Friday, November 8, 2013

The "Naturals"- Part 3

Hello!  I hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather. And a sincere welcome to my new followers!  I have been very neglectful in saying "Hi" but your friendship means a lot to me.  Please feel free to comment or email me with any questions.

This will be the last post ( for the time being) about using natural material, courtesy of Mother Nature.  I still have a few more ideas but need to go on to other things.

This is what I have been working on for the past week. A floor lamp, table lamp, and two different bird houses.  Also, shells filled with salsa and guacamole, an acorn caps with chips, and finally a coconut made from an acorn shell.

These were fast and simple minis to make ...except for the rectangular birdhouse.  That was kind of interesting.

I made it out of pine bark from the mulch we have around our house
Since it has so many layers, I used a small crochet hook to separate them into the thickness I wanted.  The really cool thing about this was the different colors, shading and textures of the wood.

But before you begin, be aware that sometimes a layer or two of the bark may separate all by itself, no matter how gently you handle it.  It's only a matter of gluing it back on and only takes a few minutes.

So, here's how I did it.
First step, swish a piece of bark around in warm, soapy water.  Immediately rinse in cool clear water and blot with paper towel.  Let dry at least overnight.  Then separate the layers into the thickness you want using a crochet hook or something similar.
While it's drying, make a birdhouse pattern out of very thin cardboard. Now, pick out 7 pieces of bark, larger than your pattern, varying the color and texture ( it will make it very unique!)  Glue your pattern onto the bark pieces, weight them down and let dry, probably an hour or so. Next, cut out your pattern.  Be sure to leave a very small margin around each piece so it glues together properly. You don't want the cardboard in the way.  Take the front part of the birdhouse and drill a hole  for the opening.  If you don't have a drill, maybe a black marker or paint will do. So now you can start assembling the birdhouse.

You might want to note that finding a base piece that is flat so your house won't tip over, may be kind of hard. You can either use a small painted piece of cardboard as the base or you can make it a hanging birdhouse (which is what I did)  I took a 6" piece of raffia, inserted about 1/2" inside the birdhouse and then glued on the roof pieces,  effectively trapping the end inside.

 I used a fairly thin-bodied glue because I hoped it would sink in between the layers and make them stronger. Be generous with the glue. Add a little perch and as the final step, spray with a sealer.

Now, an update on my leaves on fairy chair (see the Naturals-Part 1 from Oct 14). I was to say the least, disappointed.  I felt sure the leaf that I preserved in wax paper would last a  lot longer but it changed color and withered up within a few days.  I guess you can't stop Mother Nature.

Well I'm off.  Time  to finish up some swaps and get serious about Christmas
Til next time


  1. I like these pieces made ​​of natural materials.
    Greetings, Faby

    1. These were fun to make. I think they will last longer than my preserved leaves!!

  2. Precioso Diane!!!. Los materiales son los mejores que se pueden encontrar aunque a veces tengan su fecha de caducidad.

    1. I'm glad you like these. I think they will last a lot longer ( hopefully!)
      Thanks for your comment

  3. Wonderful pieces! I love LOVE the little birdhouse ;) or ladybug house depending on who moves in ;)

    1. LOL!! I love the idea about ladybugs! Never thought of that but it is a really cute idea!

  4. Che bella casetta per gli uccellini, un bel lavoro!
    Se passi dal mio blog c'è un giveaway natalizio...
    Un caro saluto, Manu

  5. Your natural birdhouses are great!
    Te maleńkie domki dla ptaków są prześliczne. Wspaniały pomysł :)