Thrift store junkie, flea market fanatic, junkroom gypsy, call me what you like, I’m one of those. It’s inherited, my brother and mother are ones too. So I’ve surrendered myself and combined this love with others to avoid becoming a hoarder. (That runs in the family too.) I also love to do things myself whenever possible, decorate my gardens, and provide for the wildlife that visits my home. Birdbaths are one wonderful way to scratch all those itches at once. Second hand beautiful or interesting plates or bowls can be glued to candle stands, flower vases, mason jars, cake stands, lamp bases, and even plain old tin cans filled with sand, to make instant birdbaths or butterfly feeders. Mixing and matching the parts is especially fun. Here are a few non-traditional results from my gardens:
And two elegant examples from my Mom’s gardens:
Some are quite small, and some are full size, but all were made from discounted items found at thrift stores or flea markets. I think they are more interesting than the standard issue concrete or plastic birdbath, not to mention a lot less expensive!
There are some precautions that should be taken, of course. Any glue used should be appropriate for the surfaces and outdoor safe. Some materials are temperature or moisture sensitive. Many ceramic and glass items will crack or shatter if frozen. Unfired clay items will turn to mush in wet conditions, and painted items that have not been sealed may peel or fade. Birdbaths with those features should be taken inside and stored for the winter or rainy season. Stands should be substantial enough to support the bowls or plates, thus, the sand used to fill tin cans. Mason jars or lightweight vases can be filled with pretty stones or painted rocks. And, of course, taller birdbaths with fragile components should be stabilized to avoid tipping over and breaking.
I’d love to see pictures of similar items made by readers, and add them to this post. Please comment with your ideas or send me your photos!