Painted Robin’s Nest Box

By  Linda Hollander 

size: 5-3/4"x7"x1-3/4"


  • Della and Company Large Oval Folk Art Tin Purse (FT-2226)
  • Thick jute rope


  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Arbor Green, Bleached Sand, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Midnight Green, Sable Brown, Salem Blue, Toffee, Victorian Blue
  • FM Brush Dynasty Brushes: Series SC361ML Liner 10/0; SC361F Flat #6; SC361A Angle 1/4”, 1/2”; SC2158R Round #1; Decorator Brush Series 27671 Dry Brush #4, Shader #6, 12
  • Large craft paintbrush
  • DecoArt Finishes: Multi-Purpose Sealer, Matte Acrylic Sealer/Finisher (DAS13)

Basic Supplies

  • tracing paper, graphite paper, rubbing alcohol, old toothbrush, clear tape, paper towels, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Pattern - Painted Robin's Nest Box

  • Note
  • 1. Thin paint with water whenever sheer paint is required.
  • Box
  • 1. Wipe box and lid with rubbing alcohol. Seal box and lid with multi-purpose sealer using flat. Paint box and lid Salem Blue until opaque using craft paintbrush; let dry.
  • 2. Print out pattern. Transfer outline of pattern on box. Make tracing of pattern details; set aside.
  • 3. Wash nest thinned Sable Brown using #12 shader; let dry. Wash shading thinned Dark Chocolate using 1/2" angle. Transfer eggs. See Figure 1.
  • 4. Concentrating mainly in shaded areas, paint nesting material thinned Dark Chocolate using liner. Basecoat eggs Salem Blue using #6 shader. Mix (1:1) mixture of Salem Blue + Victorian Blue; float shading on first eggs using 1/4" angular shader. See Figure 2.
  • 5. Concentrating mainly in unshaded areas, paint more nesting material thinned Cocoa + small amount of Dark Chocolate using liner. Add more nesting material at top of nest thinned Cocoa. Deepen shading on eggs sheer Victorian Blue using 1/4" angular shader. See Figure 3.
  • 6. Load round with small amount of Bleached Sand. Off-load slightly onto paper towel; gently drybrush soft highlights on eggs. Repeat to strengthen highlighting. Mix thinned Toffee + small amount of Cocoa; paint nesting material at top edge of nest using liner. Mix thinned Bleached Sand + small amount of Toffee; add strongest highlights. Paint some nest highlights in front of eggs for added dimension. See Figure 4.
  • 7. Paint branches thinned Dark Chocolate using liner. Using dirty brush, highlight thickest branches Cocoa.
  • 8. Load round with Arbor Green; side-load small amount of Midnight Green. Slightly blend on palette, then stroke tiny leaves randomly on branches.
  • 9. Keeping edges loose and jagged, paint feather bases with slightly thinned Cocoa using round. Float shading on either side of center feather vein sheer Dark Chocolate using 1/4" angular shader. Highlight vein with touch of Bleached Sand using liner. Float highlights on feather edges sheer Toffee. Float enhanced highlights here and there Bleached Sand. Paint downy area near feather base thinned Cocoa + touch of Dark Chocolate using liner. Highlight downy areas and veins Bleached Sand. Drybrush motion lines on sky behind feathers with touch of Bleached Sand using round.
  • 10. Mix Dark Chocolate + Sable Brown thinned to consistency of heavy cream; spatter box randomly using toothbrush. Clean brush and repeat with Bleached Sand.
  • 11. Float shading along base of box sheer Victorian Blue using 1/2" angular shader.
  • 12. Remove graphite lines; spray with several light coats of sealer.
  • 13. Cut jute to 18" length; tape ends to stop fraying. Thread taped end through side box hole; knot on inside. Repeat on other side.