Vintage teapots are probably one of not many kitchenware that can be found at literally any flea market around the world. After all, which culture doesn’t drink tea at all? They usually come in a broad variety of sizes, shapes, materials, colors, quality, conditions and prices.
From extravagant or whimsical, to simple and austere, there’s usually a teapot for every taste! And, exception made of rarities that can sell for hundreds (or even thousands), vintage teapots are generally pretty affordable. It is not uncommon to find a vintage porcelain teapot or ceramic teapot at the flea market, that sells for as low as a few dollars/pounds/euros.
However, if vintage teapots with floral decor are not your cup of tea (sorry, I could not resist the pun), you should know that they can serve a more practical purpose than just filling the bottom of your kitchen cupboard. Vintage teapots indeed make great bird shelters.
Each year when winter rolls around, most of us can’t help but think of our little feathered friends and their challenges to withstand the harshness of the outdoors during this season. Now, the good news is that there are a few easy and inexpensive tips to help birds escape cold and windy nights. Like for instance turning an old teapot, you have no use of, into a bird’s shelter.
Don’t you think they make wonderful additions to any backyard habitat?
We’ve put together this little DIY Vintage Teapot Bird Shelter with Feeder, which is a great autumn craft for homeschooling families, or a fun weekend activity for folks of all ages. Of course, you can customize your DIY Vintage Teapot Bird Shelter with Feeder by adding or removing some of its features.
When you create your Vintage Teapot Bird Shelter, keep in mind that the diameter of the opening in your bird shelter will determine what kind of avian visitors you get. Our DIY project is ideal for a Sparrow or a Blue Tit.
What You Will Need To Build Your Vintage Teapot Bird Shelter
A vintage teapot with its lid (ideally a lid with a knob on top).
Some wooden planks or boards.
One 8 cm long wooden stick (for the bird perch).
A lead sheet (to build the peak sheltering the entry to the teapot).
Some tools (an electric jigsaw, a drilling machine) and supplies (screws, wood protector, paint)
This is the Vintage Teapot Bird Shelter with Feeder model we drew our inspiration from, for this DIY tutorial
Instructions To Build Your Vintage Teapot Bird Shelter
Step 1: Cutting
Cut a35 x 9 cm wooden board which will serve as the frame to hold the teapot vertically.
Cut a 19 x 9 cm wooden board that will hold the birds’ feeder horizontally (in this case, the teapot’s lid will be used as a feeder dish).
Optional: Cut or sand the corners of both boards, to give them a rounded shape. Since the smaller board must be later fixed to the longer board, keep one of its ends straight (not rounded).
Cut a rounded wooden panel the width of the teapot lid, that will be used to cover the teapot’s opening. Cut a hole at the center of the rounded wooden panel (3 cm to 4 cm wide – check this Birdhouse Hole Size Chart), so the birds can freely get in/out. Finally, drill a hole 1 cm below the opening you made in the rounded panel, to accommodate a perch for the birds.
To build the peak sheltering the entry to the teapot, take the lead sheet and cut a circle of the same diameter as the rounded wooden panel covering the teapot’s opening. Cut the circle in two halves, and curve it a bit so it fits the shape of the rounded wooden panel you just cut.
Step 2: Drilling
Drill a hole, of the same width as the lid knob, at the other end of the 19 x 9 cm board: that way, when inserted into the hole, the lid won’t fall accidentally. Also, an easy to remove lid knob makes the feeder easier to clean. Drill another hole to accommodate the muzzle of the teapot, when the frame will be mounted (see 9. below)
Drill two holes in the 35 x 9 cm board (5 cm from each end of the board), so the frame can be later fixed on a supporting structure like a building, sheltered shed, tree or wall.
Step 3: Treating
Optional: Paint the boards and the rounded wooden panel in the color of your choice. Leave the boards to dry.
Treat the wooden boards with a wood protector like a cream wood stain, which is weather and ultraviolet/UV resistant.
Leave the boards to dry at least overnight (ideally 48 hours).
Step 4: Assembling
Drill the Teapot to the longest board (35 x 9 cm), and make sure it is held in place securely.
Screw the other board (19 x 9 cm) perpendicular to the board holding the teapot. If you haven’t done it yet (see 3.), drill a hole to accommodate the muzzle of the teapot, in the board.
Fix the lead peak you cut in Step 1, to the rounded wooden panel (you can screw or glue it).
Step 5: Final Touch
Furnish the bottom of your birdhouses with some dried grass or dry wood shavings. Don’t use sawdust, however, as it can retain moisture once wet, which does not help the birds keep warm. Here are a few more tips on How to Help Birds in Bad Weather.
Hang the frame to a supporting structure like a building, sheltered shed, tree or wall. Check the Birdhouse Hole Size Chart to determine what the ideal height is, based on your local bird species.
Take a few steps back, and enjoy the result! Pat yourself on the back.
Cast your new feathered friend on BirdsTV (coming soon)
Once again, this tutorial is only meant to provide some guidance based on a particular model of Teapot Bird Shelter. You can of course customize your Vintage Teapot Bird Shelter with Feeder by adding or removing some features.