Catalog Hack: Uncommon Goods Cookbook Bird House

Woohoo!  It’s time again for the Pinterest Challenge.  I swear, when Sherry and Katie first imagined up this link party, I almost started blogging.  But then I didn’t.  I did, however, enjoy following along…kind of like the shy girl who isn’t quite ready to join in the reindeer games.  Now I’m ready to show off my bright and shiny nose first catalog hack project.

A few months ago, I pinned this Julila Child cookbook bird house after seeing it in the Uncommon Goods catalog.  I love the concept.  Books in any form are my thing, but I am especially digging upcycled book projects like these:

Inspired, I made a quick run to the craft store to buy bright, shiny new supplies.

57/365 prepping for another blog DIY #365project

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This is my first time using the Mod Podge Outdoor.  I’m hoping that using it will give me the option to display this birdhouse outdoors (probably in a somewhat protected area).  I’m not saying I will; a girl just likes to have options.  I next headed to the thrift store to find a vintage cookbook that caught my fancy.  I’m not sure it gets any more perfect than The American Girl Cookbook, circa 1966.  Well, maybe a vintage Julia Child cookbook, but my Goodwill store didn’t have that in stock.

reason #14 that I don't regret repurposing this cookbook

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Usually I wouldn’t be able to tear apart a cookbook for a project like this.  Instead, I would curl up and read it like a good book (once or twice) while admiring the lovely illustrations.  Then I would add it to my hoard.  Maybe I would give a recipe or two a try…maybe not.  This cookbook, however, was just plain grody.  They don’t photograph well, but there are actually dried-up bug guts stuck to the broken binding in the shot above.  Ewww!  No curling up with this one.  Well, except for the dead bugs.  I couldn’t resist paging through the book and admiring some of the more ‘creative’ recipes, but afterward I felt like Lady Macbeth.  I couldn’t get my hands, or the cookbook, clean enough.

The bird house that I purchased came with a perch already installed.  Gently rocking it back and forth, I was able to break the glue without damaging the wood.  With more twisting, rocking, and pushing, I was able to remove the perch.  My spoon was slightly larger than the hole left with the perch removed, so I used a drill to make it a little larger.

egg recipes for a bird house

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If you haven’t noticed yet, my sense of humor is more than a little quirky.  So it will come as no surprise that I picked out all the fun egg recipes from the cookbook to paper my bird house.  Ha!  Get it?

With my pages selected, I measured the front and the side panels.  The pages were a little narrower than the pre-made bird house walls, so I centered the pages on each side.  I cut the pages according to my measurements.  To make the holes for the entry and perch on the front of the birdhouse, I used a pencil to poke through the book page, creasing the edges around the holes as I went.  I then removed the page, laid it face-down, and trimmed the bent edges with scissors.  I had to whip out the cuticle scissors for the finer detail cutting.  Always resourceful, I am.

let the mod podging commence

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Please forgive my Yoda impression.  I next covered the sides of the bird house and the backs of the cookbook pages with mod podge.  I placed the pages back onto my prepared bird house walls and used a small brayer to smooth them and remove any air bubbles.  For tighter areas, I used a small plastic putty knife.

I let the mod podge dry for 15 minutes.  I am bad at this waiting part, but I was fortunate to have a dilemma to solve in the interim.  Remember that my cookbook pages were narrower than the bird house walls.  What could I do with those bare corners?  Suddenly, I remembered that I had some leftover wooden ‘fork’ party picks.  Why couldn’t I use these as a sort of gingerbread detail on my cookbook bird house?  The perch was going to be a spoon after all.  What goes better with spoons than forks?

With minutes to go in my dry time, I trimmed down eight wood forks to size.  Hmm, but I couldn’t leave them wood-pick-colored.  Black Sharpie to the rescue.  With the newly-black forks in place, other bare wood parts called out for attention.  The solution?  Yellow craft paint.  I think it may be the same color as the Petersik front door.

The mod podge had now dried enough, so that I could add the first top coat.  I covered the pages on all sides with light, even coats.  I let them dry again and repeated this step twice.  Eventually I will also mod podge the book roof of the bird house.  For now, however, it is just resting on top of the bird house.

complete with mixing spoon jacuzzi (mini bird bath)

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I inserted the spoon and called the result my prototype.  I wish the walls were a little taller, so that they were in better proportion to the book roof.  Maybe I will give the bird house some height by adding another wood box to the bottom.  I’m also not crazy about the blank part of the cookbook pages showing on the overhang.  I wonder if I should turn the book around, so that the graphic details of the page headers can be seen?  I think the spoon will also look a little less LARGE, if I add some height.

cookbook bird house

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Now folks, this is how I recommend NOT to complete a project.  I should have done all my painting (and thinking and planning for that matter), before I started waving the mod podge brush around.  But sometimes projects evolve on their own…or at least they do for me.  In these instances, I let go of my fear and consider it an adventure.  Or at least a learning experience.  Do you do this too?

Oh, and share the love by visting Sherry’s, Katie’s, Megan’s, and Michelle’s challenge posts.

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5 thoughts on “Catalog Hack: Uncommon Goods Cookbook Bird House

  1. Pingback: Take 2: Catalog Hack Cookbook Bird House | annumography

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