Beth and I are having a party. A self swapping, self linking "What do you LOVE about your Birdie's home?" party. Details are HERE. And we hope you can all join us and show off your own birdhouses. Either something you have made by hand, or just a favorite of yours on display in your home or gardens.
I'll be giving one of my own away today, if you leave a comment on this post, and will give a 2nd away the day of our party, Thursday March 27th.
And if you'd like to make one, and could use some tips, here are a few things I learned while decking out a few birdhouses.
First thing I noticed, was that my hands look awful in these photos. Oh well, as grandma, I am getting used to things like that. Wrinkling up old skin, knobby knuckles, saggy neck. Back to birdhouses, and away from old lady skin issues (which I could go on forever about, and you really don't want to hear).
I've bought houses in an assortment of sizes and shapes. Some from the craft departments of Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby and Michaels in unfinished wood or paper mache, some already painted and with cool shapes in the garden department at Hobby Lobby.
All are smaller, some mini, none made for outdoors, they are for decorative purposes only.
The prices have ranged from 67 cents to about $5 at the most.
And I discovered that the homes were much easier to decoupage onto if you don't have to worry about crevices and corners and edges.
So, I base coated all the cracks, and up under the eaves, the perching post, and the inside of the hole as well as any other spots that looked like it would be hard to cover in papers.
Although, for this one, I purposely painted all of it, just so there would be some contrast for the photos I was taking of the steps.
And notice that I didn't sand the edges first? I wanted you to see the rough wood, it shows up better on the blue house, look inside the hole at the jagged edges. A quick little twist of the sanding block inside that will knock those bits down pretty smooth.
Here is a short cut I came up with for making the houses go more quickly. I have been making a LOT of houses, so speedy tips help me a lot.
With decorative scissors, I cut narrow strips of sheet music, just perfectly sized for gluing onto the edges of the roof or around the base of a bird house.
It was brushed on after the paint was dry, and then I sprinkled more glitter over it while it was still wet.
After all my prep work was done, I gathered up my supplies. I looked around to find colors and tidbits I wanted to work with.
Go ahead and pull out extras, you are never sure how much you will end up using, but having a pile to chose from, already selected, and in the chosen palette not only saves time, but is an inspiration for the project.
You will need:
a sanding block (or sand paper)
an exacto knife (and be generous with yourself- replace the blades as needed!! It really does make a difference to have a fresh blade)
glue (I always store mine upside down so it flows better)
a Popsicle stick or something similar to burnish paper down with
goodies to add to the house
Here is a point where you might want to make a pattern. I just go ahead and use my wallpaper. I fit it to one side of the wood at a time, bending and creasing to show myself where to snip it with the scissors.
You can also trim it with your exacto knife.
If you are making more than one birdhouse of the same design, or have a limited amount of old paper and don't want to waste any, it might be a good idea to make a pattern this way and then using the pattern to cut out your chosen papers.
I poke the perching post through the paper, then trim around it with the exacto knife.
I then saw with the exacto knife to the edge, and around the hole to cut it out.
Wooden Popsicle sticks or coffee stirrers are great for rubbing the paper down.
Now we get to the fun part. Decorate it! Baubles and buttons and doodads and glitter and stripes of coordinating papers. Old jewelry, ribbons, lace, what ever makes your bird joyous.
I have a few more houses to foof myself. One is actually a little Swiss music/jewelry box that I got for a quarter at a garage sale. But of course, this decopauge technique will work on all sort of different things, not just bird houses.
Another suggestion I have to offer is, that whether you use scrap booking paper, vintage papers, or whatever you decide, the papers do seem to look better with a smaller print, or an over all pattern. The smaller the house you cover, the smaller the print you should try to use.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. My husband is leaving to go back East and I am going to be lonely. So any question is welcome, I could use the company!
I hope you'll make a few and join the party on the 27th! Feel free to add this button to your blog so people will know you are participating.
I'll be adding bling kits to my Etsy shop and fill them with fun bits and pieces to work with if you need supplies to make a house.
And remember, I will give away one of my creations to someone who comments on this posting, plus another to someone who leaves a comment on our party day.
And if you would like to be in my St Pats tag swap, you have until March 5th to send me two tags and I will send out two tags to you from another swapper. Email or comment to ask for details.
One thing I love about blogland, is all the holiday decor! I haven't gotten into decorating for every holiday like this since my boys were toddlers! Most years, I totally ignore St. Pats or Easter as far as setting out pretties or making things for them.
I haven't seen much about St Pats in blogworld, we have all jumped ahead to Easter. But Easter seems early this year, so I can see why.
Speaking of Easter, My pink bunny watercolor is finished and hanging in my studio, although hopefully not for long, I have it in my Etsy shop now. This is an original watercolor I have added to a vintage wallpaper base, then dooded up with some of my favorite pretties.
Have fun blinging out that birdhouse!
Edit, added on:
Here are some highlights of the $10 Cottage Collage Birdhouse Bling Kits I added to Etsy today. More coming, no two are alike and they take a while to photograph and list!!