A little birdie told me…

Hello all!   So, this is a project sparked by my little man and his creativity.   The other day, I was driving to my parents’ house after work to pick up Lucas, when my mom told me that Lucas had made me a surprise.   Now, I love surprises, so of course I was ecstatic.  I hurriedly made my way over there and was greeted at the door with a giant Lucas-hug and this…

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A little Lucas DIY!!  Pride nearly busted out of my little DIY-lovin’ heart!

My mom said that he chose the paint colors and spent a good amount of time painting the house (which was then topcoated with an outdoor-specific sealer by my mom).   I asked Lucas if we should display it outside in the backyard for the birds and he instantly stated “That’s a great idea!”.  So, done deal.

I wanted to place it in my herb planter, so my initial thought was that I’d add a stake to the bottom of the birdhouse and call it a day.  So, half-serious and half-trying-to-be-funny, I typed “Birdhouse Stake” into my good friend Google (fully expecting the internet to laugh in return), and wouldn’t you know…. a birdhouse stake is actually a thing!!   Not really the thing that I was looking for, but still… A THING!!!   Color me kind of proud of myself for choosing an actual key phrase.

Now, I have to warn you…  I’m about to take you on a journey through the inner workings of my mind…  As I was lazily scrolling through the mystical land of birdhouse stakes, I came across this picture…

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Which reminded me of this candle holder in our bathroom…

Which reminded me of this candle holder that I’d purchased in college many years ago and kept in storage ever since…

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Which totally clicked in my head as a potential birdhouse partner.

The rest of this story can really only be chalked up to fate.  It’s pretty much the only explanation.  I removed the square ceramic plate from the metal base and…

 

The birdhouse and candle holder fit together like they’d been separated at birth.

I simply used some Aleen’s Tacky Glue and adhered the birdhouse to the candle holder.   Once it was dry, I ceremoniously paraded him to his new home.   And here’s my little man’s masterpiece in action…

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That is, my little man’s masterpiece in action next to my basil TREE!   Seriously, remember when my basil looked like this a few weeks ago????

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Jeepers creepers!   I’m not used to plants flourishing.  It makes me think I’m doing something wrong.

So, anyways, thus concludes the harrowing tale of how a birdhouse and candle holder found love. And how our backyard got a little more beautiful courtesy of Lucas.  🙂

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Linking up at: City of Creative Dreams, Tatertots & Jello, Lines Across, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Tip Junkie, Upcycled Treasures
Put A Bird On It

The DIY Dreamer
TDC Before and After

It’s in the bag (‘er, box)

A few weeks ago, I found this wooden box at goodwill for $3.15.

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It was unfinished and just begging to be revamped.  Then, I remembered this awesome wooden DIY box created by my friend Emily and her husband, Jason….

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It was the first thing I noticed when I walked in their door and I immediately admired it. I loved that it was rustic, yet feminine at the same time with the addition of the flowers. Just gorgeous. They built the box from scratch then stained it and filled it with mason jars.   Such a cool idea.  So, when I found this little unfinished goodwill box, I decided to create a smaller, “semi-homemade” version using theirs as inspiration.

I wanted the box to look somewhat beat up, so I started by hitting it with a hammer, chisel, plyers….anything that would dent/scratch it up. It was pretty fun. All frustrations were alleviated. So, thanks box! I feel like I owe you a co-pay. Anyways, in the end I ended up with this texture….

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Next I used this stain, in Ebony….

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I’ve had this one can of stain forever and have used it for various projects along the way. I applied enough stain with a clean rag to be sure that all of the dents and nicks were saturated, then I immediately used a clean rag to wipe off the excess. This whole process took maybe 10 minutes total.

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Now, I’ve been absolutely loving all the stenciled numbers I’ve been seeing on Pinterest lately so I wanted add one to my box. I settled on “3” to symbolize the number of people in our family. I went online and found a number that I liked. This one was what I ended up going with…

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I pasted the pic into a Word document, cropped out the “3”, enlarged it to the proper size (I wanted it to be about 4 inches tall), and printed it on computer paper. The edges were a bit fuzzy since I had enlarged it so much, so I used a sharpie to outline the number to create a sharp edge.

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I laid the paper on top of a plastic cutting board, placed a small piece of contact paper on top and taped everything down to keep it stationary.

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Then, I cut out the number with a razor (…can you tell I’d been spray-painting? Heehee!)…

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I ended up having to trace the outline of my number with a pen because it was hard to see through the contact paper at certain angles when it fell into shadow.  When it was all sliced, I popped out the middle. Which left me with this…

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The next day (to allow adequate dry-time for the stain), I gathered all my tools… My box, some flat white primer+paint that I had on hand, my stencil and a flat topped sponge brush.

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I simply peeled the backing off of my contact paper stencil and adhered it to the box in my desired location…

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I used the sponge brush to lightly stipple paint into the stenciled area….

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I wanted it to look somewhat worn, so I didn’t fill in the stencil uniformly. Then, while the paint was still wet, I carefully removed the contact paper. And jumped up and down in glee when I realized my plan had worked…

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I still may go back and sand the number a bit just to make it appear a smidge more worn, but I’m still deciding.   In the meantime, after the paint had dried, I added mason jars and candles. I decided to leave the stainless steel rings on for a more of an industrial feel. And here’s my finished product….

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I’m really happy with it (smile).

All-in-all, I spent around $6 and less than one cumulative hour of work on this project (not counting dry-times).  Easy, cheap and painless.   The only items I purchased were the wood box for $3.15 and the mason jars for around a buck a piece (50% off at Joann).  I already had the stain, paint, contact paper and candles.

So, thanks to Emily and Jason for the stunning inspiration and for allowing me to include their sweet box in this post.  🙂