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I cook poorly, I craft obsessively and I love the look of a retro cocktail. When I am feeling guilty about taking time away from my family with my obsessions, I make videos about my guilt as "The Guilty Crafter" or I blog here. Thanks for stopping by!

Entries in upcycled DIY birdhouse (2)


DIY Succulent Birdhouse Garden







Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being a returning guest to Portland's KATU AM Northwest morning show. Last time I was on, I did a really simple, tried-and-true project. This time I decided to get a little more complicated. For the past few weeks, I've been admiring these beautiful succulent planter birdhouses being sold at our fancy grocery store. I linger over them but they are so expensive! Every crafter knows the ever-present thought: "I can make that!" and so I started planning. First, I Googled- I found a great tutorial on how to make the birdhouses from scratch at the Lowes Home Improvement website (here). Since I'm not a woodworker, I wanted to challenge myself to make an even easier version- and Lowes was nice enough to provide me with a special project account so I could go on a mini shopping spree. Score. Even then, my favorite item was Lowes' 98 cent wooden yardstick in the paint section- love the retro look and feel of them. I am definitely going back for more soon.

Anyway, a quick shopping trip to Lowes, a few side trips down the plumbing aisle and the hardware aisle for unusual embellishments and I had enough supplies to make 5 versions of the succulent garden birdhouses I have been admiring for well under 1/2 the cost of what my grocery stores (and some of the local nurseries are charging). Here's my video from AM Northwest:


 Just a few notes: I truly am brand new to gardening. When Dave asked me about keeping succulents inside, I should have dazzled him with amazing facts about succulents and how they thrive in full sun. Instead, I said the opposite and suggested shade. I should have also made sure to double and triple emphasize that the hot glue gun was ONLY to hold the rulers in place while the REAL wood glue dried. I used Gorilla Glue which is fantastic wood glue but it does take time to dry and with such a narrow edge (the ruler) to stick to the birdhouse, the hot glue served as a great way to tack it in place while the Gorilla Glue had time to work it's magic. But hey, I only claim to be a crafter- not a gardener or a woodworker so there you go. If you want to read about the behind the scenes chaos that proceeded the live taping of this craft segment, you can read: "DIY Succulent Birdhouse On Live TV: What Really Happened." In the meantime, another big thanks to Lowes- I appreciate your support... and maybe you shouldn't read the What Really Happened follow-up post... ;)


Craft Wars Vets Pop Craft: Episode #2 Challenge

A bunch of my fellow Craft Wars Vets and I were just sitting around, shooting the breeze (aka chatting on Facebook) and we thought it would be fun to take all our talk of Craft Wars and get a little more interactive. So, Dear Reader, you get to be a judge- a Craft Wars Judge of sorts. We've decided to re-create each week's Pop Craft Challenge from Craft Wars as faithfully as possible (excepting weeks off for summer vacations or, in my case, the inevitable laziness that steals upon me when I decide to commit myself to anything that last longer than a day or two). Here's what happens, you check out my rendition of last week's Pop Craft. Then you check out the renditions made by my fellow Craft Wars Vets who are playing this week. And leave us all a little comment, would'ya? Will you be a Mr. Glitterville or are you all Ms. P.S. I Made this?

Here's what I made this time. Remember in episode #2 how they wheeled out some junk drawers and the contestants had to make a bird house? Well, here's my take (and if you think I'm all, "See? I can do this better than the contestants on the show," make sure to read my answer to that HERE:"Let's Talk Craft Wars, Shall We?)...

First, I looked around my house for a junk drawer. I have the normal kind. You know- the one in the kitchen that you tell your kids they will be killed for opening in front of company? I was going to use that one but it turns out that Mr. Angela Daniels doesn't take kindly to me gluing otherwise new (if scattered) batteries to my craft projects. Ditto coins, business cards and still-being-used chapstick. No respect for creativity, that guy. So I moved on to the next thing, MY junk drawer. The real one. In my craft room. I decided to allow myself ONLY the things found in that drawer and only 1 hour. Just like in the real Pop Craft.

The only thing I sort of cheated on was using a pre-made birdhouse. My little girl made this for free at Home Depot years ago and she gave me her blessing to "jazz it up" a little. I know the contestants on Craft Wars had to make their structures from scratch but they had wood and an adult assistant. I'm not allowed near the power tools usually and my "assistant" was 9. And she wandered off immediately to play with her brother when I started barking orders for the birdhouse. So I'd say this is a level playing field.

The first thing out of my junk drawer was about 4 soda cans. Yes, I really do have soda cans in my crafting junk drawer. Would you expect less from an upcycling crafter? I had been using them to make die cut ornaments not too long ago and just couldn't part with the pretty scraps. Weird, sad and true. The fun thing about cans? They're pretty, of course, but you can die cut and punch them pretty easily so I punched as many circles out as I could get out of my scraps to make shingles.

Then I just glued them on with hot glue. As an aside, hot glue is not, in my opinion, the "duct tape" of crafting. Any crafter reading this will probably support me on this. Hot glue is, more acurately, the velcro of the crafting world- sorta. In that you can pull it apart pretty easily if something goes awry. E6000 is the duct tape. But E6000 requires ventilation, is very permanent and I am, how shall we say, sometimes prone to crafting accidents. When hot glue will work in a pinch, I go for it.

Once I had my shingle work done, I thought it would be fun to add a little tag. My favorite 'dial an alphabet' stamp was not in the junk drawer where it should have been. Strangely enough, my ticket from seeing David Sedaris recently was. And with a few snips of my scissors, I was able to spell out just what I was thinking for the tag. I still can't find that alphabet stamp anywhere, by the way.

With a die cut (from a soda can) little birdie on top, complete with a a tail that came from the back of a very expensive piece of ribbon (my little girl was inspired to make this tail and started cutting into the MIDDLE of the ribbon before I could gasp in horror), my little bird house was mostly complete. I lost some time trying, without success, to glue 2 errant Barbie legs to the bottom of the house (my 11 year-old boy's suggestion) but they just refused to stay. Probably just as well. I might get more votes for a cute, upcycled materials bird house than I would have gotten for a creepy Barbie legs one. But my son disagrees.

So now it's your turn- you be the Craft Wars judge!

It’s your turn to decide if this birdhouse craft has what it takes to push me through to the Master Craft or if it will have me, uh,  packing my glue gun! Leave your verdict in the comments section below and don’t forget to watch Craft Wars tonight and every Tuesday night at 10 eastern, 9 central 7 pacific time.

For more fun Craft Wars inspiration visit my fellow Craft Wars Vets blogs and keep an eye out for more Craft Wars projects every week and don't forget to join our live Twitter party at 7 pm PST (#CraftWars #CraftWarsVets) every Tuesday when that week's new show airs.

Andrea's Bollywood Birdhouse

Fab Smoky Mountain Birdhouse by Margot Potter

Mandi’s Craft Wars Redemption Birdhouse

Nikki’s Tic Tac Toe on the beach craft

Lisa Fulmer’s Junk Drawer Bird Feeder