The other day I was out doing some last-minute holiday shopping when I happened to walk past a display of Christmas ornaments. The miniature birdhouse shown above caught my eye, and inspiration struck.
Like so many of you, I’m going to have family staying with me over the holidays. I have a long list of places I plan to take my family while they’re here, but on those days when we’re not off on some adventure, I don’t want the kids camped out in front of the TV for hours at a time. Of course, we can bake, but we can also craft.
So I headed over to my local craft store and purchased several unpainted wooded birdhouses, one for each child, and a few balls of jute twine. When I returned home, I grabbed a few pinecones and twigs from the yard and brought them inside to dry out. I already have plenty of outdoor paint left over from when we last painted our house, but outdoor paint can also be purchased at craft stores. The kids will have a blast making birdhouses, and they’ll be able to take them home with them and hang them up in their yard.
Many wooden birdhouses come with hangers. If the ones you purchase don’t, screw an eyehook into the top center of the roof before beginning. Attach wire for hanging after the birdhouse is completed.
Next, have the children give the birdhouse a coat of primer. Allow the primer to dry, then have them paint a base color coat. Older children will be able to glue the jute to the birdhouses. Make sure you have them use waterproof glue. For younger children, you might want to let them paint their birdhouses in different colors. Jute or twigs can be glued on for decoration afterwards.
For the roofs, break the scales off the pinecones and glue them in rows, beginning at the bottom of each eave and working in slightly overlapping rows toward the top. An alternative is to glue on rows of twigs or a combination of jute and twigs.