If you’re trying to make your garden a better place for birdlife, few things are more attractive than a well-maintained birdbath. We’ve been experiencing a heatwave these last few days, and our poor feathered friends really need one. Birdbaths come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the type of birds in the garden they seem to prefer different types of baths. Our doves like playing in the sprinkler. Our finches and cape white eyes, on the other hand, prefer bathing in something that’s a little higher off the ground. So when we found a large bath accessory at a home decor store it was just perfect for making them a bird bath 🙂
Isn’t it just to cute?
The bath had a rough texture and was the perfect size to make a real little bird bath for our smaller feathered friends. It’s also become a bit of a talking point in our garden. Smaller birds love sitting on the taps after they’re had a bath to shake off excess water and preen themselves.
Okay, before we show you how to repurpose a bathroom accessory into a bird bath, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need
- A suitable container
- River sand
- Some wood off cuts to make a base and frame
- A thickish gum pole at least 1 m long
- Drill, grinder, flap disc, saw, hammer and nails
- Exterior wood varnish
How to make a bird bath
We started off making a sturdy platform that would support the bird bath and keep any predators away. Since we have four cats, the last thing I want is for one of them to disturb the birds while they’re taking a bath. Not to mention our dogs that chase blindly through the garden after their balls. We used a really thick gum pole and sanded one end into a spike using a grinder and a flap disc. The spike should be at least 15 cm long so it’s can be anchored firmly in the ground. Once we were happy with the spike we gave the pole a few coats of varnish.
Creating a platform for the bird bath
To make the base or platform for the bird bath we used some of the pallet offcuts we’ve been using to test how our Dremel router works. Which is why there are some funny little lines going across the length of the wood 🙂 We cut the wood into two 30 cm lengths and placed them together side by side.
We cut two more bits of wood to form a frame at the bottom of the platform and left a gap just big enough for the spike.
Then we applied some wood glue and screwed the frame into the platform. Once the glue was dry we gave the base a few coats of exterior varnish. While the varnish was still wet we carefully measured where the legs of the bath should go. We just took the bird bath and squished it into the varnish so it left little marks.
Using a drill we made some holes so that the feet of the bath will sit firmly on the base.
“Planting” the Bird Bath
Birds don’t fly too well when their feathers are wet so they’re vulnerable when they’re taking a dip. They feel safer when they’re undercover or if there are few branches that can use as an escape route. So we “planted” the spike under our River Bush Willow. To make sure that the spike doesn’t rot we wrapped the bottom bit in black plastic first before planting it.
And finally, we glued and screwed the spike to the underside of the base between the frame.
Getting the bird bath ready
The bath was quite deep so we added some river sand. The river sand acts as a natural filter and birds seem to prefer a bath that mimics shallow puddles.
Place the feet of the bath inside the holes in the platform so it doesn’t tip over.
The bird bath works really well in the garden and the little birds seem to love it.
I planted some thyme, salvia and lemongrass under the bird bath. Our cats can’t stand the smell so it helps keep them away when our feathered friends are having a bath 😉
I would love to know what you think.
Have you used any interesting containers to make a bird bath?
If you like the idea of making a bird bath for your garden, don’t forget to pin it for later.
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Until next time, hope you have a beautiful, creative week