I have been working on this on and off for a LONG time! I had a vision in my mind of what I wanted it to look like, but getting it there has been a process.
First, I picked out my terra cotta pots. Three big ones, one little one, one big dish and one little dish. I washed them to get rid of the dust and glued them together with Liquid Nails. Then they were painted with three coats of black acrylic paint. I did not paint the insides of the dishes.
The flowers and hummingbirds are from napkins I found at Diddams and cut apart. After cutting out the motifs from the napkins, I decoupaged them with mod podge all around the outside of the bird bath. This took quite a bit of time because I wanted something that was not too crowded, but covered just enough to be interesting and not sparse. I did this part over several months – I would work on it continuously and then take a break because I didn’t like it, this went on and on. Finally, I felt good about the design.
While the decoupaging was going on, my kids were weighing in about the dishes that would hold the water for the birds. Some of them wanted me to paint them like the ocean, others wanted me to use mosaic tiles. I had never used mosaic tiles and wanted to give that a try. Doing mosaic is quite an experience. I purchased the tiles and the adhesive and went to work placing each tile. I had a general idea of what I wanted – the kids all helped – and it turned out pretty much like I thought.
There were two more sticking points for me where this project languished. The first was grouting the tiles. I had never done that either. After a couple of months I bit the bullet and bought the grout and just dove right in. Easy peasy, nothing to worry about. I had both dishes grouted in under an hour. Why did I wait so long!! The second sticking point was what to seal it with to protect it from the elements. I chose a satin sealer from Alleen’s that I purchased at Michael’s. This needed three coats to make the item totally water tight. I did the first coat and the bird bath was no longer shiny (I totally hated it!). I did the second coat and it was even worse – now it looked like there was an opaque film over the entire thing – UGH…I was so upset I was actually crying. My husband suggested marine varnish – I thought there was nothing to lose since I hated my project anyway. We came home from OSH and I applied the first coat. What a difference!! It was shiny and the opaque quality now just added to the over all appeal. I needed to do two coats 24 hours apart. After the second coat, I am totally in love with the bird bath again!! It is sitting out in my front courtyard garden, right in the middle and looking at it just makes me happy!
The only drawback to the marine varnish is that it has a slightly yellow tint to it so the grout and the white tiles now look slightly yellow. I can live with that!! Next time I’m going to try to find something for sealant that is shiny and completely clear.