Monday, May 11, 2015

DIY Bird Bath

When we moved into our house there was a random patch of overgrown grass and weeds in the front yard. For a while we ignored it, figuring there was some sort of rabbit den there. Finally we actually looked at the darn thing and found that the original owners had left a broken bird bath there and just mowed around.

When we moved the bath and mowed down the weeds we had this ugly patch in the lawn that screamed for some fixing up. Looking around on Pinterest I found many folks who turned a couple of large clay planting pots into a bird bath. I really liked how they came out and thought it would be perfect for the "spot" in the yard.

This project was pretty fun and can easily be completed in an afternoon. I went to the Home Depot and picked up two 16" terra cotta planting pots, a 16" terra cotta saucer, 3 cans of Rust-Oleum Universal spray paint in matte Robins Egg blue, a Sharpie oil-based marker in black, and Gorilla Glue all-purpose.

I started by stacking my pots. Place one upside-down, put a thin line of glue in a circle around the bottom and stack the second pot right-side up on top of that. It takes about an hour for the glue to set. 

Check on it a couple of times while you wait. Gorilla glue actually expands to fill in cracks and holes to bond the two pots. Some of my glue ran down the sides. I just used a plastic bag wrapped around my finger to smooth it out and avoid bumps of glue.

Once the glue dried it was time to put my saucer in. This acts as the bath portion that holds the water. I saw in most DIY's that folks bought a really huge saucer to simply place on top of the pots. This is great to make for easy changing of dirty and clean water. You just pick it up and place it on the pots. The end. However, I had plans to put plants around my bird bath and didn't want to worry about the saucer falling off and squashing everything or the whole bath getting caught in the wind and blowing over (we've had some really strong gusts take down huge tree limbs). I opted for a saucer that fit snuggly inside the top of my pot to create a very sleek bath.

It was a little tricky lowering the saucer in. I actually had to use some plastic I had from a box I had delivered and used it to try to lower it into the pot as flat as possible. It would have been super smart of me to use a level with this part, but I was to excited about getting to the spray painting potion. So my saucer is slightly tilted. I look at it like a swimming pool for birds with a shallow end that slopes to the deep end (1 point to me for looking on the bright side).

Once the saucer was snuggly fitted, I went around the edge with glue.

When the project was completed I found that there were some open spots that drained my water. If this happens to you just pick up a can of caulk to fill in the crack. I just bought some DAP clear all-purpose caulk so I wouldn't have to spray paint it again. If you can only use white be sure it is the kind that is ok to paint over.

Now the fun part! PAINT! The brand that I bought is nice because it is safe for outdoor use on any surface and it sprays in a fine mist. This kept from having running paint streaks or weird bubbles form after drying. Added bonus of the fine mist, it dries super quick! It took about 2 1/2 cans to cover everything fully.

Tim to decorate! I used a pencil to outline some stencils I had printed of the fox and bear silhouettes I use in my banner. I then used the oil-based sharpie to "paint" them in. Make sure you are only using the oil Sharpies and not the regular ones. They are water proof so you don't have to follow up with any clear spray paint to seal them.

Finally, after digging out some large weed roots from the "spot", I had my husband move the bath over (because that sucker was heavy) and put down some soil.

We had decided to plant some berries around the bird bath. Since we already have a raspberry bush we really wanted some strawberries. At the Home Depot I found these berries called Hula Berries that are like inverse strawberries (they are white with red seeds) and are supposed to taste like pineapple! They came in a 4 pack of 3 hula berry plants and 1 strawberry plant (it acts as the pollinator).

The only thing left is to pick up some bricks to create a border around the patch. 

Total cost of this project was about $85 with tax and left me with leftover materials for future projects. Baths at the Home Depot of a similar weight and quality run at least $10 more. Granted, that isn't a whole heck of a lot, but you get a personalized piece for your home. Plus, how super cute would this be with your kids hand prints in all sorts of colors all over it? Or an American flag one?!

I love how everything turned out and can't wait to see what types of visitors our new bath brings to our home.


  1. What a great idea! Good job! And I totally agree about the sloped bird bath, now you have a shallow end for the baby birds. ;)

  2. Great idea! And I definitely want to plant some hula berries, too!

  3. This is awesome! I love bird baths ! :) Perfect for summer!

  4. My husband loves bird watching! I'll have to make one of these for the back yard :)

  5. Wow love the idea and it looks so simple, would love to have a backyard so I could have a bird bath.

  6. This is adorable and easy! Pinning and tweeting it!