PHOTO: Jessica Walliser
November 10, 2017

On a summer garden tour a few years ago, I saw a lovely collection of stone-covered birdhouses in one of the locations. I promised myself that when that autumn arrived, I would try my hand at making one. As it turns out, making stone-covered birdhouses is addicting. They’re so cute and easy to make that when you finish one, you’ll want to experiment with different forms, rock colors and roof designs just to see how creative you can be. Here are the basics on making a DIY stone-covered birdhouse. Don’t be afraid to experiment, too.

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

Materials

  • A form (more on this in Step 1)
  • Small rocks and/or pebbles
  • A roof (more on this in Step 6)
  • Silicone caulking (I chose brown)
  • Sanded grout
  • Water for mixing grout
  • Scissors
  • Embellishments
stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

Step 1: Choose A Form

To begin, select your form. I chose a plastic water pitcher I found at the dollar store because it’s easy to cut and lightweight, and the silicone caulk sticks to it well. But, you could use a large metal coffee, tomato sauce or juice can; a length of wide-diameter PVC pipe; a wooden birdhouse from the craft store; an upright plastic storage bin; or anything else you find to make your DIY stone-covered birdhouse. Just make sure it isn’t breakable and can withstand outdoor conditions.

Step 2: Modify The Form

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

Prepare your form, if necessary. For my project, I had to cut off the handle of the water pitcher then extend the opening of the spout to make an entrance for the birds. I also used a bead of silicone caulking to secure the lid to the inside of the pitcher to keep it in place.

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

If you use a metal or wooden form, you can place the entrance hole wherever you’d like, but file down any sharp edges before moving on to the next step.

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

Step 3: Start Adding Rocks

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

Begin to cover your form with the rocks. You can apply a small amount of caulking to each rock and then stick it to the form, but I find it’s easier to apply a length of caulking to the form and then stick on the rocks a few at a time. When working with a cylindrical or curved form, you might find the rocks slide off before the caulking can dry. Don’t rush this step. If you need to work in small sections and wait until the caulk dries between sections, do so.

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

Step 4: Finish Covering The Form

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

Continue adding more rocks until the entire form of your DIY stone-covered birdhouse is finished. Let the stone-covered form sit overnight or until the caulk is fully dry. Depending on the conditions in the room where you’re working on the project, this might take as little as a few hours or as long as a few days.

Step 5: Apply Grout

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

Once the caulk is fully dry, it’s time to apply the grout. Mix the grout according to label instructions until it’s the consistency of paste. Do not make it too watery. Use your gloved hands to pack the grout in between each of the rocks, pushing it down into the crevices as you go. Once the entire birdhouse is grouted, wait about 20 minutes. Then, using a wet sponge, wipe the excess grout off of the rocks, wringing out the sponge in a bucket of fresh water as often as possible. This will wash the grout haze off the rocks and get rid of any excess. Allow the grout to fully dry; make sure the maximum drying time on the package instructions passes before proceeding to the next step.

Step 6: Add The Roof

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

Once the grout has fully dried, it’s time to add the roof to your DIY stone-covered birdhouse. I’ve used many different things for roofs. I’ve built one from old barn wood, and I’ve also used a copper or plastic post cover, an upturned metal funnel or just a flat sheet of metal.

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

You can get as creative with the roof as you’d like. Whatever you choose, secure it to the top of the form with more silicone caulking or an appropriate glue. If you’d like, you can embellish the roof with found objects such as old hinges, metal keys, cabinet door handles, glass marbles or whatever you’d like. Be creative!

stone-covered birdhouse
Jessica Walliser

As you can see, building a DIY stone-covered birdhouse isn’t difficult, but it does take some time, making this an excellent winter project for gardeners and craft-fans alike.

Here are more of my favorite projects for the birds:

 


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