Making a Pistachio Shell Birds Painting

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February 22, 2019

Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - finished paintingI like to save the shells from my pistachio nuts to craft with. Here, I've turned them into birds on a tree I painted. Sometimes bare winter trees are nice in the way that you can see all the animals that perch on the branches without leaves getting in the way. This painting is dedicated to my father who loves to birdwatch and absolutely adores pistachios!


Total Time: 70 minutes plus dry time

Yield: 1 painting


  • 1 canvas
  • cleaned pistachio shells
  • acrylic paints (any colours including blue, black, and copper)
  • paintbrushes (wide, medium, and fine point)
  • hot glue gun with glue
Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - supplies


  1. Paint the outsides of the pistachio shells in whatever colour you'd like your birds to be. Allow to dry.
  2. Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - paint your shells in whatever colors you desire, allow to dry
  3. Use a wide brush to paint your canvas blue. Allow to dry.
  4. Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - use a wide brush to paint the canvas blue, allow to dry
  5. Near the bottom of your canvas, paint some black lines to create your ground.
  6. Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - near bottom of canvas paint some black lines to define the ground level

  7. Draw some medium width lines in black shooting upwards to create the tree trunk. Start adding branches going outward.
  8. Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - add some medium lines shooting up for the trunk and then begin adding branches
  9. Add more branches inside going up and out to fill out the tree. Allow to dry.
  10. Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - add additional branches and allow to dry
  11. Add some highlights to the tree by painting short lines in copper paint. Allow to dry.
  12. Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - add highlights with the copper paint and allow to dry
  13. Place the painted pistachio shells around the tree to get an idea of where you'd like the birds to sit.
  14. Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - lay out the shells

  15. Lift each shell and paint a small beak in black. Add a blob of hot glue to the inside of the shell and affix to the painting.
  16. Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - lift each shell and paint a beak then add a blob of glue and attach shell (bird)
  17. Add a tiny dot of black paint near the beak to create the eyes.
  18. Pistachio Shell Birds Painting - add a tiny dot of black paint near the beak to create the eyes
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