It all started with a pregnancy and a Pinterest account. See Part 1 here.
We left off with the construction of the birdhouses and now we are moving on to the light installation and finishing.
Construction Completion What is a night light without light? A cool birdhouse hanging serving no purpose. To make this birdhouse functional, the first step is to cut an opening in the front for the light to escape. I used a 2.5-inch hole saw and measured out the location based on the original photo and my keen eye (read: ruler and a lot of pencil markings).
With the location marked out to the best of my ability, it’s time to get this baby cut out. To the drill!
In addition to the hole in the face, I added some holes to the base plate in order to have some light shine downward along the wall (see picture below). For this I used a 0.5-inch drill bit and strategically placed holes into the baseplate angled to the future wall (or back of the birdhouse).
Direct light from a light bulb is too bright to let stream out on it’s own, so the holes had to be covered with something. I procured vellum paper from Michael’s and cut small sheets to cover the holes by gluing them down and then taping the edges.
Tip: the front hole needs to be covered with multiple sheets because the bulb lines up perfectly with the opening and is very bright. Diffusion is key to night lights. Diffusion and low wattages.
Lighting Installation For the lighting I picked up a Westinghouse Make-A-Lamp Kit. The instructions are remarkably easy to follow. I hate electricity (being electrocuted multiple times at a young age will do that to a man), so I approached this project with a lot of testing, trepidation and trembling.
The Apple birdhouse will hang six-feet above an outlet and will need to be controlled from the outside. I added an in-line wheel switch to the cord in order to control the light from the outside of the house. Instructions were simple, but still stressful because I kept fearing electrocution, death and my house smoldering to a stack of sticks. All this for a night light.
The Pear birdhouse will hang over an outlet and can be controlled directly. I was able to integrate the bulb housing switch into the design of the house. I drilled out the inside of a small dowel rod and superglued it over the switch rod on the housing. To my astonishment, it actually works. To turn on the light, pull out. To turn it off, push in. Perfect.
To add warmth to the light, the inside of the birdhouse was painted a mustard yellow.
The Pear Birdhouse painted Tiffany Blue and hanging in it’s future home.
The Apple Birdhouse unpainted (it’s a gift and my friends wants to paint it to match their nursery).
Lessons Learned: Birdhouse aren’t just for the outside anymore!
Making two is really a good idea when embarking on a new project like this (plus it makes great gifts for friends).
Just because you have odd outlets in the middle or upper parts of your walls doesn’t mean they can’t be useful for more things than hanging TVs.
Diffusion is key to night lights. Diffusion and low wattages.
Pregnant women love what they love, you just need to deal with it.