This do-it-yourself birdbath was such a fun art project! Our whole family worked together to make it as a birthday present for DH’s mom who is quite into birds. Oma got in on the creative process of helping to create the bird bath, too! It was a bit of an experiment as good art projects tend to be, but we all really liked how it turned out in the end!
My inspiration for the project came from the fact that Oma is a birder and I had seen some DIY bird baths that caught my attention on Pinterest. I saw the first terra cotta bird bath here on The Culinary Cougar, and then I found a roundup of ideas here on Our Creative Life. To get the kids more involved with the project, I thought it’d be fun to try using the pour painting technique we had used to make our Rainbow Pour Painted Pots which were inspired by Dilly-Dali Art. The original name for this style of painting is called “Tall Painting” and it was “invented” by Holton Rower; if you haven’t seen the YouTube video of how it works, you should definitely check it out. It’s mesmerizing!!
So, using all these ideas as inspiration, here‘s what we did to make our own unique, personalized, handcrafted bird bath:
1. We went to Home Depot’s terra cotta pot section. We stood in the aisle arranging various pot towers until we found a combination that looked just right. We ended up buying 4 terra cotta pots (8″ azalea pots if I remember correctly) to create the base of the bird bath, and the largest size terra cotta saucer (15″???) to sit on top of the base to hold the water. We also bought a small terra cotta pot, and a small terra cotta saucer to create a 2nd tier for the bird bath.
2. We glued the 4 – 8″ pots together to create the base of the bird bath using interior/exterior construction adhesive.
3. We spray painted all the parts of the bird bath a light blue. We used only one can of spray paint, and just barely had enough to finish.
4. When the base was dry, we carefully put an old flower pot underneath the bottom to elevate it from the cardboard it was on to allow the paint to drip off, and we made sure it was as level as possible. We cut a circle of cardboard to fit on the open top pot to use as a base for pouring our paint onto. We taped 4 cardboard tabs to the cardboard circle to get it to fit snugly onto the top pot and not move around while we were painting. We also taped the hole on the bottom of the smallest pot and elevated it off the cardboard by balancing it on top of the used spray paint can. We set up our painting project in the garage to avoid bugs and some of the other issues we learned about while doing our rainbow flower pots.
5. We pour-painted the base of the birdbath and the smallest pot by alternating various shades of acrylic blues, greens, white, and silver in random order. Everybody got in on the pour-painting action. We pulled the circle of cardboard off as soon as the paint quit flowing over the sides.
6. After the pots were pour-painted, I dipped the kids’ hands into the paint that had dripped down onto the cardboard and we carefully printed their hands onto the large saucer.
7. We let the paint dry overnight. In the morning, I wrote the kids’ names and the year near their hand prints on the large saucer using a black Sharpie marker. I wrote sounds that bird make around the outside edge of the small saucer using the permanent marker.
8. We pushed a stake down through the holes in the pots (that made up the birdbath base) into the ground to ensure the birdbath’s stability so it won’t topple over during a storm or if perhaps a neighborhood dog tries to get a drink. We cut the stake in half because it was too long, and we have enough left to do a second bird bath!
9. Then we assembled the bird bath to see how it would look. Note: these pictures were all taken before it was glued together or polyurethaned, so if they don’t look quite centered or leveled, that’s why. We had to leave for a trip before it was assembled, so Oma finished it up herself once we left!
Here’s the finished bird bath — after several coats of polyurethane (2 spray cans) and being leveled, staked, and glued together! Photos are coutesy of Oma!!
Oma says she has seen several birds using the bird bath already! I’m thinking about making a second one for our yard since I love the way it turned out! I think we calculated that the bird bath cost around $60 to make, including all the pots, paints, and stake — though we do have 1/2 the stake and about 1/2 of the acrylic paint left. Overall, I think this is a great arts and crafts project to experiment with because there are so many possibilities you can come up with, and it makes a great gift for a birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, or an anytime gift for a gardener or birder. It’s even fun to make for your own yard or garden. While the pour-painting technique is certainly a fun one for kids to try out, it’s definitely something the adults will love doing, too!
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