How to Build a Bird Bath

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Build a Bird Bath
Build a Bird Bath (Image: "Birdbath." [Online image] Available http://www.patriciaspots.com/birdbathhowto.htm, 26 March 2009.)

A birdbath is a wonderful addition to any lawn or garden. Not only does it add a cheerful touch, but it will attract the local birds so you can enjoy watching them splash and play. For bird watchers, this is a great way to really get a glimpse of the wildlife. Learn how to build your own beautiful birdbath out of clay pots.

Things You'll Need

  • 16" terra cotta flower pot
  • 14" terra cotta flower pot
  • 12" terra cotta flower pot
  • 20" clay saucer
  • Sandpaper
  • Oil-based polyurethane
  • Patio paints
  • Water-based polyurethane
  • Liquid Nails construction adhesive

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Buy three terra cotta flower pots sizes 16", 14" and 12" as well as a 20" clay saucer with no hole in the bottom. Buy a water-proof saucer if possible. Sand the outsides and edges of the flower pots, and the bottom of the saucer to remove any loose particles or rough spots.

Stack the pots upside down on top of each other from largest to smallest. Draw a light line in pencil around where the rim of each pot ends so that you'll know what areas to paint later on.

Coat the outsides of each pot with oil-based polyurethane. Use two to three coats for a good, thick coating. Coat the inside of your saucer if it's not waterproof. Allow them to dry completely. Set them out in the sun if possible for faster drying time.

Paint the pots with any color or decoration you choose. If you paint above your pencil lines, you won't be able to see the design because it will be covered by the flower pot above it. Use patio paint for best results, as it is meant to withstand harsh weather.

Allow the paint to dry completely and thoroughly coat each pot with three or more coats of water-based polyurethane. Check the package before you purchase it to make sure that it can go over painted surfaces.

Stack the pots upside down again, assembling your birdbath. Place them on a patio or stepping stone when you are done, not on the ground, to preserve them. Apply a construction adhesive, such as Liquid Nails, to the bottom of the small pot. Place the saucer on top of the smallest pot, in the center right-side up. Allow it to dry, and fill your birdbath with water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try using stencils and stamps to create designs on your bird bath. To clean the birdbath, take it apart and wash with a soft cloth, water and mild detergent.
  • Take the birdbath apart and store it during the harsh winter months.
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