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Building Bird Houses 101

Whether you're a bird enthusiast or not, building paper mache birdhouses is a great way to let out your inner Picasso. There's not much you can't do with this sticky art form, so why not grab a few of your artiest friends and get messy? This is eco-art at it's coolest!

Building Bird Houses - Putting the Mash in Paper Mache

The first thing you're going to need to do is make the paper mache goo. Follow these steps and you'll be ready to get crafty in no time.

What You Need:

  • Newspaper torn into thin shreds.
  • Water.
  • Flour.

    The Goo How-To:

    Place newspaper strips in an old pot (ask your 'rents), fill the pot with water and boil for 30 minutes until the paper is pulp. Cool the pulp and squeeze out the water. Add two cups of flour and mix well - voila, you've got goo.

    Building Bird Houses - Get Building!

    Now is where the real fun starts. Use your own fabulous style to build a bird dream pad.
    What You Need:
  • A clean, medium sized milk carton.
  • Masking tape.
  • Scissors.
  • Paper mache goo.
    What to Do:
    Seal the top of the carton with masking tape and cut a hole that is larger than you want it to be when you're finished. Cover the whole carton with paper mache and leave it to dry in the sun. When it's dry, add a second layer and any other decorations you like (a chimney, flowers - whatever). Make sure to wrap the pulp around the inside of the hole so you can't see any of the milk carton. Leave the whole thing to dry.

    Building Bird Houses - Paint Up a Storm

    Now the only part you have left to do is decorate your new birdie digs. Paint the entire house in whatever way suits you and then coat the entire thing with three or four coats of an exterior varnish. Once this is dry, you can hang it outside and it should hold up to the elements for a year or so. Your new feathered friends will love you for it!

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