Crafty- Bird Houses

Often the kids and I get crafty.  We make stuff in various mediums.  Some times its paint, some times its yarn, some times its pasta noodles.  This time it was milk cartons.  

We have a store bought bird feeder in our back yard that gets a lot of action and making some new bird feeders/houses was something we were all excited about so we could have more birds feeding from our yard.  We love watching the variety of birds fluttering in and out from our patio.  So, in a nutshell, perfect craft!  And super easy for all ages.

What we used:
milk/juice cardboard cartons (one for each person)
exacto blade
acrylic paint
brushes (we used foam and regular fine tipped/water color brushes)
sand paper
paint tray/paper plate
sequins, jewels, any other decorations you may want
popsicle sticks

Step one was to sand the outside of the cartons to rough it up for the paint.  Because of the coating on the carton painting straight on wouldn't allow the paint to adhere very well.  So go ahead and rough it up nice and good, all four sides and the peaked top including the indented sides.
Step 2 we cut out a little opening as well as creating a slit for the popsicle stick perch.  We all did this in different ways.  Some of us created a single opening, one of us decided we needed three openings!  To each their own, right?  To create the openings we first drew the shape we wanted on the carton with a sharpie and cut it out with an exacto blade.  If you trust your child with the blade that's up to you, my kids are 4, 8 and 10 and I decided to cut the opening for all of them as they were a bit freaked out by doing it themselves.

Using the exact we made a tiny slit under the opening and inserted a popsicle stick.  You don't want the slit to big, because you want the stick to be fitted in nice and snug.  Once inserted rub a bit of glue where the carton and stick meet.

Before painting you can make a hole through the crease of the peaked top.  Make sure the hole goes through one end and through the other.  This is where you'll run your string so you can create a little loop to hang it up.

Once the perch is glued in place you can paint and decorate. Let the kids go nuts. Paint! Sparkles! Anything they want.  Go for it!  They can even paint the perch if they want. 

When the paint is dry, thread your string through, length is up to you, tie the ends into a know so its nice and secure. Fill it with some birdseed and you are good to go!

And there you have it!  Our bird feeders/houses have been getting a lot of action.  We've seen tiny finch like birds, robins, stellars jay and more.  The kids get much more excited seeing the birds feed from their own feeder and its definitely been a colorful addition to our backyard.

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