How to Make A Natural Clay Birdhouse

Update: The air dry clay will not hold up to the elements so going to keep it indoors for decoration. Another option would be to use polymer clay which is a plastic and should hold up well outside.

It seems to me that most gardeners love birds. I know I do, and so does my husband. We have several feeders in the yard, a couple of suet holders and plenty of nesting places. Often we will find nests in hanging baskets, or in the eves of the porch. This can be a problem because the protective mother birds feel compelled to attack every time you enter and exit your home. A good reason to have more birdhouses in the yard.

Make a Natural Clay Birdhouse

How to make a natural clay birdhouse ~ gardenmatter.com

Recently I found one of our birdhouses on the ground. I could see a small abandoned nest inside.

Materials ~ Clay Birdhouse Tutorial ~ gardenmatter.com

It’s one that I bought my husband for father’s day, at a museum gift shop, a few years back. I like the rustic, natural look it has, and wanted to make something similar. I purchased some Air Dry Clay and used a balloon to give it structure. Just like making a paper mache bowl.

Preparing Clay ~ Clay Birdhouse ~ gardenmatter.com

This clay is damp when you open it. Start by rolling in thin pieces, about 1/4 inch thick, to place on the balloon.

Covering Balloon with Clay ~ Clay Birdhouse ~ gardenmatter.com

Just keep rolling out pieces of clay and placing them on the balloon until it is covered.

Covering Entire Balloon with Clay ~ Clay Birdhouse ~ gardenmatter.com

Then work on smoothing out the clay, by cutting or pinching off the extra, and closing up any or holes. Small cracks are okay, in fact you may want some to let in air, and help with drainage in the bottom.

Making a hole for opening ~ Clay Birdhouse ~ gardenmatter.com

At the top where the balloon is tied, make an opening for the birds. I made this one 1 1/4 inches for attracting small birds. I would love to attract some blue birds or gold finches. For specific information on attracting blue birds check out this interesting Fact Sheet from the North American Blue Bird Society.

Making holes for hanging ~ Clay Birdhouse ~ gardenmatter.com

Then I used the end of a paint brush to make two holes on the top, about 1-2 inches apart, to hang the bird house. Add a third at the bottom for drainage.

Top of Birdhouse holes for hanging ~ Clay Birdhouse ~ gardenmatter.com

Tip: You can add a little water to your fingers to help smooth out the clay.

Now let it air dry. This will typically take about 24 -48 hours depending on the humidity levels.

Rustic Birdhouse DIY ~ Clay Birdhouse ~ gardenmatter.com

You could hang your birdhouse once it is dry, but I decided to paint this one so that it would blend into the scenery. Maybe that will help attract the birds? I threaded a piece of jute through the holes in the top and it’s ready to hang. So simple, practical and easy to make; this project would also be great to make with the kids.

 

 

DIY Rustic Clay Birdhouse ~ Clay Birdhouse ~ gardenmatter.com

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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Comments

  1. Grace Lovell says:

    How weather proof is this?

    • Hi Grace,

      Great question. I don’t think it is as durable as a ceramic clay that you would fire in a kiln. I am super curious how it will fair with the weather. I would thnink spraying or painting a varnish over it would help, but again, I want to see what actually happens leaving it as is. I’ll update the post after a few months with the results.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Patti

  2. Best idea ever! Thank you for sharing. I love birds and I love to work with clay – this is so inspiring!

    I am putting together a sort of Easter arts and crafts compilation blog post, with pictures of creative projects for spring. Would you mind if I shared one of your pictures? I will of course credit it to this post. I did the same thing last year if you would like a reference on how it might look: http://aliciasivert.blogspot.se/2015/03/paskpeppen-2015.html

    Thank you for the inspiration!
    Sincerely,
    Alicia

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