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Brown Bag Birdhouse


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Celebrate spring with DIY recycle crafts that you can make with materials found at home. A Brown Bag Birdhouse from Heidi Borchers looks great in a garden and will keep birds from disturbing your plants. Use a vintage technique to complete this project.

Brown Bag Birdhouse


  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
  • Wood bird house (select soft-wood birdhouse so that you can easily cut away front opening) The birdhouse used in this tutorial was purchased at Michaels.
  • Brown grocery bag
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Pliers
  • Squeegee (cardboard or expired gift card works well)
  • Nail (for adding texture to brown bag)
  • Acrylic paint – black, rust brown, white, moss
  • Water
  • Paint brush (fine tip and 1/2″ flat shader)
  • Sheet moss
  • Silk or paper flowers
  • Fairies (we find these in tubes in the kids section at Michaels)


  1. Cut door into front of birdhouse by first marking door lines with ruler and pencil.
  2. Carefully using craft knife, cut along pattern lines. It may take several passes with the craft knife to cut completely through the wood.
  3. Use pliers to pull away the cut piece. If needed, use craft knife to straighten any cut edges.
  4. Glue two layers of brown bag together with Aleene’s Tacky Glue. Use squeegee to smooth the glue when applying. Smooth glued layers together with finger tips or brayer.
  5. While the glue is still wet, to add texture to brown bag, lightly score paper with nail, running in a vertical pattern to replicate the effect of wood grain.
  6. Cut brown bag into 1/2″ strips.
  7. Cut strips to fit outside walls of birdhouse, glue in place. Cut pieces of brown bag for shingles and eaves, glue in place and let all pieces dry.
  8. Create doors in same manner but wait to glue them in place until the entire outside of house is painted.
  9. To paint shadows, slightly thin black paint with water. Apply paint using cut edges as guide. If desired, create additional cross “cuts” by painting black lines where desired.
  10. With flat brush, add additional paint strokes where the cross cuts meet to give additional shadow effects. Let dry.
  11. To create wood color, mix rust brown paint with water to create wash. With flat brush, following the faux wood grain, apply brown paint wash to all brown bag strips. Let dry.
  12. For highlights, dry-brush white acrylic paint lightly over all planks. Let dry.
  13. For mossy effect, dry-brush moss acrylic paint lightly over all black shadow areas. Let dry.
  14. Glue sheet moss pieces and flowers around house and glue fairy in place.
  15. This magical fairy house is designed to be used for indoor display use only. Have fun creating this cool diy craft and invite the fairies to play in your garden!

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