Painting birdhouses can be a fun hobby! Most unpainted birdhouses range from $5.00 to $20.00 at Michaels, a chain craft store here in the U. S. For the most part, they keep unpainted birdhouses in stock year ‘round. Birdhouses can be purchased from art and gift stores, craft shows, garage sales, antique stores, and even thrift stores. They are plentiful, once you get an eye for seeing them. Thanks to birdhouses, I have slowly and gradually improved my artistic skills. You might wonder, why birdhouses?
Since birdhouses are made out of wood, they can be painted over and over. They are great to practice on. In fact, the more paint, the better (especially if they end up outside). Another reason why I choose to work with them has to do with the multiple planes of birdhouse architecture. Trying new design ideas on different planes is easier than painting on 2-D formats. When painting on 2-D canvases, artists need to worry about composition and framing, whereas this is typically not too much of a concern when painting birdhouses.
I decoupage, glaze, antique, stress, sponge, stencil, and even faux paint birdhouses. Birdhouses are the perfect format to explore color schemes too. It’s natural to have some birdhouses turn out better than others. Typically, the better designed birdhouses can stay indoors (or put up for sale) and the lesser ones can go outside. Often times and as mentioned earlier, some of the birdhouses have several applications applied to them. I have to admit, after several layers of paint, the surfaces can get ruddy looking (but the birds and wasps never seem to care).
What could be a better hobby than to improve your artistic skills while housing our feathered friends? So, not only are you creating shelter for the little wild birds in your neighborhood, but what a unique gift to give to your friends. Think about it, if they put it in their backyard, no offense should be taken! (revised 2/12/2006)
Debbie Jensen, Graphic Designer and Photographer http://www.debjensendesigns.com