Friday, January 27, 2012

Altered Bird House - Valentine

Today I am sharing my Altered Valentine Bird Houses.  I created them to match my printer's tray / shadow box I shared with you earlier in the week.  I have tutorial photos from when I created my Altered Christmas Bird Houses.  I didn't finish them til right before Christmas, so I decided to wait and share them this fall.  But the technique is the same, so the tutorial photo's work for these as well.

**** Breaking News ****

The Je t' Adore collection from Making Memories is still available!!  I just assumed since it was a year old, that it would be hard to find now.  If you are interested, check out the entire line over on the Making Memories Website HERE.  This line is perfect for creating shabby chic Valentine projects!  Hmmmm  .... maybe I need more!   And I found the year old vintage images are still available as well!  HERE.  WOWzers ...  looks like this line has some cute products as well.  I'm linking you to page 2.  To see the rest of the colletion, go to page 3.  HERE

Ok that's enough shopping!

I LOVE all the vintage images I used.  They are all by K&Company.  The black words / phrase are rub-ons from my stash I've been hoarding for years ( Marah Johnson's Swatch Book Impress-ons "Bliss Designs" and Cloud Nine).  I'm wondering if Hobby Lobby still sells the Impress-on rub-ons.  I'll hve to check next time I"m there.  It's so good to be using some of my stash up.  I've been in craft heaven this week follow through on valentine idea's I've had for a long time.  The flowers the cherub was holding were purple, I fixed it with my R29 Copic.

That cute little Bingo card is by Jenni Bowlin.  The flowers covering part of the left lower corner of the bingo card are rub-ons by Making Memories "Je t' Adore".  So are the burgandy labels, "Kisses" and "Romance", the love banner, and the patterned paper.  Isn't that die across the top of the house gorgeous!  It's from the Spellbinder's Fancy Tags 2 set.  The roses are from Wild Orchids.

To get that shabby distressed look I inked all the edges of the paper and images, added lace, pearls and a heart shaped paper doily (house #1). I grunged up the doily on house #1 and lace on house #3 with by Golden Fresco Cream Glaze. I wet the lace (Hobby Lobby), added some glaze, and scrutched the lace.  I discovered that applying the distress ink over by patterned paper with a fan paint brush grunged it up softly.  It looks more natural without big strokes of ink. 

Well I guess the only thing these bird house are missing are birds.  Maybe I'll go back and add a few bird images.  What do you think???
Altering a Bird House Tutorial
All of bird house were purchased at Michaels except house #2.  The house I'm shot the tutorial for is the most basic of my 4 Christmas bird houses (no second stories or skewed sides).  You want to see them don't you, teehee.  I'm not sure exactly when I'll post them.  I would love it if you subscribe to my blog to get email updates, then you will never miss a single post.  No worries, if you get tired of me, you can always unsubscribe.  Check the side bar and enter your email address.  It's that easy!

Step 1 :   Paint your house in the area's that will be exposed after adding your patterned paper. 
Step 2 :   Measure the front of the house.  Cut your patterned paper a little larger, 1/2" or so.
After trying this several times, I figured out that it was easier to cut the perch first and then the sides vs. cuting the patterned paper the exact width horizontally as the house and then cutting the hole for the perch.  If your off a little it may be frustrating if it doesn't line up along the sides.

Step 3 :  Position your paper over the front of the bird house making sure you have extra extending of all sides.  If you have striped paper, this may be a little more challenging, unless your ok with crooked stripes.

Step 4 :  Use your fingers to feel / located the end of the perch.  Use a pencil to lightly draw guidelines. 

Step 5 :   Now this is where I made it a little complicated and simplified it with the next house.  The first time, I used my exacto knife to cut cross lines and then pushed the paper over the perch.  Next I cut it with an exacto knife.  The second time, I just drew a pencil line all the way around the edge of the perch, used my cuticle scissors and cut.  I figured it it was a little off, no one would notice.  So you do which ever works for you and gets you the neatest hole.

Step 6 :   With the patterned paper positioned on the front of the house / over the perch ... make a pencil mark where you want to cut straight across the bottom so that it will be flush with that bottom ledge. And then trim with your paper cutter.

Step 7 :   Put the panel back on the front the house, over the perch and lined up with the bottom ledge.  Turn it side ways and put a pencil line across the back of the paper to indicate where to cut the sides of the house.  Then cut.  Repeat on opposite side.

Now both our your sides and bottom of the house should be flush with the sides and bottom ledge.  The patterned paper along the top should still be a little longer.  You can barely see it ... but mine is just long enough to line up with the tip of the roof line.

Step 8 :  Cut a small slit at the "V" of the roof top.  Just enough that you will be able to fold the paper along the roof line as shown below.

Step 9 :   Fold the paper along the roof line and use your nail to get a sharp crease.

Step 10 :   Use an exacto knife and trim.  Repeat on other side.

Step 11 :   Use your fingers and feel for the edge of the bird house door.  Starting in the middle cut push the exacto knife in and pull toward the edge.  After the first 3 times you will probably be better able to tell where the edge are and will push the exacto knife in along the edge and push toward the center. 

Step 12 :   Use your finger to fold the paper in and create a sharp crease around the edges of the door.  This will be your guideline for cutting.

Step 13 :   Trim around the crease.  Now if you are a perfectionist, trim just a hair inside the crease and then after you have it adhered to the front of the house, you can use a file from the Basic Grey Percision file set to sand it down and get it flush with the door perfectly.  I've had my file set for years.  Check it out HERE.  I have used it along for altering chipboard letters and shapes.  I adhere the shape to the back of the patterned paper, cut as closely as I can with an exacto knife and the file down the edges so that the paper is perfectly flush.  Each file has a different shape and for example ... if you are altering the letter "e", it's going to be hard to cut the paper flush with the edges of the chipboard using scissors or an exacto knife.  With one of the files you can. 

Step 14 :   Ink the edges and adhere the paper to the front of your birdhouse using mod podge or "regular gel medium" (found in the artist section of stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby and made by Golden and Liquitex).  What's the difference??  Mod Podge is wetter and cheaper ... Matte Gel Medium in thicker and more expensive.  It can take some practice using Mod Podge with a project like this because your trying to cover a large area and it dries quick.  I know what your thinking ...  just pile it on.  But if your paper gets too wet, it can warp and get air bubbles underneath it.  The thinner the paper ...  the more likely it is to warp.  So I used a think layer of Mod Podge but worked quickly to get my paper on and rubbed down.

That's the basic technique.  Of course it's a little more complicated if you have 2 stories or double perches.  The sides and roof are easy because your just cutting rectangles. 
I will be posting my Spring bird houses again in a couple of months.
I'm already thinking maybe I'll do a video tutorial later with my Patriotic bird houses.  My next video tutorial is going to be a Valentine Banner.  I need to keep it simple til I get the camera and editing program down.  Editing made me a little frustrated with the first video.
Hope you found the tutorial helpful and inspirational.  As always, if you decide to give this a try, I'd love it if you linked your readers to my tutorial and let me know so I can check yours out!
Have a wonderful weekend!!
hugs, Melisa

You can view all of my Altered Projects HERE.
View all my Altered Bird Houses HERE.


Vintage Cafe - hearts
Corrosive - "I heart You"
Sentimental Sundays - die cuts - bird house #2
Creative Inspirations - Anything Goes

Link Parties

Nifty Thrifty Sunday @ Nifty Thrifty Things
Sundae Scoop @ A Time To Create
Sister Sunday Link Party at Sister of the Wild West
The Sunday Showcase @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Make Monday Marvelous @ C.R.A.F.T.
Made by You Mondays @ Skip to my Lou
Inspire Me Monday @ Singing Three Little Birds
Uncommonly Yours @ Uncommon Designs Online
Whatever You Want Wednesday @ Free Pretty Things
WOW Me Wednesday @ Gingersnaps Crafts
A Crafty Soiree @ Katie's Nesting Spot
Watcha Got Weekend @ Lolly Jane Boutique
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Strut Your Stuff Saturday @ Six Sister' Stuff
Check Me Out Saturday @ A Vision to Remember


Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Darling- what a cute idea and great tutorial! I have a decorating link party going on at my blog all weekend if you would like to come share!

kiwimeskreations said...

Melisa your house must look so beautiful with all your craft items around. Thanks for the tutorial.

Patti J said...

Wow, Melisa, this is beautiful! Can't wait until you post photos of your beautiful craft room (hint, hint)...Thanks for the inspiration, dear friend, and of course, for the wonderful tutorial!!! Hugs...

Gail said...

I especially like the house with banner. Thanks for tutorial

Katie said...

Your birdhouses look fabulous, I am not patient enough to decoupage something with so many different surfaces. But seeing your end results is making me think that the effort is worth it!

Orphaned Decor said...

These turned out so pretty. I have a coupld of ugly little bird houses that I may have to try this on. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

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