This is one bouquet that is sure to bloom all summer in your backyard flowerbed.
Inexpensive, premade wooden birdhouses are readily available in all sorts of sizes and shapes at your local craft or hobby store. You’ll find that a number of premade wooden details or accents—such as small fences, flowers, butterflies, and bugs—can also be found there very inexpensively.
We decided to combine those items to create a display that adds a bright spot of color to any yard.
The beauty of this project—besides the small cost involved for the materials—is that your finished item can be as individual as you are. We used a variety of paint techniques, including some stencils and stamps, along with leftover spray paint in several colors and the remnants of a few “almost all gone” acrylic craft paints to come up with our designs. (Get the kids involved with this project, too. Simply give each one a birdhouse to decorate, and then assemble the piece following the directions on the next page. You’ll have a piece of art, and a family memento.)
You will need:
Variety of wooden birdhouses
Sandpaper and soft tack cloth
Spray paint primer and colored spray paint
Stamps, stencils, etc.
Decorative wood accents such as fences or flowers
Liquid Nails construction adhesive
Small wooden plaques (two for each birdhouse)
One large wooden base plaque
Drill and 1-inch wood screws
Polyurethane sealer spray
Step 1: The key to a smooth finish when painting on unfinished wood is to lightly sand the birdhouse and wipe it clean with a soft tack cloth. Prime the piece with two light coats of spray paint primer. (Place several birdhouses into a large cardboard box before spraying them to minimize mess. Be sure to fully cover all of the wood with primer.)
Once you’ve primed your wood, you can paint the houses with either acrylics or spray paint. Use stamps, stencils, or other decorations. We added several details to our birdhouses, such as small wood fences, by painting these pieces and then gluing them to our birdhouses using a good quality construction adhesive such as Liquid Nails.
Step 2: To create the display for our birdhouses, we purchased several small wooden plaques at our local craft store, along with a large wooden plaque to use as our base. You need two wood plaques for each birdhouse, one to attach to the bottom of the house, and one to attach to the wood base. We also purchased several wooden dowels for our supports.
To prevent cracking the base and the dowels, predrill a hole in the center of each plaque, and then insert a 1-inch wood screw through the plaque into the dowel. Tip: Before you attach the bottom plaque to your dowel, spend some time evaluating how you want your finished display to appear. We found that cutting our dowels at different heights gave us the best final look. Once you’ve done this, attach the dowel to the second base plaque.
Prime and paint your dowels, and all of the plaques, including your wood base.
Step 3: Turn a birdhouse upside down, and use two 1-inch wood screws to attach the wood plaque and dowel support to the bottom.
Set the birdhouse upright, and use two more 1-inch wood screws to attach the other end of the dowel and the other wood plaque to your support base.
Step 4: Depending on the size of your base, you may need to angle some of the wooden plaques to accommodate all of the birdhouses you wish to mount.
To finish and protect your display, spray several coats of polyurethane sealer over the entire piece. Coat the display thoroughly to protect the paint from the weather.