Extreme Makeover: Birdhouse Edition

This is one of my earlier projects I did when I was bored. It was a snap decision and I had to learn to utilize what materials I had. I didn’t draw out a design, nor did I expressly plan anything. I just let the mood take me. I’m rather proud of the results. Click “Continue Reading” to see how I made it and what I could have improved.

A couple of years ago, I bought this birdhouse at a charity shop:

I originally bought it so I could stick a camera in it and hang it out my window, but that turned out to be uneconomical. Instead I decided to give it a makeover. I decided I’d give it a Tudor look. The first thing I did was paint the lower half red. I needed a brick pattern, and at first thought of an elaborate way of making a stamp, or perhaps geometrically plotting the pattern before filling it in. In the end it clicked, I had a clay mold that I could simply use as a stamp. I stamped on the brick pattern in white and waited for it to dry. I then masked it off with vinyl tape painted a mixture of PVA glue with white paint and white sand onto the top half to give a daub effect.

The roof was masked around the bottom and painted grey. Now I wanted to do all the wood effects. I used a roll of wood tape cut to 2 centimeters width. I halved this for the beams, and cut roughly evenly spaced ~2mm gaps almost all the way through for the roof tiles. The beams were glued onto the corners and the boundaries between the brick and daub, the roof tiles were stuck on in an alternating pattern and capped with ice lolly sticks with burnt ends.

Finally I wanted to give the house a nice garden, and I already had a great idea for what the perch would be: a window box! I created this by boxing in a brown piece of foam with wood tape, and using scenic foam, coconut husk strands, and colored sand to make the flowers. The grass either side of the house was made from static flock with pink and blue sand sprinkled into it. The vine growing along the front of the house was made from paper twine knotted into a network and dipped in green paint, with bright yellow fine model building turf to give a fluffy flower effect. I placed a small pile of stones at the base of the wall, with green turf rubbed into it for a moss effect. Finally the door was made from an ice lolly stick end, with a ball of air drying clay stuck onto it as a door handle.

Overall this project was a success, but I feel it fell short on certain points:

  • The window box wasn’t cut evenly. A metal ruler and box knife would have resolved that issue.
  • The wooden ice lolly sticks didn’t look that good with burned ends. I should have simply sliced them down to size and maybe rough them up with coarse sand paper.
  • The wood tape did not stick on correctly, and moved about, causing white gaps in the beams. I should have stuck it on myself using wood glue prior to painting then masked to paint around it.