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
Recently I found one of our birdhouses on the ground. I could see a small abandoned nest inside.
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.
This clay is damp when you open it. Start by rolling in thin pieces, about 1/4 inch thick, to place on the balloon.
Just keep rolling out pieces of clay and placing them on the balloon until it is covered.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.