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Restoration Of Precious Things

May 5, 2014

My husband’s maternal grandmother passed away in September. When my mother-in-law was going through her things after she passed, she pulled out this little bird ornament that she had made for her mother and she gave it to me.

It’s odd and it’s unique which are two qualities that I adore in any trinket. It was also made with the sort of love I can truly appreciate as a life long crafter, so I decided last night as it sat on my shelf in pieces, that even though the old glue let go on me it deserved a second chance.

Below I have detailed with pictures how I retouched, restored and reassembled the little nature ornament. 

The original ornament consisted of a piece of bark with a big dried mushroom on top with a little clip on resin bird and a snail which I think is constructed of sculpted, painted hot glue and a real snail shell. There was also some pale dried planty stuff glued on under the bird. I reassembled it exactly the way it was given to me, the only things that I added were paint and some real dried moss in addition to glue.


The photo above is of the ornament as I received it except that the base and mushroom should be glued together.


The first thing that I did was I repainted the bird. The little bird was cast with a surprising amount of detail and the faded paint job didn’t do the beautiful feather detail any justice at all. I am pretty sure that it was supposed to be a robin but it had faded to pink and grey. There were also some bald spots where the paint had flaked away and it just needed a little bit of love to look like a proper robin again. I used a photo of a British robin as a guide for the coloration and markings.

If you are interested in restoring or repainting a resin figure yourself you can just use normal acrylic paint. Be patient, work in layers and dry brush on the highlights.



real robin

This is a photo I took of a real robin (European) in my back garden. Usually they look a lot skinnier but it was quite cold so he was all poofed out and gorgeous.

Here are two more before and after photos so you can see the difference his little paint job made.



After the robin was dried I glued the mushroom back to the base and then glued him back into his spot. I pulled off the clip that he was held on with previously because it wasn’t necessary anymore with the addition of a pile of hot glue.


I also touched up the snail as some of the paint on his body had flaked off and I added in some spots to make him look a bit more realistic and textured.


To hide the hot glue under the robin I glued in some real dried moss along with the salvaged moss that was on the piece originally using PVA because it’s a lot better suited for this sort of job and it dries clear.


Lastly I used some clear nail polish on the bird’s eyes to give them a life-like gloss and I applied some to the snail’s body as well to give the impression of moisture on its skin. I also put a little bit on the natural snail shell. I didn’t lacquer it, I just gave it some highlights.

And that’s it finished. I love the unusually compatible combination of natural found objects with the artificial element of the bird and the sculpted snail.

It’s truly one of a kind.

robin11 robin12 robin14 robin15 robin16 robin17

  1. Anonymous permalink

    Very Nice

  2. Jen Grover permalink

    This is awesome Sarah!

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