Craft Wars Inspired Junque Drawer Birdhouse!

Last week on TLC's new crafting competition show Craft Wars, contestants were asked to create a birdhouse that was functional and attractive using items from the Michael's craft closet and things one might find in a junk drawer. They only had one hour to get the job done, which is cra-zee.  I, on the other hand, have the luxury of time and being a Monday morning quarterback, along with my other Craft Wars Vets. (Soon I too shall be risking craft fail on national TV and everyone else can second guess what they'd do if they were me!) I tried to stick with the theme, practical junk drawer birdhouse, using stuff you would find in my junk drawers, like bottle caps, dominoes and buttons combined with items you could easily find at a craft or hardware store.  I had a blast turning a drabby ancient birdhouse into a fabby new home any Smoky Mountain bird might enjoy inhabiting. 

If it were crafty...and slightly eccentric...that is.

I didn't put a bird on it, but I hope to put a bird in it!

Wah, wah.

So here's how I made my house and come back Wednesday to see the AWESOME house my daughter made for iLoveToCreate. Is this a craft fail or a crafty delight? Well, my fine friend, that's totally your call. Visit the links from some of the other Craft Wars Vets below! 

One crappy old wood birdhouse
7-Up Bottle Caps (edges hammered flat with a rubber mallet)
Metal house numbers (I used Tim Holtz idealogy numerals)
Copper chain (cut three lengths to fit sides of house and edge of roof)
Old buttons
20 Gauge copper Artistic wire
Letter beads (to spell "put a bird in it")
Acrylic paints (bright green, teal blue, sage green, metallic copper-I used Ranger and Liquitex)
Alcohol inks and metallic mixative (lettuce, bottle, stream and pesto and copper mixative)
Large detailed stencil
Sealant (do not use spray sealer on alcohol inks...or you shall be sad...instead use a brush on sealant to protect from the elements)
Glue sticks

Palette knife or butter knife
Stencil brush
Flush cutters
Round nose pliers
Chasing hammer
Bench block
Bench block pad
Hot glue gun
Ink applicator and felt pads
These old birdhouses required some brushing down to remove dirt and debris, now they're ready for a new lease on life! NOTE: No birds were relocated for the making of this project.

I used a butter knife like an artist's palette knife to scrape on chunky layers of paint.  Starting with the darkest paint and moving to the lightest.  Using the knife prevented them from mixing together like they would with a brush. I am now madly in love with this technique and looking for other things in our house to attack disfigure improve.

I used Ranger alcohol inks dabbed in the corners of a felt pad on their applicator to put layers of color on the front and sides of enough dominoes to cover the roof of my house. 

I repeated the ink and paint process with some bottle caps, adding texture using blue metallic paint. I liked how that looked, so I added that to the drying dominoes.

Use a large detailed stencil, stencil brush and copper paint to add another layer to the house. Don't worry about being perfect, this is meant to be really organic and shabby in appeal.  Or if being perfect is your thing, rock on with your bad self!

Use hot glue to attach the dominoes across roof of house. Try not to burn the crap out of  your fingers whilst doing I did. Because I always do. Yay, hot glue! Oh and remember the judges on Craft Wars HATE glue strings. I, however, overlook them because life is too short to worry about a few glue strings.

Use ink to add some color the the house numbers like you did with the dominoes and bottle caps, then attach them along with the chains and buttons to the front of the house.

Thread the words on the wire, bending to separate each word, use chasing hammer and bench block to
texture and work harden the wire.

Hot glue wired words to top of house. 

Lisa Fulmer
Andrea Currie
Angela Daniels
Nikki Benevento McGonigal
Mandi Rowland Gubler


Sharon said...

That is absolutely beautiful.

Unknown said...

SO cute! I love your birdhouse and its very cool twist on "antique".

This "craft wars" show is BEYOND exciting and I love all the amazing idea's (crafts) the contestants are coming up with and sharing with far as a "fail" there is no fail in my eye's...even the ones that haven't made it to round 2 have had some pretty awesome crafts...they may not have won the 10G's, but still AMAZING and so dang brave for even being on the show!!!

Margot Potter said...

Thanks! I agree, there are no craft fails, we learn something every time we create. I'm so glad I went for it and lived to craft another day.

The show is a lot of fun.


kellystar said...

You win my vote...this is awesome...I'll go break the news to the other girls now!

Andrea Currie said...

I'm in LOVE with the colors, layers and textures you used in this craft!

tami bayer said...

Oh my goodness, Margo, this is amazing! I'm not a fan of birdhouse crafting in general, but you took it to a new level. Put a bird in it, is the very best part. If I were the judge you'd be going to the next round for sure.

Lisa Fulmer said...

fabulous - love all the layers and texture and details!

Margot Potter said...

Wow, thanks for all of the crafty love! I had so much fun making this and let's face it, in one hour I never could have added this much detail. Inks, yes, way! I am blown away by what last week's contestants were able to get done in that short of a time!


KellyL. said...

This is gorgeous - if I was a bird, I'd be moving in right about now!

KellyL. said...

So gorgeous - love all the detail!

Cheryl Darrow said...

Great Job Margot, love what you did with your bird house. You make it look so easy and cool.

Margot Potter said...

It's a lot easier at home, that's for dang sure! Thanks, Ms. Cheryl!


Karen Poirier-Brode said...

Beautiful birdhouse! Love all the beautiful details!

Karen Poirier-Brode said...

Beautiful birdhouse! Love all the beautiful details!

Cindy deRosier said...

I seriously LOVE this. I have a few more contestants to view, but you're in the lead so far. "Put a bird in it", the dominoes... you're going to be tough to beat.

Cindy deRosier said...

And I have to add, I love your policy on publishing comments. Amen!