I have a “thing” for knick-knacks that double as storage, especially since I don’t have a lot of closed storage around my house. It’s nice to have all those extra little places to hide bits and pieces of stuff that I don’t want laying out in the open! Extra batteries, matches for lighting candles, spare tubes of chap stick… Around here, they’re all tucked away inside some decorative whatnot on a shelf. I’ve always loved the way birdhouses look in decor, but most of them lack the storage element that I prefer. But these aren’t most birdhouses! Made from house-shaped gift boxes, they have plenty of room inside to hold whatever needs a home!
- Gift boxes, $1 each
- Wood grain contact paper, $1 and up
- White paint, on hand or $1 and up
- Paper, on hand or $1 and up
- Sharpie, on hand
- Felt, on hand or about $0.33/sheet
- Glue, on hand
- Embellishments (optional), $1 and up
Total: $2 and up
I first picked up a couple of the house-shaped gift boxes at Halloween, knowing that I wanted to do something with them but not sure exactly what. I saw more house-shaped boxes at Christmas time. Then, just after Easter, I found a small one on clearance for half price in the holiday leftovers. I took it as a sign and brought it home, thinking that now I really had to find a use for them! Once the birdhouse inspiration struck I knew it was the perfect idea.
To give the boxes the look of wood, I wrapped the bottom part of each one with wood grain contact paper. Cut the contact paper so that there is a little extra to wrap around the top and bottom edges of the box. Fold the excess down; the excess around the bottom edge will fold to the bottom side of the box, and the excess around the top edge will fold to the inside of the box. (If you’re not happy with how the inside edge of the contact paper looks, you can glue a length of ribbon around the edge to hide it.)
Since the paper I used to cover the tops of my boxes was a little bit see-through, I painted them white before applying the paper so that the original graphics would not show through. If you are using heavier paper, you can skip this step. I chose some wrapping paper left over from making a mini album because a) I already had it on hand, and b) the pattern vaguely reminded me of shingles. Cut the paper to size and use Mod Podge to adhere it to the roof.
Cut a piece of felt the same size as the bottom of the box. Brush a layer of Mod Podge onto the bottom of the box and cover it with the felt. This will also cover the excess contact paper that is wrapped around the bottom edge. Avoid pressing or rubbing the felt more than necessary; if the glue soaks all the way through the felt it will cause the felt to lose its soft texture. To keep it firmly in place while the glue dries, you can place the box on a piece of wax paper or freezer paper and fill it with something heavy – I used a bag of river rock pebbles as a weight.
Once all of the glue is dry, you can add embellishments if you wish. Add flowers, butterflies, little birds… Or just leave them as they are! (Bonus: since my boxes are three different sizes, they will nest inside of each other so if I put them in storage, they take up less space!)