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Project Sheet

Decorate Your Own Birdhouse

All ages can enjoy making a stylish abode for feathered friends.

  • Difficulty Level: Beginner
  • Completion Time: 2-4 hours

Watch a video overview:

Birds love having a little shelter to call their own, and creating one is a great project for both adults and kids alike. The kit we used in this project gets you started, and extra embellishments make it truly special.

What You'll Need

Before you begin, make sure you have all the supplies you'll need. The list below contains all the products we used to create the example shown in this demo. Materials are optional based upon your own design.

1. Sand and Stain

Gently sand any rough edges of the preconstructed birdhouse. For a light background stain, mix in a small amount of water with the stain. If preferred, add additional coats to build darker layers. We kept a lighter stain appearance to maintain contrast for the painted and sculpted pieces.

2. Paint Your Design

Create a unique design for the birdhouse exterior with the included weatherproof paints. Mix paints to create secondary and intermediate colors. For a butterfly design, we used a part of a stencil sheet and taped it to the birdhouse. Using the stencil brush, we applied one color to the inner parts of the butterfly wings and a different color to the outer edge of the wing while allowing them to blend in the middle.

3. Create Extra Embellishments

Add a 3D touch with the Lumina polymer clay that air dries in approximately 24 hours. Start by conditioning the clay. Knead the clay with a couple of drops of water until it is no longer crumbly and has a smooth workable consistency. Avoid adding too much water as it will temporarily become overly sticky. The clay should stick to itself, not to your hands.

Option 1: Form pieces with the semi translucent clay, allow to dry, and then paint with the weatherproof colors.

Option 2: Knead a bit of paint into the clay to change the clay’s color. Shape and sculpt as desired, and then allow to dry. Additional paint may be added to the outside if desired.

TIP: Always keep any portion of clay you are not currently using wrapped up air tight as it will begin to dry as it comes in contact with the air.

4. Push Mold Method

Roll a thin coil and press the clay into the plastic mold. For the curved trim, allow the clay to only partially air dry (15 - 30 minutes) and then gently peel the clay from the mold. Shape the clay while it is still flexible to fit the curved windows and arched door. Once the clay is in the desired form, allow it to dry overnight before painting and/or gluing. Thin pieces may be cut or trimmed with scissors.

5. Hand Build Method

Create 3D designs by combining basic shapes. To join pieces of clay, lightly moisten the pieces that will touch and smooth out the seam on at least one side. For flowers, we rolled 7 small balls of clay and 1 medium for the center. With our finger, we dampened the edge with water, pressed them together, and smoothed out only the back side. Use clay tools or even a simple unfolded paper clip to shape, draw, and add details.

6. Add Finishing Touches

To attach pieces to the wood birdhouse, we chose a waterproof Gorilla Glue, but this requires some additional precautions and parental supervision. Wear gloves. Apply a bit of water to the wood in the area for attachment. Place a small amount of glue onto the back of the clay piece and smooth out across the surface. Avoid too much glue as it is formulated to expand and may become visible around the edges if overapplied.

TIP: Lay the birdhouse so that the side you are working on is face up for a few minutes. This helps to avoid gravity while the glue initially sets.

Optional: For additional outdoor protection, spray the exterior of the birdhouse with a clear polyurethane finish.  Some birds may avoid living in houses that are treated due to the unnatural odors. If desired, follow the directions on the can and apply multiple coats.  Avoid spraying the interior of the birdhouse.

 

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