I am not sure where the inspiration for this particular cylinder came from, but I love it all the same. Usually I am not one for fake things (flowers, or in this case, the bird) but sometimes it can be done right and actually enhance the look. I am going to just go straight in to the pictures this time, with how to make it at the end.
I wanted to recreate the feeling of a tree, like you were in a nature preserve and happened to spot a finch high in the branches. I chose a yellow bird because I like the sharp contrast, but they make all sorts of different birds, including super cute owls. As you can see, this is a very tall arrangement. A lot of impact from a little cylinder!
This shows the nest more clearly. I suppose you could put fake bird eggs in it if you wanted to.
If you think the plain sticks are a little bare, you could add some flowers to them. Wiring on orchids, roses or some other flower would be a great way to tie in to the other floral elements (like bouquets) and color scheme. In the fall, you could attach leaves to the sticks, to really give it a tree feel.
Here is how I made it:
1. Put the rocks in the cylinder. I apparently love white river rock, but you could use any kind of rocks, or sand. Or the gravely stuff they use in fish tanks. The key is to have enough to give the cylinder some weight. Because the sticks are so tall you don't want the cylinder tipping over.
2. Stick the branches through the nest. I used curly willow, but you could use actual sticks for this arrangement. The nest I bought at Michaels. The nest has some gaps in the center, perfect for putting the branches through. I liked the look of just two branches, but depending on what kind of sticks you used you could have more.
3. Put branch/nest combo in to the cylinder. Work the sticks down in to the rocks.
4. Attach bird to nest. I got the bird at Michaels as well. Move the nest down to form a cap on top of the cylinder. Adjust sticks and nest as needed.
5. Wire flowers/leaves to the branches (optional).