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There’s something deliciously creepy about taking something as cheesy and harmless as a pink flamingo and turning it into a creature that, you know, eats dead stuff.
So when we saw the “make vultures out of garden flamingos” trend, we knew we had to try it.
Here’s what we used (with links) and the step-by-step tutorial. (Psst…it’s easy!)
STEP ONE: Gather the Materials
Here’s what we used:
- pink garden flamingos
- satin Black spray paint (make sure it’s appropriate for plastic)
- satin Claret Wine (or any deep red) spray paint
- Black acrylic paint and Yellow acrylic paint
- small paint brushes
- blue painters tape
- craft feather boa
- newspaper, old magazines or a tarp to protect your painting surface
- 2 plastic bags
STEP TWO: Paint the Body
- Your flamingos will probably come unassembled, with the steel legs in their own small box. If not, remove the legs first and set them aside.
- Tape one of the bags around the bird’s neck near the base, where the seam between colors will be covered with the boa. Make sure you wrap TIGHTLY so no spray paint gets on the neck and head:
- Spray paint one side of the body with the satin Black spray paint. Wait about 10 minutes between sides, flipping the bird gently. Some paint may stick to your newspaper; that’s okay, you’ll be doing a second coat:
- After you’ve spray painted the second side, let dry for about 20 minutes.
- Apply a second coat of Black. This time, hold the bird by the neck so you make sure you get both sides without either sticking to your tarp/newspapers.
- Once the bird is completely covered, still holding it by the neck, carefully insert the legs into the leg holes. Then gently push the legs down into a soft dirt surface so the bird can dry completely on all sides without sticking to your tarp/newspapers:
- Allow to dry COMPLETELY before moving onto the next steps. The paint should not be tacky. It will look shiny/satiny.
STEP THREE: Paint the Neck, Head and Eyes
You have some options for painting the beak. All different colors are represented on Pinterest and similar crafty sites, and likewise, real vultures sport a variety of different types and colors of beak:
While black looks cool, many vultures seem to have a lighter, almost aged-bone-colored beak, and since our flamingos already came with off-yellow beaks that blended down into the black tip, we decided not to mess with perfection. We left the beaks alone.
- When the Black spray paint is COMPLETELY dry, lightly place one of the bags over the bird’s painted body.
- Spray paint the entire neck and head with satin Claret Wine (or other red) spray paint:
- The paint will drip. This is okay and even looks cool, but go slowly or you’ll have nothing but a mess of red. Let the red paint drip down naturally on its own:
- You can spray your second coat on fairly quickly. I did mine within minutes because I wanted a textured, not quite “perfect” look. For your second coat, you don’t need to go all the way down to the base of the beak; remember, the bloody drips are awesome, but less is more and you want the actual beak color to show.
- After about 45 minutes, you can carefully paint the yellows of the eyes with your Yellow acrylic paint. Make the paint not quite reach the rims; the more small and beady the eyes, the better.
- Acrylics dry quickly; allow the yellow paint to dry for 10-15 minutes.
- Carefully place a black dot in each yellow eye. Allow to dry completely.
STEP FOUR: Add the Ruff and Your Décor
- When your vulture is completely dry, drape a piece of the white boa around the neck. You can glue, tape or safety-pin it on; just tuck in the ends.
- Stand your vultures up in your yard. Add a prop if you’d like. We painted an old, broken prop hand “bloody” (using the same spray paint we used for our vultures’ necks; we made little squirts and let the rest drip around).
- Enjoy! Trust us, you’re going to be the envy of the neighborhood with these beastly beauties in your yard.