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How To Decorate a Birdhouse

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I have a Fun Friday post for you today.  Since moving to the lake, I have gotten very interested in something I never thought too much about before. It is something my mom loved to do and something my sister is passionate about. Even a few of our friends who have come to visit us over the last year, enjoy it.  In their luggage, each brought their own binoculars and guidebooks in hand as they were excited to…. bird watch. I especially like this hobby since it has given me a fun project… birdhouse decorating :)

How to decorate a bird house

Living on the shores of a big lake with lots of trees gives us a front row seat to watch nature all around us. From fish, ducks, and turtles along with big herons to tiny hummingbirds. They all have become part of our daily life, some of them feel like family.

Decorating a bird house

For my birthday last June, Ed bought me a pair of good binoculars so I could see the birds around the house and lake up close. I use them daily. Recently, while eating our Christmas breakfast we got to watch a heron catch a fish and then feast on it for his Christmas meal. Every one at the table wanted to see and the binoculars were passed back and forth so we could all watch. It was fascinating. It is like the National Geographic channel right outside our window. :-)

Bird feeder and birdhouses

After we closed on the house last year, I remember walking around the property. I noticed there were birdhouses all around the yard on trees. The previous owner also left a very nice bird feeder. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but a week later, one of my neighbors came over and told me he saw that our bird feeder was empty and he would fill it.

I was like…oh?…… OK… thanks.

I just thought he was looking for an excuse to try to get to know us, but I was wrong, he knew the birds in the area have come to rely on the food in the neighborhood feeders and wanted to keep them coming. :-)

I now enjoy filling the bird feeders on a weekly basis and have learned quite a bit about the birds in the area. Even though it is winter, we still see Cardinals, Bluebirds, Pileated Woodpeckers and many others.

In the spring we saw the resident herons had a little one, where there was once two, there were now three hanging out and one was half the size of the other two. Same with the ducks. Two became 10 and those 8 little new ones were the cutest. When things were quiet outside, you would see the baby ducks and their momma come all the way up to the bird feeder to eat the discards on the ground the birds didn’t like. As soon as I would open the door to get a closer look…. off they scurried, in a line… double-time back to the water. :-)

Painted bird house

The same neighbor who filled our bird feeder when we first moved to the house is also a woodworker and one of the things he enjoys making from scratch is birdhouses. He made one for Ed with his alma mater, the Naval Academy logo on it.  Bluebirds have taken up residence in it.  Very fitting don’t you think?

Over the summer I bought a hummingbird feeder. The hummingbirds have left for the winter, but I am sure they will be back come spring. They are so amusing to watch.

With all the birds, it also means we see the circle of life right in front of our eyes, too. Hawks chase the smaller birds and in their pursuit to find safety they fly right into the sliding glass doors on the lake side of the house and sadly die instantly. :-(  It has happened more than once. Birds falling out of nests and birds making nests in the baskets where I keep my hats and gloves. Finches making nests in hours after I put a wreath on the front door with turquoise eggs all nested inside. I left the wreath up until I was sure all the eggs were hatched. :-)

I am a frequent customer now at the local bird store and have learned that just like us, birds like their homes to be clean, safe and comfy cozy.  They don’t like old and dirty.  I also learned that birds won’t go into birdhouses on trees where squirrels can easily get to them so I was told to take all the old birdhouses down since to birds they looked like a rundown houses and won’t take up residence in them.

How to paint and decorate a wood birdhouse with fabric and paint

When my Waverly Inspirations package came for the January creative challenge, I had no idea what I would do with the navy, green and red fabric and paint. I was pretty stumped since they are not colors I use to decorate with. It wasn’t until I was at my desk one cold afternoon and saw a bird making a nest in a bare tree, that I decided I would make a birdhouse that I could see out the door of my studioffice door so I could give a family of birds new safe and warm place to call home.

If you are new to my blog, I am a Waverly Inspirations ambassador. I, along with a handful of other bloggers receive a box of fabrics, paints, ribbons, or stencils and are challenged to create something decorative using as many of the items in the box as we can.  We can also spend up to $50 to help us make something.  I bought a birdhouse, buttons, and Exterior Mod Podge along with a few other basic crafting supplies.

How to make and decorate a birdhouse

This is how I used them…to make a whimsical birdhouse.

How to Paint and Decorate a Wood Birdhouse

supplies needed:

Everything I needed I found at Walmart.

  1. Sand the surface of the birdhouse with sandpaper to smooth and rough edges. Wipe away sanding grit.
  2. I decided to mix the paints I received to come up with a custom color, a soft chartreuse.  I mixed the paint colors, Curry and Evergreen in a small dish.  3 parts Curry to 1 part Evergreen. I used a craft stick to stir the paints to make the light green color.

3. Apply one light coat over the birdhouse. Let dry. Apply a second light coat, let dry.

Attach Buttons to Birdhouse Roof

Birdhouse painting ideas

  1. Use a piece of printer paper to make a template of one side of the birdhouse roof. Line the edges of the paper up with the front and top edge of the roof. Make a crease with your hand. This will allow give you the exact shape and size of the roof.
  2. Layout the buttons on the paper template to make sure you like the arrangement and the buttons you want to use fit well together.
  3. Starting at the top front edge, begin attaching buttons using all-purpose adhesive.
  4. Continue to attach the buttons until both sides of the roof is covered.

Cutting The Leaf Design from the Fabric

  1. I only wanted to use shades of green to decorate the birdhouse, so using very sharp scissors, I cut out the green leaves in the mostly navy blue and red fabric.

Painting a birdhouse idea

2. I attached the leaves to the front and sides of the birdhouse using Exterior Mod Podge. I applied the Mod Podge on the under side of each leaf and overlapped the leaves until the wood was covered. I used smaller leaves and cut the larger leaf design into smaller sections to cover the sides and back of the birdhouse. I did not put the fabric near the hole in the birdhouse, I covered that area with buttons.

3. Once the back and sides were covered in the cutout fabric leaves, I applied 2 – 3 coats of Mod Podge over the leaves, letting each coat dry before applying the next. Mod Podge not only works as a glue, but is a sealer that will protect the paint and fabric from the elements.

TIP: Exterior Mod Podge is thick and will be shiny when dry. Make sure when applying it to brush in one direction only so when dry, you won’t see any texture in the sealed finish.

When I was attaching the fabric leaves, I tried to create symmetry with them on the front, back and sides of the birdhouse. Once the Mod Podge was dry, I glued a few layers of the buttons to the front and around the hole.

Here is what the back looks like.  Once the Mod Podge and glue is dried, hang the birdhouse outside and wait for a new feathered family to move into the pretty new home soon. :-)

Decorate and paint a designer birdhouse. Craft idea for decorating a birdhouse with paint, fabric, and buttons.

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  1. It was such a nice Springtime blog to read in the midst of my Indiana winter today. I too feed the birds and love to see the variety who come to visit my feeders. I don’t have birdhouses out since I also feed and shelter a colony of community cats. I don’t want to tempt the cats with baby fledglings around learning to fly so I just feed the birds and then they go into the treeline just off my property to build their nests. My cats are well fed so they don’t seem to bother the adult birds at the feeders. It’s worked just fine so far. I do love building birdhouses though and have done many to give away as gifts. My grandkids always loved the birdhouses I gave them when they were little and now that they’re adults, they still recall some of Grandma’s silly paint jobs on them. Getting involved with nature is good for the soul. Thanks for posting ….

    1. Hi Pat – I am happy that my post warmed up your Indiana winter day for you. :-) One of the nice things about moving to SC is that winter is very mild. It does get cold and we did get a dusting of snow last weekend, but it was gone by noon. This week it was in the mid 70’s.

      What a nice thing to make for your grandkids and better yet, what wonderful memories they have now of the birdhouses and your creativity. I agree with you that nature is good for the soul. XO

  2. If you like bird watching you may want to check out this link for 24/7 live streaming of an eagle’s nest in Ft. Myers, FL. Mrs. Eagle laid 2 eggs but only 1 hatched out ( on 12/31/16). The other egg is not viable and won’t hatch at this point. http://dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html#

    I think birds are beautiful but they kind of freak me out too (I think it’s their feet and the wing flapping). Nevertheless, I have found it absolutely fascinating to watch the eaglet hatch, grow, and see how both Mr. & Mrs. Eagle care for it. I’m astounded how fast the little eaglet is growing! I’ve been keeping the site up on my computer all day/every day since I found it several weeks ago and I frequently check in on the nest activity throughout the day. It’s almost addicting!

    1. I also love watching little E9…so cute!!! But fair warning…once you start you will be addicted!! Lol I find myself checking on E9 first thing in the morning before reading my emails or looking at FB. Enjoy God’s wonderful creatures!!

      1. Hope you got to see it before the live feed cameras went down. So sad we haven’t been able to view what’s going on in the nest for TWO days. Hopefully they get the problem fixed SOON because I’ve kind of become emotionally invested in this beautiful eagle family and I keep wondering what I’m missing in little “E9’s” growth and development.

  3. Absolutely right! Diane is an inspiration! I’m happy to hear that you are now enjoying watching the birds! My aunt told me once that you get a better seat in heaven if you feed the birds… she must be in the front row.
    My mother-in-law once gave me a bird feeder for a birthday gift, and I looked at my husband and said, “We have birds??” But we’ve had no end of pleasure watching them for many years now.
    Keep your camera and binocs at the ready! You’ll be seeing all manner of creatures! Enjoy!

  4. I, too, love to watch the birds. We have had 33 different types of birds at our feeders, plus hummingbirds at those feeders. Hummingbirds are mean little suckers, tho. LOL. Someone asked where to get your feeders; Wild Birds Unlimited have great feeder systems and feeders, and also bird seed. There are local stores around the country, plus you can also shop online. My pole system and feeders all came from them. They have great products and are also very helpful. I have followed your blog for quite awhile, but this time is the first time I have commented.

    1. Hi Pam – Wow 33 types of birds. I think I have seen around 15. The most interesting was a huge owl. We only saw it once, but I would love to see him again. When we first moved to the house, I contacted the previous owner and she told me she bought the feeder and food at Birds Unlimited. I go there frequently now and ask lots of questions. I also found out that if any part of my feeder breaks, cracks, etc, all I have to do it bring it to them and I will get a free replacement part. My column feeders are an old style with screws. Now they make them with push knobs so it is very easy to clean them. I hope to get them replaced over the next year. Thanks for taking the time to say hi and for reading my blog. XO

  5. I’ll bet the woodworking neighbor could figure out how to make a trap door with a hinge so you can clean the birdhouse out. I too love your blog and your projects inspire me to tackle my own projects around my house. I tell myself if Diane can do it, so can I. I even bought a Tuft and Needle mattress based on your review and love it. A co-worker bought one at my recommendation and he and his wife love theirs also.

    1. Hi Janet – I bet my neighbor could make them with the tap door, he may even make a few with doors already. He makes about 15 or more a year, all different shapes and sizes that he donates to his church to sell at their annual Holiday Bazaar. He made one look like an old-fashioned telephone…so cute!

      Thanks for reading my posts for so long. It makes me happy that you get inspired by what I do :-) I have the Tuft and Needle mattress on the guest room bed. Everyone who stays with us, always comments on how comfy the bed is. When I tell them it came rolled up in a box, they can’t believe it! :-)