- Upcycled accessories
- Tree leaves (ligustrum, photinia, azaleas,crepe myrtle, laurel, holly, viburnum or a combination), flattened under a heavy book or tiles
- Mod Podge (Outdoor preferred)
- Artist’s paintbrush
- Spray sealer (optional)
- Hot glue, screws or other fasteners
Buy or build a birdhouse. Drill ventilation holes in the sides near the top, and drainage holes in the bottom. Add a predator guard, if possible, and a door for easy cleaning at the end of the season.
Choose accessories. Make a base out of a thrift-store find such as an ashtray stand, a candlestick or lamp base, or old furniture legs—there are no rules, except the result should be stable. Lighting parts, door hardware and hinges, knobs and handles make great adornments.
Attach the base and adornments, using hot glue, screws or other fasteners, as needed.
Attach leaves: Using the artist’s brush, paint the backside of a leaf with a thin layer of Mod Podge, press the leaf flat against the house, and then coat the topside of the leaf thinly with Mod Podge. Keep attaching leaves, one at a time, back and front, until the birdhouse is covered. Mod Podge dries quickly. Apply multiple layers, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. Several thin layers are more effective and attractive than one or two thick coats.
If you have used the indoor version of Mod Podge, add several thin coats of spray sealer to protect the leaves from the elements, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. (Omit this step if you have used Outdoor Mod Podge.)
Add extra flair to your birdhouse with this bee accessory!
- Cut a 2-in. piece of spindle from a broken chair or use a dowel or other cylindrical piece of wood. Sand it to round it out, paint it yellow and drill 8 holes—1 at the head of the body, 1 at the tail, 2 on the topside for wings and 4 on the underside for legs.
- At the head end, insert a short length of wire for one antenna. Insert another short length at the tail for the stinger. Take a long length of wire, twist it around the stinger, around the body, and then coil it several times around the antenna to form the head. Bend the end of the same piece to form the second antenna, trimming excess. Insert a short length of wire in each of the 4 bottom holes for the legs.
- Form 2 lengths of wire into wings, leaving enough at the ends to insert in the top holes. Spray with varnish or shellac. Attach to the birdhouse with weather-resistant adhesive or by bending the legs slightly to grip the sides of the house.