This far-fetched scene was hatched by Jill Sprankell (who also came up with the idea for "Festive Flop"). In early December she put out a large help-wanted sign, then kept the joke going by adding a few penguins each day. By the end of the month, a crowd of nearly 400 birds was gathered in her yard!
For each penguin, pour two parts black paint and one part water inside a bottle (we used 1 to 4 tablespoons of paint depending on the size of the bottle). Screw on the cap and shake the bottle to coat the sides. Remove the cap and save it for later.
On the outside of the bottle, paint a white oval from the spout to the bottom. Dry overnight (the inside may be slightly wet in the morning).
Coat a Styrofoam ball with black paint and let it dry.
Cut two wings from the black craft foam and a beak and feet from the yellow craft foam (you can download our template. Glue the wings and feet to the bottle as shown and let them dry. If needed, use masking tape to hold the wings in place as they dry.
With the knife, bore a hole in the Styrofoam ball big enough to fit the neck of the bottle. Glue on googly eyes. Make a small slit below the eyes, insert a few dabs of glue, then slide the beak into the opening.
Funnel sand into the bottle to weigh it down (we used 1 to 2 cups depending on the bottle's size). Replace the cap and press the Styrofoam head on top.
If you like, dress the penguin in doll accessories or use kids' socks to make your own. For a hat, snip a 6- to 8-inch length from a sock and knot one end. For a scarf, cut a 1½-inch-wide loop from a sock, snip it open, and fringe the ends.
Write "Penguins wanted, apply within" on the lawn sign, then arrange it and the penguins in your yard as shown.