Last winter I wrote to a magazine I admired very much (that I won't name here), offering them some craft ideas. The editors had asked for reader submissions, so I felt comfortable doing so. They responded very positively and sent me their somewhat non-traditional "color story" for their Christmas 2013 issue. I excitedly got to work on several projects using their color palette of orange, yellow, turquoise, forest green, and beige. After submitting several projects, and getting lots of encouragement from them, they suddenly stopped communication with me. I was disappointed, but at least I have some nice projects to share on my own blog, including today's project.
These little birdhouses can be used as ornaments or for the "elf shelf" (areas in the christmas tree where there's a gap and place for something to sit). Of course I used my coveted vintage wallpaper to jazz them up, but if you don't have vintage wallpaper on hand you can use craft store scrapbook paper or Christmas wrapping paper to make them more holiday-specific.
Mini wooden birdhouses
Mod Podge (matte)
Paper (wallpaper or scrapbook paper)
Embellishments (felt, buttons, etc.)
Directions: Sand your birdhouses to remove any loose wood fibers. Paint the trim of the houses with coordinating colors of craft paint. Neatness doesn't matter here:
Once the paint is dry, lay the bird house down on your paper and use a pen to trace around the sections to cut out the paper. This can be a little tricky but do the best you can. You will probably have to make adjustments and re-trim some of the pieces. I like to use a few different papers on each house for a whimsical look.
Here are the coordinating vintage wallpapers I used:
Using Mod Podge, coat the back of the paper with the sponge brush and place it on the bird house. Smooth it with your fingers to get out air bubbles and excess glue.
You will find that cutting out the hole for the birdhouse and the perch will be challenging. I found the most success by piercing the hole for the perch with a skewer or awl while after the paper is coated with Mod Podge and it's pliable. Once placed on the house, I pierced the area for the birdhouse hole and then cut the area with a small pair of scissors as best I could.
If the area around the birdhouse hole looks like mine (below), I have a solution:
After the Mod Podge has dried, you can take a bit of sandpaper and roll it in a tube shape, and sand the paper a bit to remove the shaggy ends:
If a bit more paint is needed, you may want to add that now too. Now your birdhouse entrance looks great!
Using your drill and a small drill bit, carefully drill a hole in the top of the bird house. This can also be a bit tricky, and will make you wish you had found the birdhouses that have the strings already inserted at the craft store (some have them, and some don't).
Once you have your hole drilled, insert a length of twine or ric-rac through the hole and pull it through the bird house hole, creating a knot on the inside to hold the string. I made a knot on the outside too because I liked the way it looked:
Once the Mod Podge has dried, apply your embellishments using the hot glue gun:
One more group shot of my little birdhouses: