Home Tweet Home Charity Birdhouse Challenge

Home Tweet Home Rustic Metalwork Birdhouse

A birdhouse is meant to last / to weather / to improve as it provides a nest outdoors for some lucky feathered friends. I decorated this wood birdhouse with those thoughts in mind as I participated in the Home Tweet Home charity challenge for the BC Home & Garden Show. (PS: This isn’t my first year decorating a silent auction item for charity. Remember my Gnome from last year?)

DIY junk metalwork birdhouse

Visitors to the BC Home + Garden Show can participate in a silent auction of bespoke birdhouses, each handcrafted by a local influencer – and inspired by a drawing of a dream home as imagined by young beneficiaries of Ronald McDonald House British Columbia. All silent auction proceeds directly benefit Ronald McDonald House British Columbia.The designer of mis only 12 years old and I tried my best to interpret her vision by using hardware and metal elements that will stand the test of time.

birdhouse inspiration design from how to make a junk metalwork birdhouse
Here is the photo of the cheerfully-decorated, rainbow birdhouse designed by Myranda Ng of Kelowna. My aim was to make a practical birdhouse that would last outdoors but also stay true to the design. The wood was stained blue, white washed with paint, and then the rainbow was painted just under the roof. The finish was then sanded to give the wood a distressed look. I added metal faucets as flowers, so that the birds can perch on them as they come and go. The finishing touch was to add a hammered metal decorative vine.

How to make a junk metalwork birdhouse

All the materials are meant to stand up the elements and become more beautiful as they weather outdoors making this a dream home not just for the birds. To make your own, follow these steps:

Materials

  • Wood birdhouse
  • Palm sander & sandpaper
  • Wood stain (blue)
  • Exterior latex paint (white)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Faucet handles (2)
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • 18-guage wire
  • Staple gun
  • Hammer
  • Metal block
  • Craft paint

Instructions

Start with an unfinished wood birdhouse. Look for one make of an outdoor wood like cedar, and one that was well-made. A birdhouse should typically have the rough side of the wood on the inside so the birds can use it for nest-building and climbing. One that can open to be cleaned is also a plus if you plan to care for birds year after year.Unfinished wood birdhouse from how to make a metalwork birdhouse

Sand the birdhouse using medium-grit sandpaper and a palm sander. You an certainly do this by hand as well, but it is much faster with a palm sander. sanding the bird house from how to make a metalwork birdhouse

Stain the birdhouse blue first and allow to dry. Follow the instruction on the wood stain for more detail on this step. One coat will be enough, this should leave you with a lot of wood grain coming through. staining the bird house from how to make a junk metalwork birdhouse

Mix a bit of the exterior paint with water in a 1:4 ratio (paint:water). Brush the paint on the birdhouse lightly, so that there is still plenty of stain and wood coming through. Allow it to dry completely.white wash paint treatment from how to make a junk metalwork birdhouse

Sand the paint finish to reveal some of the wood grain and blue stain to come through. This will give the birdhouse its rustic appearance.

Attach the metal faucet handles with wood screws that have a big enough head that they will secure the faucet, but that are short enough to not go all the way through the wood. I found the screws I needed in my tool box so I’m sorry I can’t list the exact size.

To make the metal wire decoration, bend the wire into curlicues and use a metal block and a hammer to flatten wire. The metal block gives a hard enough surface that it makes this job quite easy. A smooth head hammer will flatten the wire, and a stippled head hammer will give it a stippled appearance (while also being flat).How to hammer metal wire

Attach the wire with a staple gun and through winding it around the faucet handles. DIY junk metalwork birdhouse for Ronald MacDonald House charity

Use craft paint for any additional decorating, as I did with the rainbow under the roof line.

Home Tweet Home charity birdhouse challenge

Ronald McDonald House British Columbia provides a home-away-from-home for 2,500 families from outside Vancouver each year, so they can stay close to their children receiving care at BC Children’s Hospital. Providing this safe environment comes with an operating cost of $2.2 million each year; a $75 contribution covers the cost of one night’s stay at Ronald McDonald House British Columbia.

“We are always looking for ways to get involved in the community and bring awareness to Ronald McDonald House British Columbia,” Richard Pass, CEO of Ronald McDonald House British Columbia. “Partnering with the BC Home + Garden Show has allowed our families and children to dream, create, and most importantly, have fun.”

Participants include:

Home Tweet Home will be open for bids daily from Wednesday, February 18 until Sunday, February 22 at the BC Home + Garden Show. I hope that you will stop by for a visit!

 

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Linda
    LindaFebruary 18,15

    This looks like a fun project to do with kids. I would love to check out the Home + Garden show.

  2. Anne
    AnneFebruary 18,15

    It is go great to read your website. Your creativity shines through. Thanks for making the world a better place. Green — is healthy… not only for the opportunity to eat better, but also even green things that we do not eat are healthy for our environment.

  3. Tina
    TinaFebruary 18,15

    You have so much fun! Your ideas are so cool. It is great to get kids involved in gardening. When I was a kid my parents owned a large greenhouse operation. The four of us kids got to plant a 6 ft x 30 flower garden with left over bedding plants at the end of the season. We all got prizes – such as a day at the zoo, or similar, each child was awarded something they valued. We also had more than an acre in vegetable gardens. Of course, we love our veggies to this day.

  4. Jackie Comner
    Jackie ComnerFebruary 18,15

    I am so making these as my treat to myself! Thanks for the great ideas!

  5. Maria Dela Cruz
    Maria Dela CruzFebruary 18,15

    Myranda will be so proud of the way you brought her birdhouse to life, Stephanie.

  6. Maija Sarkkinen Shelley
    Maija Sarkkinen ShelleyFebruary 18,15

    OH! How fun to have to build/decorate a birdhouse after the design of a kid! What a super job you did too! If you’re including air fare and lodgings to someone from Toronto… please include me in your draw! *chuckle* Or not!

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