Decorations are not necessary to attract birds to a bird house, but decorating bird houses can be a fun project that will make these practical structures more attractive in a garden or backyard. But before you grab a can of paint or turn a bird house into a work of art, it is important to be sure you are keeping the birds’ safety in mind so the house will still be useful and suitable for the birds.
Decorating a bird house can be more useful than just making it appealing to human eyes. Decorations can add color to attract birds, may help break up the outline of the house for better camouflage or will simply make the structure a more integral part of a well-planned garden. Just as how choosing themed bird feeders or planning landscaping with certain colors or flowers in mind is a personal touch in the backyard, a decorated bird house also adds a customized accent to your bird-friendly space. Decorating houses can also be fun projects for children and can make great gifts to inspire new bird lovers.
Ideas for Bird House Decorations
There are many unique and creative ways to decorate bird houses. Popular options include:
- Painting: Painting a bird house is the easiest way to decorate it. Choose non-toxic paints or natural stains, or opt for simple colors in earth tones to help camouflage the house. More creative paint schemes could help a house blend into a flowerbed or other colorful part of the garden, or fun accents can add a bright burst to the house.
- Potted Roof: Adding plants to the roof of a bird house is not difficult. Add a rim around the roof to hold soil, and pot moss, succulents or other plants in the shallow space. It is best to avoid moisture-loving plants that may need watering that could leak into the house, but whatever you plant will add a thick layer of insulation to the roof as well as creative greenery for camouflage.
- Theme Design: Sometimes the entire house is a decoration simply by how it is designed. Instead of a basic box house, choose a bird house that is built to a theme, such as a log cabin, rustic church or Victorian manor design. House themes could also match a career or hobby, such as a house boat, sports team, firehouse or school design. Just be sure the design has the proper bird house dimensions and entrance hole size to be appropriate for your backyard birds.
- Wallpaper: Wallpaper is an easy accent to add to any bird house. Whether you use scraps of actual wallpaper, bits of scrapbooking paper or pieces of wrapping paper, they can add a fast bit of color to the house even if you have very little crafting expertise. The whole house could be papered or you could use scraps in fun shapes or create a collage. Secure the scraps with glue and use a clear sealer over the top to help preserve them.
- Simple Accents: Even a simple touch can make a bird house extra special. Adding doll house shingles to the roof or draping a faux vine around the base can turn a basic house into a more decorative residence with minimal effort or expense.
- Glamorous Accents: Add a bit of bling to a bird house by gluing fun accents to the house. Mosaic tiles, iridescent pebbles, buttons, seashells and similar items can easily be added around the base of the house, to the roofline or in simple patterns for an instant upgrade to the house’s appearance.
- Whimsical: Fun, quirky accents are another way to easily personalize a bird house. Adding a painted picket fence around the house, attaching a small “Welcome Home” or “Home Sweet Home” sign or even adding a simple mailbox gives the house a welcoming look the birds won’t mind. Some comical houses even have cat themes or other humorous touches that add a smile to the backyard.
More Tips for Decorating Bird Houses
No matter how you decorate a bird house, always keep the birds’ safety in mind.
- Avoid long perches or similar structures that can be handholds for predators.
- Do not cover drainage or ventilation holes with decorations.
- Choose decorations you don’t mind the birds inadvertently damaging.
- Take steps to protect houses from predators no matter what the decorations.
- Be aware that outdoor use can damage decorations with sun and rain.
A heavily decorated and themed bird house may be attractive, but could be accidentally dangerous to birds if it attracts predators’ attention or lacks the features necessary for a safe bird house. Save the most elaborately decorated bird houses for indoor use to liven up a sunroom, craft room, kitchen or other space, and let the birds enjoy simpler styles in the backyard.
Photo – Houseboat Bird House © gailf548