Posted in Crafts, Harry Potter Stuff

Fawkes the Pheonix Tree Topper and Lamp: Part I

Creating a Fawkes Christmas tree-topper/ lamp seemed like a pipe dream when I discovered Harry Potter themed Christmas trees this summer. Fawkes is by far one of the coolest magical creatures in Harry Potter and the colors scarlet and gold are perfect for Christmas!

Fawkes as seen on Epbot.com

But I’ll get very real with you, I was deterred by the cost to make it almost immediately. I mentally added up the decoy bird, the lights, the paint, the feathers, etc. after reading epbot’s post on her incredible creation and imagined it would one of those pins I admired but never got around to making.

In December, however, I found some amazing things at Dollar Tree that encouraged me to make other Harry Potter decorations and then got another opportunity to make decor for a Harry Potter themed table and just couldn’t help myself. I would make my own lit Phoenix!

I laugh now realizing that I not only underestimated the cost of making this bird but also the time involved to make this tree topper. Was it frustrating at times? Yes! But, do I regret making it? No way! It was so much fun, especially when I finally got to share what I created.

Why did I end up making Fakes then? That is a story for another post which you can read here. It’s time to get going on making your very own light-up Fawkes the Phoenix from Harry Potter! I assure you it is well worth the time and effort required.

Materials Needed:

  • acetone- the smallest amount I found was 32 oz. Lowes
  • plastic decoy hawkAmazon
  • Red feather boa, red and orange feathers, black acrylic paint, Hobby Lobby
  • wine, fire, soft butter, coffee bean acrylic multi-surface paints Michaels (to be honest I’d go with brighter primary colored traditional acrylic paints to match my feathers if I ever made another phoenix) so use your best judgment on your color choices.
  • Glitter Glue- Ice Red Dollar Tree
  • Brilliant Red Simply acrylic paint- Walmart
  • Battery Powered 7.2 ft. fairy lightsAmazon
  • Red and Gold Glitter- Dollar Tree (optional)

Tools Needed:

  • a rag
  • a plastic bin
  • sponge paint brushes
  • a small drill (mine is a small and cost around $20 at Walmart and came with two bits)
  • a drill bit
  • sponges brushes, small/fine detail and large paint brushes
  • old plastic lid or tin for pouring your paints onto
  • hot glue and glue sticks for the feathers
  • pliers for pulling the plastic eyes from the bird
  • a razor blade
  • Time Required: 15 hours approx to complete
  • Cost:$40-$50 approx

Was it frustrating at times? Yes! But, do I regret making it? No way!

Steps to Making Fawkes

Part I- Prep the Bird

  1. Pull out your decoy, acetone, rag, and plastic bin. I would recommend using gloves for this step. Put your plastic bird into the bin. Pour a generous amount of acetone onto your rag and scrub a section of the bird until all of the paint is gone in that area. Pour more onto a new spot on your rag until that section of the rag is dirty. Repeat until all of the paint has been removed from the decoy.
  2. Let the bird dry in a well-ventilated area.
  3. Use your pliers to remove the eyes from the bird. This will require a lot of pulling.
  4. Get out your drill and drill bit. I used the largest drill bit I had knowing that the paint would cover up part of the holes I made. Make holes in the bird everywhere except the head, feet, and the tree stump.
  5. Vary the location of your holes so they don’t line up.
  6. Use your drill bit to remove some of the glue in the eye sockets so that the light will have plenty of room to escape from the Phoenix’s eyes.
  7. Using your razor blade cut a hole big enough to fit the light bulb of your lamp through it. If you choose to use a just a string of LED lights you won’t need to cut the hole at the bottom of the bird any bigger.

For the next steps please see my second post on making Fawkes the Pheonix Tree Topper and Lamp: Part II. Coming soon . . .

All the parts are appropriote considering the way they split the last Harry Potter Movie into two movies right!? JK! This post would just be too massive with this entire tutorial in one place . . . or would it?

Please let me know in the comments below if you’d rather have this tutorial all as one large post . . .

Click here to see more of my Harry Potter creations!