Making Decorative Birdhouses
It’s not just spring that is a hot time for bird-themed decor–although these cute decorative birdhouses do bring a smile to your face when they are highlighted with some promising springtime sunshine. Bird decor started to re-enter the world of decor a few years ago, but now it’s hotter than ever, and shows no signs of abating.
As joyful as floral decor, only with a more modern edge, all things bird-themed can be found in almost every store now, from elegant and simple designs on plates to wall art, and even decorative bird cages.
These decorative birdhouses are a good way to introduce this hot trend into your home, without it costing too much and with the added advantage that you can customize according to your tastes and existing color scheme.
- A plain birdhouse (either cardboard, paper mache, or wood)
- Decorative paper
- Hessian/burlap for the roof
- Notions such as buttons, brads, ribbons, and paper blooms for decorating
The birdhouse I used was only around £1 ($1.60) from the Range. It’s just simple cardboard and is pretty small, but it’s a good place to start, and the size meant that this was a quick and easy project to complete. For something more hardwearing, you can buy reasonably priced wooden birdhouses from garden centers and home improvement stores.
Decorating Your Birdhouse
I began, by playing around with different decorative papers and seeing how they matched up with my fabric stash before I made any decisions. Although I knew that I wanted to make the roof from hessian/burlap–it has a good texture for a roof, contrasts with the other materials, and you can easily pull the hanging loop of the birdhouse through a gap in the hessian’s weave.
Place one side of the roof onto your chosen roof fabric/paper and mark with a pencil, then move the roof to the next side and continue drawing your pencil template–remember to add on a small amount as a seam allowance.
With hessian or burlap, make sure to use plenty of glue on the roof and then stick it down, molding and pushing it with your fingers around the edges of the roof. Hessian molds itself really well if you use enough glue.
You do not need to worry about rough edges, as these will all be covered over in the next steps.
The Fabric Body
You can just as easily use paper for the body of your birdhouse, but I wanted to make mine a bit more tactile so opted for a soft blue cotton. Lay the birdhouse onto your fabric and mark with pencil lines as you did before, remembering that you need to cover the two sides and the bottom of the birdhouse. Leave a little allowance for overlap.
For fabric, I use double-sided tape as it holds well and doesn’t show through the fabric. If you are using a thick fabric, then a regular PVA/white glue would work best. Stick your fabric around the birdhouse, until you get something that looks like this picture.
The Front, Back, and Window
Cut out your pieces and lay them onto the birdhouse, and trim until you get a good fit that covers all your rough edges from the fabric.
Use your pencil to find where the window and perch are, and make as accurate a template of these as you can.
Cut a small slit for the perch, and cut slices through your window, leaving the tabs in place–in other words, don’t cut out the circle completely, just slice it like a cake.
Use glue to attach your pieces to the front and back of the birdhouse. Add some glue to the back of your window slices, and push them behind the window using a craft knife or pencil.
The Finishing Touches
I cut out a little bird shape from the decorative paper I was using, and made it a little more 3D by attaching it to the birdhouse with sticky pads, and giving it some burlap strands for legs.
To add a little more visual interest to the roof, I added a large paper bloom from Papermania, with a white brad in the centre, and a swirl of coordinating ribbon underneath.
You can add many decorative touches to the roof such as some embroidery or fabric stamping before you affix it in place, or stick on a pile of buttons for a chimney look–I’ve never seen birds stoking up a fire but we’re allowed some artistic license!
Whether hung off the back of a door, in a sunroom, or in a porch to add some bird-themed charm, these little decorative birdhouses are a cheery addition to your decor.