Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How To Make An Altered Birdhouse

Posted by ChrissyTina (Christina):

The latest trend in altered items has caught me by surprise!  Birdhouses!  I remember when I first saw these, I honestly wasn't that interested in them.  And then I gave them a second look.  All of the sudden I just had to do one!  And then one turned into two and two into three until I had four of them done- one for each of my kids.

Now when it comes to altering objects, I tend to use a lot of paints, stains, and other such items because I have THE HARDEST time covering things in paper.  The paper always ends up too big or to small or crooked.  Absolute madness!  

It's enough to drive anyone wonky!  And then the idea occurred to me.  STAIN!  I love wood grain and how with stains you can see the beautiful patterns in the wood.  Why not just use that as an embellishment in itself?  So I did.

This first house is my "Steampunk'd" house.  I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze in "Cowboy" and "Chianti".  The main body of the house is done using "Cowboy".  The trims and between the slats of the roof is stained with "Chianti".


I chose these two stains knowing that I had planned on using Graphic 45's "Steampunk Debutante".  The deep rich Chianti and the rustic Cowboy complimented these papers perfectly without being too harsh. 

I wanted to soften the typical steampunk look so I chose embellishments that were feminine and full of detail.  I used gears as more of a background theme.


The easiest way to tackle one of these types of projects is to work in layers.  Knowing what you want your end result to be is also very helpful.  My first layer was the stain.  While that was drying, I picked out the images from the papers that I wanted to use and fussy cut them.  I usually always pop dot things from the surface because it breathes a kind of life and interest into the piece.


So my second layer were the border strips I punched for the trim of the roof, the ball chains, and any images that were not being pop dotted up.  On the third layer were my final touches- things that were pop dotted. 
If you look closely at some of the images and the trim on the front of the house, you will see crackling.  I used Ranger's Crackle Accents to age these pieces and give them a more industrial yet vintage look.


In keeping with the soften steampunked theme, I added a Tim Holtz game spinner to the butterfly.  As a final touch, I lightly sprayed the whole house with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in "Iridescent Gold".  Nothing beats a subtle sparkle!

Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to be a bit detail oriented.  So naturally, I did the back of the house too.  Because it is the back, I kept it pretty simple and not very indepth.  I cut out an image that just captivated me and stuck on there...with pop dots of course!

If you keep in mind to take things one layer at a time and apply this approach, then any altered item will be easy to do.  In each of the following pieces, I worked in layers and the end result is always kept in focus.

On my second birdhouse, I used Graphic 45's "Once Upon A Springtime" and embellishments from Tim Holtz and Bo Bunny.  The paint is just white gesso and Adirondack's "Lettuce Green" paint dabber.

Click for more views
The next birdhouse is made using Graphic 45's "Magic of Oz".  This one used A LOT more fussy cutting and more layers.  I wanted to convey the scene where Dorothy and friends are crossing the poppy field to the Emerald City.  Each side of the house shows a particular scene.  I used Making Memories acrylic paint in "Pine" and Glitter Paint in "Seafoam".  Embellishments are Tim Holtz

Click for detailed view

The final birdhouse uses Graphic 45's "Le Cirque" collection.  I wanted this house to feel and look like the Big Top!

I hope you enjoyed looking at these birdhouses and feel inspired to do some of your own.  Just remember-  think in terms of layers and keep your end result in focus.  You won't believe me when I tell you that it took me about 2 to 2.5 hours to do each house.  That's it!  Have fun!  Get messy!  And stay creative!
Thanks to ACOT for letting play with these products!

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