I had a vision in my head of how I wanted the Nursery wall in the Parade of Homes to look…soft, sweet, something that could remain on the wall as they grew, and something sparkly…for I was designing the space for a baby girl, and they are sugar and spice and everything nice you know…and sparkly!
I knew I was going to use a vintage iron crib (more for show during the Parade, I would suggest a white new crib for the baby) and a dresser that was painted in a soft color. There would be soft carpeting on the floor, and I wanted to do a billowy, flowey, window curtain treatment.
I commissioned my friend who is a wonderful surface painter, Sarah of Sarahharrisdesigns.com to paint a wall mural of a large tree, where the branch would reach out over the crib so I could hang birdhouses in the branches. I also wanted to have smaller birdhouses be part of the window treatment to hold up the curtain rod, which was both a wooden dowel and real branches that I had painted white. So, how did the idea come about using birdhouses for the wall?
I was at a local auction and looking through all the box lots that were going up soon to be auctioned off, when I spied a box with several wooden cuckoo clocks that were all broken, some parts missing, the backs off of some, some with no hands or pendulums etc. I knew right then that these will be my “birdhouses” that will sit in the branches of the wall mural in the Nursery. Now, I want to mention right here, that I would never take a working cuckoo clock that had all it’s parts and deface it in any way, so I’m not telling you to run out and take your Grandfather’s clock off the wall and make it into a birdhouse….I found these parts, and rather than having them end up being in someone’s burn pile or in a landfill, I decided to save these parts and create art….oops, better raise my number up!
I won! Got the box and happily brought them home to where I proceeded to clean them up and start to paint them all a nice white color. The tree I wanted to be a white silhouette, so the “birdhouses” would look like part of the silhouette as well, plus the color balanced with the window treatments too. As I mentioned above, I wanted to bring some “sparkle” into the room, so I went online and looked for some German glitter, ordered it and couldn’t wait for it to arrive. After several coats of paint- I used some latex paint I had on hand-and after they were all good and dry I was ready to apply the glitter. I wanted the houses to be covered in glitter, like a fairyland, so when the light from the windows streamed in, it would make the birdhouses glisten.
I experimented with several types of glue to apply the glitter with. I tried a spray adhesive first, spraying small areas and then sprinkling the glitter on by hand. The adhesive was just ok, it didn’t hold as much of the glitter I was hoping it would, so I switched to plan B which was taking white glue, (Elmers or Dollar Store brand) and I watered the glue down a little bit in a plastic tray and applied with a brush. I also discovered at the Dollar Store a package of salt & pepper glass shakers which I filled up with the glitter and found this was much easier to use than sprinkling with my hands. I kept gluing and sprinkling until I got the coverage I wanted and left them to dry.
I thought to myself, transporting these babies without knocking off all the sparkles was going to be the challenge if I didn’t spray it with something to hold the glitter down. I decided to bring out the spray adhesive again and spray over the whole house thinking that it would at least help with some of the glitter dropping. The adhesive spray worked pretty well, and there was hardly any glitter at the bottom of the box after transporting.
After deciding where in the tree to hang my “birdhouses” over the center of the bed, they were easy to hang with a screw in the wall. I was so happy to be able to repurpose the clocks into birdhouses, although, birdhouses painted and treated the same way would be perfectly fine as well. I just like to challenge myself to see things in a different way and relish in the joy when I see how well my challenge was met! Are you as “cuckoo” for cuckoo clock parts as I am?
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