A birdbath is a great way to beautify your garden. Store bought birdbaths can be expensive, but all that you really need for a birdbath is a bowl of water that is elevated off the ground. You can build your own for little to no money with household supplies.
Find large level stones.
You will need to be able to stack these stones so that they will provide a sturdy base for your bath. Look for stones that are large and relatively flat.
Take the stones you have found and stack them, one on top of the other. Try to arrange them so that they are level. It will be a bit like a puzzle, as you try to match the jutting edges in some rocks with the gaps in others.
Build the stone pillar at least a few inches off the ground.
Birds sometimes use bowls lying directly on the ground as birdbaths. They prefer, however, for their birdbaths to be at least a few inches off the ground, but it is not absolutely necessary that they be very high up.
Place a trashcan lid on top.
Once the stones are relatively level, place a trashcan lid on top of them. You do need to pile the stones very high. Your priority should be creating a level surface for the lid.
The lid should be deep enough for you to fill it with 1-2 inches (2-5 cm) of water and wide enough that there is enough room for you to put a large stone in the center and still have space for birds to get inside. It is counterproductive to have more than 2 inches of water in a birdbath.
Secure the lid with a large stone.
Place a heavy stone in the center of the trashcan lid to hold it in place on top of the other stones. Be sure the stone is centered or it will throw the lid off balance.
Fill the lid with water.
Once the lid is secure, fill it with water. The birds should show up in no time!
Purchase the necessary materials.
You’ll need three terracotta flower pots and a clay saucer. They should be the following sizes: 12 inch (30.48 cm), 14 inch (35.56 cm), and 16 inch (40.64 cm). In addition, purchase a clay saucer with a diameter of 20 inches (50.8 cm).
Purchase constructional adhesive as well. You will need it to glue the saucer on top of the terracotta pots.
Purchase polyurethane sealer and paint, if you choose to decorate your birdbath. Polyurethane sealer can give your birdbath a nice shine and help protect it from the elements. With paint, you can give your birdbath a beautiful design of your own making.
Sand the pots and saucer.
Use cardboard to sand away rough edges on the outside of the pot. Rub jagged edges until they are smooth.
Apply a coat of polyurethane sealer.
Do this to give the surface a protective shine. Stir the polyurethane and then apply it to a paint brush. Run the brush over the pot to apply a light coat of sealer, with no clumps or dripping sealant. Allow it to dry in the sun and then sand off any imperfections in the coat.
This step Is not absolutely necessary, but will add to the visual appeal and longevity of the bath.
Paint the pots.
You can paint the pots with original designs to make the bath look more appealing. While the pots are stacked, draw a line where the pots meet with a pencil, so you know what will be visible and what won’t. Apply polyurethane sealant afterward to protect your paint job.
Once you draw the line, you will know what isn’t visible and can save yourself the time of painting areas that will be covered up. You can paint the pots different colors or the same. With the lines, you will know where they meet, so you can even paint designs that cross over from one pot to the other.
Find a level, dry spot to place your birdbath.
The bath will hold up longer if it is not placed directly on the dirt. A wooden patio or level piece of stone is ideal.
Stack the pots upside down.
Place the largest pot on the bottom, with the opening on the ground. Place the other pots on top of it, largest to smallest.
Glue the saucer to the pot.
Apply construction adhesive to the area where the saucer would rest on top of the smallest pot. Allow it to dry for 24 hours and then check if is secure.
You do not need to glue the pots together. They should be secure without applying glue. If you don’t glue them together, you can deconstruct and move the birdbath easier.
Fill the saucer with water.
Once the lid is secure, fill it with water to bring the birds over. Consider placing one or two small rocks in the saucer so that the birds have a sense for the depth of the water. This will make them more likely to make use of their new amenity.
Find four sturdy branches.
For this birdbath, you will need four long, straight, and relatively thick branches. Consider taking some off a tree, that way they will be relatively fresh, without any rot.
The branches should be about 2 feet (.6 m) long, so that they are large enough to be staked in the ground and still elevate the bowl a few inches from the ground. The branches should also be at least 2 inches (5 cm) wide to be sturdy enough to support a bowl.
Hammer the branches into the ground.
The branches should be in a square pattern, equidistant from each other. Push them into the ground, approximately a foot, so that they are securely staked into the dirt. You might want to dig up the dirt a little, to help place them underground, and then fill the holes in around the stakes.
To get the distance right, try balancing the bowl on the stakes ahead of time. See how far they need to be from each other to obtain optimal balance. When, you have found a good placement, mark the ground and begin hammering your branches in at that location.
Place a bowl on top of the stakes.
Place the bowl on top of the four stakes. Check to see if it well-balanced between the four branches. Any bowl will work, but it is best to use one that isn’t valuable and won’t break. A wooden bowl is an excellent choice.
Fill the bowl up with water.
It will generally be easier to balance a deep bowl on top of the stakes, but do not fill these bowls up all the way. 1-2 (2-5 cm) inches of water is ideal for a bird bath.