Part of the fun of having a birdhouse in your yard or home garden is being able to observe the beautiful birds that decide to make a home out of it. Birds are able to recognize bright, flowery colors more easily than others. Taking an old, neglected birdhouse and turning it into your own weekend work of art can do more than just liven up your backyard; it can help encourage your woodland neighbors out into the open to be seen for all their beauty.
Planning Your Design
What makes designing your own birdhouse an interesting project is that there are so many possible ways to personalize it. There are no real wrong answers when it comes to crafts like this, so long as it has a roof, some walls, and a hole for birds to come in and out of.
On paper, draw out the dimensions of each flat surface of your birdhouse. This will give you a general idea of how much decorative material you'll need to begin covering the outside. Keep in mind that some of that surface area is going to be taken up by bonding material between your mosaic shards, so it doesn't have to be mathematically perfect. A rough estimate will be close enough to get the job done.
Selecting Your Materials
Another section of this project that's going to be open to your own interpretation is what to use to cover your birdhouse with. There are a number of options that are worth considering, but the main thing is that whatever you choose suits your own taste for color and style. The best part is that you probably don't even need to spend much money, since things like ceramics and colored glass can be gotten from things around the house.
A Few Practical Materials You Can Use
- Broken ceramic dinner plates
- Stained glass
- Shards of old coffee mugs
- Shattered marble
- Bath tiles
Decorating Your Birdhouse
The adhesive you use to attach your mosaic pieces to the exterior of the birdhouse can vary, but epoxy is probably best if you intend this to be an outdoor decoration. If you don't have any tools specifically for cutting ceramic, simply breaking your source materials and using the shards will work just fine. Just be careful of sharp edges. If you're not sure of how you'd like your design to look, you can always lay out the pieces on various parts of your birdhouse before applying any sort of gluing agent.
Once you're ready, it is best to decorate one surface at a time. After a thin layer of epoxy has been applied, arrange the pieces in the design you've decided you like the most, and apply a light pressure to allow them to set in place. Any gaps between the shards isn't necessarily a problem since you can always fill those in with either additional epoxy or, if you prefer, colored grout. Once the entire surface is covered, the mosaic will really begin to take shape. Allow a few hours for the epoxy to take hold before adding the finishing touches.
It may be necessary to do some light sanding around the edges, if the dimensions of the tile pieces you chose were not quite right. Some might consider this to be an optional step, but it can complement the aesthetic value of your handiwork by making the birdhouse smooth to the touch. In most cases, there will be no need for power tools. Some medium-grit sandpaper and a little elbow grease should do the trick.
There you have it! A fun weekend project that the whole family can get involved with, and that everyone can enjoy seeing year after year.