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DIY Bird Bath

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I have great news for you guys 🙂 Other than some bits & bobs, such as parts of the lighting and yard decor items, we are finally done with our pond makeover. Greg will soon be publishing the “Reveal” post, but he was waiting on me to finish the final touches on the landscaping, such as my DIY Bird Bath.

You might have seen the pictures of this metal one in our Pond Project Part 1 and Part 2 posts. It is a broken bird bath+water feature which was left behind by the previous owners of our house. I bet it made a great water feature and bird bath back in its heyday, and hopefully I will turn it into something good and useful when I get to it. But now it serves no purpose other than a space filler, since the seal of pump’s housing is broken and thus doesn’t hold water at all.

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As I am not sure if I’ll be able to fix it, I thought instead of spending time trying, I should check our basement for something that could be quickly turned into a birdbath.

Last summer I bought this big pan-ish thing for 2 dollars from Mom’s shop (aka Second Chance Shop). It was marked as $4, but the household items were 50% off. Although I didn’t know right away what I could do with it, I really liked its shape. Yes, unfortunately, I am a sucker for anything ornate or with nice curves. Anyway…

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Last summer we also found two beat up garden columns at the Put & Take. A normal mind would have put 2 and 2 together right after finding the columns. But I must have had beach fever last summer, as it never occurred to me that I could match these things together and turn them into something useful. Duh… Well “Duh” at least till last week 😉

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Having found these guys laying around, I got on with the work. Thinking it would be as easy as sticking the two things together I first spray painted the pan.

But when I placed the pan on top of the column I saw the bottom part had gaps, and that wasn’t the look that I envisioned. I forgot to take pictures of it but it looked something like this.

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Since I decided to fill the gaps, that first painting was a total waste of time. Oh well… I grabbed some spackling and started filling all the sides. And with that, what I thought would be a one-afternoon project turned into a four-day project! It wasn’t at all hard, but I had to wait for the spackling to dry and set itself before filling another layer.

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Every day some filling and letting it dry.

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Layer by layer I kept filling and finally when the entire area was filled, I let the spackling settle properly for another day. Then I sanded the spackled area slightly in order to get rid of the lumps and bumps.

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Spackling made an excellent filler, as the whole bond between the column and the pan was strong enough for me to carry the bird bath by holding the pan only.

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But I don’t consider spackling to be a very hardy material for outdoors, therefore I felt it would be better to add some sort of outdoors protection. So before painting the whole thing, I first put two layers of outdoor spar urethane over the spackling. In fact, just to make sure, I covered 2 inches above and 2 inches below the spackling as well.

Once that dried, I started spray painting the top metal part and the spackled area with Rust Oleum Heirloom White. But here is a little trick I have to tell you: you know the instructions on the spray paint cans? They usually recommend shaking well for 2-3 minutes. It is because when you don’t shake them properly whatever settled at the bottom of the can comes out first and that part usually creates a gritty surface which is not something you would normally want. Well…in this case the transition from the gritty column surface to smooth metal surface wasn’t looking that exciting. Therefore I had to get that metal pan to resemble a stone finish, which is why I needed to create a gritty surface. And to achieve it I grabbed a new can of spray paint (Rust Oleum Heirloom White) and without shaking the can, I started spray painting the outer part of the metal pan.

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Voila! Do you see the gritty surface I was talking about? That is what exactly I wanted as it matches the column’s surface now.

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Once the paint dried, I gave it one more coat of protective coat and let the whole thing dry.

Next, I placed my bird bath to its place, filled it with water…

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…added some beads for decoration…

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…and pennies to help with the algae…

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…and it was ready to serve our feathered friends 😉

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Other than the fact that it matches our garden theme perfectly (which you’ll be able to see in Greg’s “The Pond Project: Reveal” post), the whole thing cost me less than $10, and for that price I know I couldn’t have gotten a better one. Hence I couldn’t be happier with the result.

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Handan, xo

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DIY Bird Bath | How to make a bird bath | How to keep your bird bath algae free | How to prevent algae growth | Simple upcycled garden and backyard decor | DIY garden and backyard decor | Homemade bird bath | #TheNavagePatch #Garden #DIY #Backyard #Upcycled #Repurposed | TheNavagePatch.com

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55 Comments

  1. This is such a cute idea! This week on Talk DIY to Me link party our theme is DIY Garden Decor! This project would be a perfect fit! I would like to invite you to come on over and party with us!

    1. Oh that is awesome, Leanne! Of course I will be there…we have at least 2 posts to link up if not more 😀 Thank you so much for the invite!! xx

  2. What is it about the pennies that keeps the algae at bay? Is it better to use the old copper ones or the newer zinc?

    1. I use pennies in my pond to help with algae. However, I only use, 1972 and older. as I don’t believe the Zinc pennies will work the same.

  3. I should have known this was one of your fabulous projects when I saw the link at the Wake Up Wednesday party! Very clever idea for a bird bath and oh my it looks so good near your newly refurbished pond. Where did you get that fabulous trigger handle for the spray paint cans? Mama needs one of these!

  4. Hi Handan, what a nice looking bird bath you created out of not much. I love the tip about the pennies, our water featured collects algae really quickly. I’ll try putting some copper coins in there and see if that helps.

    xx

  5. This turned out great! So clever! What a great tip about not shaking the spray paint to get a textured look. I would love to have you share this and other posts at Family Joy Blog Link-up Party happening every Sunday at noon EST on Ava’s Alphabet and 5 other fun blogs. Have a great week!

  6. Handen, I learn new things every time I stop by. Love that in a blog! This turned out beautifully. We have a corner in our yard that I would like to create a little sanctuary. We buried our beloved dog there when she died 2 years ago. She loved to be outside and loved chasing birds and butterflies. So I want to have butterfly friendly plants and a bird bath in that area! Now I’m going to be looking for “found” objects like your pan and pillar, I know that making one will be less expensive and much more interesting than buying one!

    I love the spray paint trick, brilliant. I had no idea that was why you shake the can, other than to mix it up good. And the spackle? Incredible! It took time, but it looks fantastic!

    1. Thank you so much, Nikki! I am so sorry to hear about your dog. Our girls also love chasing everything in our backyard, including birds. Hence I thought I should make something for the birds so they don’t get disturbed when trying to have a bit of a drink or bath. Although we have a pond and birds were using the pond for that purpose, this bird bath turned out to be a better solution as it is raised and our dogs can’t get to it 🙂

  7. Love it! I think it would be fun to have a bird bath and watch all the birds. We have a hard time where we live because they attract mosquitos. Thanks for joining the Family Joy linky party!

    1. Thank you so much, Samantha! You might want to consider buying a solar bird bath fountain if you are ever planing to have a bird bath. Amazon sells them for really reasonable price (around $10 -$15). I am thinking that could eliminate the mosquito issue as they only breed/lay eggs in still water.

  8. That turned out super cute!! I love that you used a pot since it had handles…very cleaver!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! Hope to see you again tomorrow! Pinned!

  9. This is gorgeous. I love the spray paint to match the base! The blue beads for decoration really make it pop.. and I’m sure the birds will love it.
    Thanks so much for sharing at the Monday Mish Mash!
    *Hugs*

  10. I love the idea! Never thought of combining an old skillet of wok with a stand. My best takeaway was the pennies for algae but is that safe for the birds? I have plenty of copper tubing and wire I can use instead since it is pure copper, not mixed like pennies.

    1. Thank you so much, Heather! Ever since I read this article from garden.org I believe using pennies are safe for the birds: http://garden.org/ideas/view/flaflwrgrl/602/Prevent-Algae-from-Growing-in-Your-Birdbath/)
      Note that they say to use pre 1982 pennies in the article. This is because prior to 1982, pennies were 95% copper. After 1982, Treasury cheaped out and made them out of zinc with a thin copper coating. But the copper coating is still copper, so still would give the same benefit as an older copper penny.
      That said, if you have copper tubing, then using that of course would be much better than using pennies 🙂
      I hope this little info will be helpful!
      Have a great week ahead!!

      1. Thank you for the link. This is very helpful and will save me some time as I am usually scrubbing birdbaths every few days. So afraid to use anything other than elbow grease.

  11. Nice idea, really like the pennies.
    Did you ever do anything with the broken metal bird feeder?
    I have the same one!
    My husband wants to put a new pump in it but it needs help…very old.

  12. Hi, what type of adhesive can be used to glue decorations inside the bird bath? I use silicone adhesive on the outside. ? Thanks
    Melinda