Whimsical Birdhouse Villa #1: Whimsical Birdhouse Villa

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Blog entry by justoneofme posted 11-01-2012 02:02 AM 3177 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Well folks, it’s about time I posted something … after all it’s been months and months … not that I haven’t been productive! But before I begin, I thank you all for your entertaining and enjoyable projects posted throughout these past months. It seems everybody was kept creatively busy!

I had lots of fun myself up at our cabin this past summer within my little workshop … but that’s another story, as I’m still trying desperately hard to find those photos!! So until I’m able to post about that piece of whimsical Intarsia, I’ll blog about my most recent fun project.

Freed from commissions for the time being … it’s all about me right now! ... and the incredible fun of whimsy!!

Now … I have to admit that the idea is not my own, having found inspiration within the pages of a gardening magazine … but I certainly put my own slant upon this Birdhouse Villa.

Our old family bench has had numerous layers of paint slapped over to ‘spruce it up’ throughout its long life … and although it has been our inherited treasure for at least 30 of it’s 70 years, it is the most uncomfortable bench I’ve ever sat upon! As this has obviously been ‘my time for whimsy’ it was definitely the right time to enhance this old bench.

So much other stuff and chores had to come first … like winterizing flowerbeds and outdoor maintenance … yada, yada, yada. BUT … as you can tell, I couldn’t wait to collect all my spare scraps of wood and start creating!

I’m definitely no carpenter … however I do have to say that I’ve improved upon certain skills since way back in my early 30’s when I tried (and failed miserably!) to build a dollhouse for our two little girls. Now, even my granddaughter is too old for dollhouses, so I just won’t go there again!

The following photos tell the whole construction story from beginning to end, so I won’t have to bore you all with too many more words!

As I wanted the villa to have a layered look, some of the birdhouse faces were built up from behind.

And of course, once the back layer of ‘houses’ were constructed, it was time to paint!

It’s taking shape, with really no plan mapped out … just ‘by gosh and by golly’ ... and whatever my scraps allowed!

I definitely had to make room for this cute little hand painted porcelain bird I’d acquired from an artist friend … and what better way than to have her sitting pretty amongst a goodly supply of food! Bird seed was mixed with white wood glue and lathered on, then set aside to completely dry before knocking off loose bits and pieces. Another layer of watered down glue was brushed over top. With exterior varnish applied afterwards, this supply of seed will last as long as the bird will!

The back row is completed and strategically screwed in place. I have to say that lots of brain power went into just how I could attach these faces to the backrest of the bench without really damaging the ‘antiquity’ of the bench (after all, if someone down the road doesn’t like my creation, screw holes can always be filled … and they don’t go all the way through!). But the trick was to be able to hide the screws afterwards. And of course, I screwed that up! But … I’ll explain later …. Onward, to the construction of the ‘front homes’.

And what villa isn’t complete without a picket fence?!!That kept the old grey cells worked up!

Ah yes … now this is where I screwed up! I was so proud of myself for coming up with the idea of attaching these picket fences from behind the birdhouse faces, leaving clean fronts. The main reason for the fence was to hide those ‘strategically’ placed screws fixing birdhouse faces to bench along the bottom … and they did! However … it didn’t take long before I realized that once the fence was fixed to the face (from behind) ... I couldn’t screw the birdhouse faces to the bench backrest because those cute little adorable picket fences were covering those strategical face screws!!! Good thing God invented double-faced tape, eh?!!

The concept was good. Flawed … but good! And to think I spent so much time on that that part of this project!! Anyway … I’m over it now. It’s time to wrap things up! Those painted sticks screwed to each side of the backrest was just an idea to tidy things up. Nobody will see the back of this creation, but from the side view it does look better. And that horizontal stick helps situate one of the faces. Remember … I was working with scraps!

And now … drum roll please! Bare old uncomfortable bench magically transforms into a Whimsical Birdhouse Villa!!

Thanks for viewing this blog and keeping tabs on me. It was just as much fun relating the story of this Villa-in-the-making as it was to create it within my workshop! Best wishes to you all, and keep happy in your own workshop!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

10 comments so far

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3111 days

#1 posted 11-01-2012 02:28 AM

Your bench looked pretty darn good for 70 years old even before the makeover ! Sure looks different now. A “must take” if you ever move to Cheticamp on Cape breton Island !!

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View vivien's profile


11 posts in 2956 days

#2 posted 11-01-2012 02:41 AM

it looks beatuful.

-- Jinan Quick CNC

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 4575 days

#3 posted 11-01-2012 02:48 AM

Very inventive. A beautiful piece of whimsical art.

-- Yves

View patron's profile


13712 posts in 4264 days

#4 posted 11-01-2012 02:51 AM

you have done a very nice and gorgeous project here elaine

yet i feel it is not complete yet

put some cushions on the seat if needed

but this needs to have rooms and back and a roof
just 1×6 japanese puzzled together
(screw the whole thing to the wall if needed)

the birds will come but there is no room
in this town

and a town without birds
is sad

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View justoneofme's profile


841 posts in 3402 days

#5 posted 11-01-2012 05:28 AM

Hey Patron … I hear ya! In fact I do plan to do a bit of spiffy painting to some of these ‘faces’ come Spring … just ran out of time. Cushions are also a Springtime addition. But this whimsical creation is not for my warm blooded feathered friends this time around, but for my porcelain beauty! And just wait until Xmas when the rooftops are all aglow, and a few ornaments adorn the seating spaces!! I know … the REAL birds will be envious!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3779 days

#6 posted 11-01-2012 08:56 AM

Elaine, that is a great idea

It looks so bright and cheerful

Everyone should have a whimsy

All the details and colours really stand out


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4226 days

#7 posted 11-01-2012 04:18 PM

now that is very creative and so cool, i love it, its like a sea side bird condo, and even though im a wood worker who does not like to paint my wood, it does have a place and you did a great job here, i enjoy making places for the birds to interact…watch them fly in…dance about and eat some bird seed, chase others away, its quite comical..but your piece here is really nice..thanks for sharing it with us.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Skylark53's profile


2824 posts in 3983 days

#8 posted 11-03-2012 04:44 PM

Elaine, thanks for sharing this fun and well done project. It certainly gives a totally new personality to that bench. Nice colors and great design work.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Niece's profile


28 posts in 2897 days

#9 posted 01-14-2013 01:23 AM

Love this. Its so cute.

-- Janiece

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2930 days

#10 posted 01-14-2013 01:17 PM

I cant imagine anyone ever wanting to take this apart and back into a bench. I’m thinking that even your grandchildren’s GRANDCHILDREN will want to pass this along to future generations … just as it is!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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