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close-up of birdhouse ornaments made from dairy cartons on pink Christmas tree

Birdhouse Ornaments (made from Pint-Sized Dairy Cartons)

By Brenda Ponnay

I’ve always had a thing for bird ornaments hung on Christmas trees. Maybe because birds belong in trees and seem the happiest flitting around their branches. I have quite the assortment of bird ornaments but this year I got the idea to create birdhouse ornaments for my collection of birds. They look so cute I thought I’d share my DIY process.

pink Christmas tree with homemade dairy carton birdhouse ornaments

overhead photo of pint-sized dairy cartons and spray paint cans

Supplies needed to make Pint-Sized Carton Birdhouse Ornaments:

  • pint-size cartons (creamer, whipping cream, I’ve got quite a collection from holiday baking)
  • spray paint in white, soft pink, and light seafoam green
  • x-acto knife
  • straws
  • snow glitter
  • battery-operated tea light (optional)
  • tiny faux birds
  • twine
  • acrylic white paint

four photos of pint-sized dairy cartons being spray painted and glitter added

As we learned from painting the tiny milk carton haunted houses, painting the waxed surface of a milk or creamer carton can be challenging. I’ve tried it both ways now: acrylic by hand and spray-paint. I have to say spray paint was better for overall coverage but I still had to break out some white acrylic paint to touch up some bits that flaked off. If you are going to paint your milk cartons by hand I would recommend sanding them a bit first to rough up the surface.

Cartons can be stubborn and might require several coats of paint. If you are spray-painting make sure you paint outside in a well-ventilated area.

After I painted them white, I dusted them lightly with a whisper of pink on some and seafoam green on the others. Of course, you could paint your birdhouse ornament any color you like but I have a pink tree at home that was calling out for a 50s rustic feel so I stayed in the pastel palette. Before the paint completely dried I sprinkled some pink and white glitter on the roofs to simulate snow. I think they look so pretty!

overhead photo of pint-sized milk carton and paint brush on green mat

Now it’s time to cut the tiny birdhouse doors. I did this step after I painted but I think cutting before might be just as good if not better. I used a lid as a template to draw a circle lightly on one side. Then I carefully cut the circle out with an x-acto knife. I enlarged some of the circle doors and changed others to arched doorways just to create some variety.

three close-up photos of cutting into painted creamer carton with xacto knife

Then I cut a small “x” below the circle door and inserted a straw for the birdhouse perch (see picture above). Some of the cartons were the kind you open from the corner so I glued them closed and used a binder clip to hold them while the glue dried (see pictures).

creamer carton with bird ornament

Then I stuck my tiny faux birds on some of the perches (see picture above), in the doorway and even on the roof where birds would be, naturally.

inserting battery operated tea light into creamer carton to make birdhouse ornaments

You can insert a battery-operated tea light through a little flap in the back (see above).

close-up of DIY birdhouse ornament made from creamer carton on pink Christmas tree

They looked so cute hanging on my pink tree! I’m almost tempted to hang some of them outside for the real birds.

close-up photo of homemade birdhouse ornaments made from creamer cartons

Merry Tweetmas!

About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of card...

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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