Making a Birdhouse

bird house in the garden, by Irene Rowley

final bird house in the garden

Hello!  I recently made a birdhouse for my mom (Oma), since she loves to work in her garden, more than anything. I am looking forward to Spring and seeing if any little birds make their nests here, to keep my mom company. I thought I would share it with you, as an idea for Valentines Day presents this week.

Here are the steps for making a simple garden birdhouse:

  1. Select or make a wooden bird house. I purchased this one at a Michael’s craft store:

    birdhouse before painting

    birdhouse, before staining

  2. Stain the wood: In this case I used my blue pickling stain out of the garage, and applied two layers. Note that in order to give the shingles more depth and to accentuate their edges, I only brushed the rooftop shingles with a light downward stroke, allowing wood to show through:
    birdhouse in the middle of pickling blue

    pickling stain, first layer

    birdhouse after pickling blue

    pickling stain, finished

  3. I painted flowers and details around the sides, using folk art acrylic paints. The country colors I used are called Strawberry Parfait, Paisley Blue and Kelly Green:painting the birdhousepainting the birdhouse

    folk art paint colors, strawberyy, paisely blue, and kelly green

    the folk art paints used

  4.  At this point, I thought the blue paint on the top of the roof looked too brand new and plastique. So to give the house more patina, I sanded the edges down just a little bit on the top blue nobs.
  5. I then applied a water-based, satin gloss varnish. This time I used a spray vanish, applied liberally, to better protect it from the rainy weather. And Voila!
    bird house in the garden, by Irene Rowley

    bird house in the garden, front

    bird house in the garden, by Irene Rowley

    bird house in the garden, side

By the way, if you like birdhouses, this is just a simple idea you can complete in time for Valentines Day in one week. With more time you could make birdhouses much grander scale. See for example the website of Greg Zirbel at Some of his birdhouses are replicas of Sonoma historical points of interest!

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