One of my favorite book is Gaston Bachelard’s <The Poetics of Space>. In this book, there is a chapter on nests, which talks about how birds build with their entire body. A bird’s final construct is intently expressive of his whole being.

The nest we chose to build is very simple – it’s the kind of a nest that comes up to mind when I think about the word. It’s not shaped with our breasts – it’s an imitation of the act. To quote Ambroise Paré as quoted in Bachelard’s book – “…men can do everything except build a bird’s nest.” Nevertheless, building layers to construct the nest and feeling the round, comforting shape was a humble and happy experience.

The “mache-layer” that can be made with string (or torn paper) over the top of a balloon has shaping function, which one can think of as in place of a bird’s breast.

Dear thing is how excited my baby was to build a bird’s nest, and how excited he was again – looking forward to it all through the nest building – to make the eggs, of course!

Bird's Nest

Bird's Nest
Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • found branches
  • torn paper or string
  • found yard pickings or decorative moss
  • flour and water


    1. Mix 1.5 part water and 1 part flour to make glue
    2. Blow up a balloon. Start building up around the balloon with string or torn paper, brushing them with the glue from step 1 as you go, until you have a bowl shape. Mine ended up being about 5 inches in diameter, but it can be smaller too. Let it dry for a few hours, until the shell feels dry to touch.
    3. When the mache shell is dried, pop the balloon. Start building around the shell with branches, sticking them together with hot glue.
    4. Line the inside with soft yard pickings or decorative moss. Since my baby wanted to make eggs, we made some with playdough to go in the nest 🙂