a small notebook or journal)
- 2-3 old magazines
- An old newspaper or two
-Modge Podge (I used Matte Finish simply because that's what was on hand)
-Foam brushes and something to pour the Modge Podge into (paper plate)
- A reference image, for coloring reference
- Scissors
- A pen or pencil

Part Un

After you've gathered your supplies, look through the newspaper for a page to use as the design's base. Something with no pictures or big headlines and reaaaaallllly small print is best (I found a page with racing stats). 

Trim it down to loosely cover the agenda, but it's okay if it hangs over the edges (you can trim that later). I had to cut slits on either sides to allow for the elastic band that holds the agenda shut, but I managed to patch them in later.

Please ignore my hideous nails.
Now for a light base layer of modge podge.....

And carefully lay down the newspaper. I allowed for some wrinkles to add a vintage-y effect, but you can pull the paper more taught if you want it to be smoother.

Now just add another layer of Modge Podge and you're done with the first layer.

Part Deux

Now it's time to start creating the bird. I started by sectioning off the bird by color, using the image as my guide. For example, the bird had a brown belly, so I marked off a section of the belly and labeled it  "brown".

Cutting the belly of the bird

Now here comes the tricky part: Actually creating the bird. Start off by cutting out the bird section you wish to recreate. Here is my bird's brown belly and a granola bar ad I thought was the right color. Now hold the template in place and cut around it loosely. Continue this process with all the pieces.

Now arrange the pieces to create a bird.....

Add another layer of Modge Podge...

And anchor the bird down.

One last layer of Modge Podge. Make this one really even and smooth.

Et voila! I patched up the holes with some more scraps of newspaper, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out! You could do this with an infinite number of figures.

What do you think? Would you try this with a different shape? Comment below!


  1. That is precious! SO cool. Gonna have to try this. Love this post and you girl. You are beyond talented!
    It would mean so much if you could check out my latest post!

  2. This is so cute! :) I love crafting my own supplies although I have been way lazy the last couple of years and just left my notes blank. I suppose I make up for it by DIY-ing my own accessories though.

  3. i love love love school supplies! lol you should have seen the enormous bag of pencils notebooks and folders i hauled from staples. for some reason i always had the jilted idea that pretty school supplies would affect my focus, which i now know, is not quite the case haha

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  5. This is so fun! My kids love having their own elementary school supplies.

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