DIY Mason Bee Houses

Mason Bees are a good substitute for honey bees, they will enjoy pollinating your fruits and vegetables. Since they do not have honey and a queen to guard they are not aggressive and you won’t even know they are around. We have been inviting Mason Bees to set up their nests around our house for several years. In past years we have had old soup cans full of straws for them to nest in, but this year we have made new houses and we hope they will enjoy them.

This is an easy DIY project.

Mason Bee House

Mason Bee House

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Nieghbors Trash = My Treasure

It is hard to believe what people throw away. And its fun repurposing their trash. This is the story of what I did with my most recent find.

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Here it is fresh out of the garbage.

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Here is what I added to it:

Thin branches (I found last fall and brought in just incase I needed them), twine, hot glue gun and moss, just not what is pictured, I will use the real moss I found on our walk in the woods (Pictured in Thru-the-woods-with-the-dogs) The first thing I did was clean some of the dirt off the frame, I did leave some of the dirt on the mirror part because this is going to be hung outside and that way the sun won’t reflect off of it too much and it makes it look older. (there was a $39.99 price tag on it)

Then I took and broke the branches into the right lengths to fit the mirror shelf. (I like breaking them for the rough look) Hot Glue one of the long pieces across the front of the shelf. Next, take one of the short pieces and hot glue it to the each of the top sides of the shelf and the side of the mirror. (pictured below)

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Glue a long one across the front , then the sides again. I kept repeating this process until I got the depth and look I wanted. I went 5 high. Then I cut the twine into about 4 foot lengths and weaved it from the bottom up through the twigs going in and out, then over the top to the other side and weaved my way back down and then repeated this on all 4 corners.

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Now I haven’t been able to get the moss due to the constant rain and ice we have so you will have to stay tuned for the finished picture in an up coming blog. But here it is, so far.

DSCF0031Happy Repurposing!!

Whimsical Birdhouse

Whimsical Gourd Birdhouse

Whimsical Gourd Bird House

Bird house gourds are a lot of fun to decorate and here is how I decorated this one.

Tools: Drill, 2 inch hole drill bit, 3/8 inch drill bit, sandpaper 220 grit, long-handled metal spoon or screwdriver, paint brush, hot glue gun, wood burning tool, dust mask

Supplies: 1 Cleaned and dried large bird house gourd (you should be able to hear the seeds rattling inside), Shellac, disposable gloves, Large pinecones, hot glue, 12″ piece of wire

Birdhouse Gourds

Step 1: Sand the gourd to make the surface smooth

Step 2: Drill the 2″ hole on the lower side you like best, make sure you wear your dust mask, “Safety first”.

Step 3: Clean out the seeds, but don’t throw them away because bird house gourd seeds are an heirloom seed and if planted will come out true year after year. (Happy planting:)

Gourd seeds

Step 4: Shellac the outside of the gourd(let the birds decorate the inside)Then let dry

Step 5: While the shellac is drying cut the scales off the central axis of the pinecones.

Step 6: When the shellac is dry sand the gourd with 220 sandpaper and wipe clean.

Step 7: Drill a hole thru the top of the gourd for the hanger. Place the wire thru the hole and twist ends together. Drill 3 or 4 more holes around the lower part of the roof section (below the roof line)for air holes. The birds will Thank you.

Step 8: Start with the bottom row of shingles and go all the way around, then start the next row by of setting them from the first row. Making sure you overlap the last row.

Pinecone roof

Continue making rows to the top, make sure that the wire hanger is able to be in the upright position.

Step 9: I used a wood burning tool to decorate, don’t forget to wear your dust mask.

Step 10: Apply 1 or 2 more coats of shellac.

Now stand back and admire your work, well done. The birds will love it!!