How to Make a Halloween Birdhouse
Glenda Aldrich's spooky birdhouse also includes a bat and a spider crawling in its web.
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Materials and Tools:
12" plastic cauldron
enamel acrylic paints: white, black, yellow, purple, burgundy, green, orange
acrylic paint for plastic: orange, green, purple, black, white, gray
V-shaped branch or 2 branches
black, white and yellow craft foam
2-1/2" plastic foam ball
1-1/2" plastic foam ball
1" plastic foam ball
1/4" purple acrylic jewels
5 mm red acrylic jewels
small octagon-shaped wooden box
staple gun and staples
high-temp hot-glue gun with black glue sticks
2 to 3 black mouse pads
4 black chenille sticks (pipe cleaners)
small battery-powered light
wooden plaque (slightly larger than birdhouse base)
16 lbs of plaster of Paris dry mix
drill with 1/8" bit
black rebar tire wire-#16
3' of 1/8" armature (soft aluminum) wire
4 sections of 5' of 14-gauge galvanized wire
1. Cut (if sawing branches, wear safety goggles) or locate one V-shaped branch or two similar sized branches. Shape while still green. Let dry a couple of days. Paint the branch(es) black with latex enamel. Let dry completely.
2. Paint one side of the V-shaped branch a two-colored striped pattern (approximately 2 inch stripes), and the other side a smaller (approximately 1 inch stripe), random striped pattern using a whole palette of enamels. Let dry completely.
3. Using a damp rag, rub plastic paints onto the cauldron in a random fashion. Paint the cauldron handle black and highlight with white. Let dry.
4. Mix two parts plaster of Paris in the cauldron with one part water. Place the V-shaped branch upright in the center of the cauldron. Prop the branch up against a wall or another surface to keep the branches upright until the plaster hardens (30 minutes).
5. Mark squares on the sides of the birdhouse for windows. Drill holes into the corners of the windows and cut out the window shapes with a jigsaw. Paint the inside of the birdhouse with yellow, white and orange enamel paint in a streaky style. Let dry. Paint the outside of the birdhouse with black enamel. Let dry.
6. Cut birdhouse shutters from black craft foam. Dry-brush gray and white enamel on the outside of the birdhouse and shutters. Attach the shutters to the birdhouse with hot glue.
7. Cut armature wire into six pieces and make swirl shapes to decorate the shutters. Attach the swirl wire pieces with hot glue. Paint the perch on the birdhouse purple.
8. Paint mouse pads with black enamel. Let dry. Dry brush them with purple and white enamels. Cut mouse pads into slightly wavy strips with a craft knife. Cut the strips into individual shingles. Attach the shingles to the birdhouse roof in rows, starting at the bottom, with each row overlapping the one under it.
9. Mark the center points of a wooden plaque and a small wooden box. Drill holes into the centers of the plaque and box. Paint the wooden plaque with orange and yellow enamels, blending slightly. Set aside to dry. Paint the small wooden box with burgundy enamel. Let dry. Stack the box and plaque and screw the plaque into the top of one branch. Attach the Halloween birdhouse to the center of the plaque with hot glue.
10. Shape the main web strands by crisscrossing rebar wire, attaching it to the branches with staples. Starting in the center of the strands, attach rebar wire to start forming the web. Loop the wire at each main strand (and secure by pressing down with pliers), then shape in between the main strands with a center-pointing scoop. Proceed with an outward circular pattern until the web is complete.
11. Paint all plastic foam balls with black enamel, attaching the two smallest ones together with toothpicks. Let dry. Hot-glue red acrylic jewels to the smallest plastic foam ball to create spider eyes. Twist four chenille sticks in the center and hot-glue them to the bottom of the spider. Shape the legs and attach the spider to the web by curling the legs around the web.
12. Cut bat wings and ears from black craft foam. Cut galvanized wire into two pieces approximately 5 inches longer than the top of the bat wing. Cut two slits at the base, peak and end of the bat wings. Thread the wire through the slits, leaving an extra 5 inches at the base. Reinforce the wire with hot glue. Stick the wire from the wings through the bat head (last plastic foam ball) in opposite sides. Leave the extra wire for attaching to the branch.
13. Carve out a hole about the size of the branch top from the bottom of the bat head. Cut out eyes from yellow craft foam, attach purple jewels with hot glue and attach the eyes to the bat face with hot glue. Paint the mouth with white enamel and a small brush. Cut fangs from white craft foam and attach them to the bat with hot glue. Slide the bat head onto the branch and secure by wrapping the extra wire from the wings around the branch.
14. Shape and attach the bat ears.
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