Make Your Own Bird Bath, It’s Easy!

by Fern on July 6, 2010

in Birds Bees & Butterflies,How To

Post image for Make Your Own Bird Bath, It’s Easy!

A bird bath can be used for a number of things on a balcony. Obviously, it can be a great way to attract and entertain your local bird community. But you could also load it up with tiny tea lights to add light and romance to your balcony. Or if you have plants that prefer a humid climate, you could use the bird bath as a combination humidity tray and plant stand. There are even water plants that you can grow in a bird bath if it is deep enough. I’m sure you guys have even more ideas, right?

Whatever the intended use, a compact bird bath is easy to make, let me show you how…


  • 1 terracotta pot
  • 1 terracotta saucer
  • Ceramic adhesive with built in applicator (no need to buy a caulking gun for one project)
  • Semi-gloss outdoor paint
  • Sponge paint brush


First, apply a generous ring of the ceramic adhesive to the bottom of the pot, like so:

Then, with the saucer turned upside down on your work surface, center the bottom of the pot on the center of the saucer. You can measure it out and mark the spot if that helps, but it’s not super important to be in the exact center of the saucer. “Close enough” is fine. Wiggle or turn the pot once it is in place to ensure that you have good contact between the adhesive, saucer, and pot. Allow to dry for several hours. When you flip it right-side-up, it should look like this:

Spread out newspaper in a well ventilated area. Place your bird bath on top of the newspaper and beging painting. Apply two thin coats of paint to all exterior surfaces, like so:

When you’re done, place it outside, among your plants. If you think bees are likely to also enjoy a drink from your bird bath, place a few stones in the water so that they’ll have a place to land.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

melanie watts July 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

Awesome idea Fern and so easy.


Nancy Bond July 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I’m using a shallow, brass bowl as a bird bath this summer — it was one of those things you’re gifted but never really know what you should use it for. I put some round beach stones in the middle for a perch and the birds have loved it. Last summer, out of sheer pity for the poor birds in hot weather, I put water in a plastic dish left from a TV dinner! Not only did they drink from it, but bathed in it as well. I guess they’re not terribly fussy, though it wasn’t very stylish on the balcony. Your idea is wonderful!


Melanie Hewitt July 6, 2010 at 1:57 pm

This is such a great idea!! I’m inspired! It’s time to go bargain hunting for supplies! Thanks, Fern!


MrBrownThumb July 6, 2010 at 2:05 pm

This is really cute. Did I just type that out loud?


Stephanie July 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I’ve never seen a square terra cotta saucer, but I’m going to try to find one. This would be perfect in my herb garden!


Margaret July 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm

This is a great idea. I could use another birdbath in my garden, and now you’ve given me a great idea for how to make one. Thanks!

P.S. I love lifeonthebalcony.com


Laura July 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Waht a great simple birdbath! I liked your colour choice ;)


Mary C. July 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm

oh wow, it’s so pretty!


Colleen Vanderlinden July 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

I want to make one of these for my little front porch garden. This is ridiculously cute, Fern.


Tauni July 7, 2010 at 8:37 am

So cute. What I am really loving however are the cute stones you have in the bird bath…did you make those as well?


Fern March 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I did! :-) I used small letter stamps and permanent ink to write “Splish Splash” on one of the stones.

Matt July 12, 2010 at 9:17 am

Nice idea! Simple, inexpensive and easy to make. I like it.


Kathy Vilim July 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm

So clever. Looks fun to make. Thanks for thinking of the bee friends too :-)


Melanie March 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

Wow! I have been shopping craigs list searching for a birdbath on the cheap. This is ingenious! Every time I visit your site, I leave with great ideas! Thank you!


Laura March 18, 2011 at 2:27 am

Cool, but… what about mosquitos???
I’m afraid a birth bath would soon become a mosquito-and-other-insects nursery on my hot mediterranean balcony. Any trick to avoid it, without causing harm to birds???


Fern March 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Laura–Just overflow the bird bath when you’re refilling it. You’ll wash any mosquito larva out of the bath. Or dump the water out (into one of your pots) every few days and refill it.

Laura March 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Thanks Fern, I’ll try!


Peggy March 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

I am wondering if the paint might give off toxins for the birds? Any research on saftety?


Fern March 22, 2011 at 11:29 am

Peggy–If you’re concerned about that, I would advise using eco-friendly paint.

Peggy March 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Is eco friendly the same as low or no VOC?
Thanks for answering my question so quickly. I just discovered your website and have spent too much time exploring!

Fern @ Life on the Balcony March 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Sometimes low-VOC paints are also eco-friendly, but not always. VOC refers to the fumes a paint gives off. However, there are other elements in paint that can be bad for the environment if/when the paint breaks down. I have samples from an eco-friendly paint company at home that I keep on meaning to blog about. Let me double check their name and website address and I’ll share it here later today.

MAITHILI April 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

Being an animal-lover, I was hunting for a suitable bird-bath this summer to be kept in my balcony as well on the building terrace. But was disappointed when couldn’t find a simple one! Thanks a lot as now I can make my own one very easily!!


Fern April 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I hope you’ll send me a photo (or share it on the FB page). I’d love to see the bird bath you make! :-)

Jenny April 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I love this idea. Just found your website a few days ago and like Peggy have spent oodles of time perusing through it.
I modified the design a little but stuck with the same coloring – the bright blue is just so beuatiful.
Now I gotta make some of those super cute stones.
Thanks for the great Idea


Terry Earl April 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I have one question about the paint used…..is out door latex paint ok and not harmful to animals….I have a cement birdbath that I want to paint but I was told that latex paint is not good….If this is true then what kind of paint is ok and safe for animals…..
Concerned Gardener,


Rebecca John May 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I was looking for a very unique idea for a birdbath. It needs to be colourful and can be put in a garden. Any ideas?


Fern May 14, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Apparently this post doesn’t meet your needs Rebecca?

Lisa May 27, 2011 at 6:34 am

some folks are asking about the latex paint, it’s safe unless it begins to flake off and then the bird would have to eat it to be harmed. I don’t like painting terra cotta because it’s difficult to cover it all completely to get a good seal (I am not a good painter). If the terra cotta gets wet, it will “push” the paint off. My solution – buy a glazed saucer in a color you like, now no painting is involved! Or leave the terra cotta unpainted, I made one similar to this one years ago for my mother, and the birds still use it. I didn’t paint it though, left it natural…


Vicki June 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I love birdbaths, I had made one from almost the same articles that you used. I didn’t like the thought of the birds maybe eating the peeling paint. So I painted everything except the bowl of the birdbath where the birds would actually drink from, I put a plant or two in there, and even some glass beads for a fish tank. And it looks beautiful, and you don’ really notice the Terra Cotta bowl part, because there are so many other things to look, including the cute birds that inhabit it daily. I just found this website, and am so excited to read all of the articles and see the photos. Thanks . Vicki.


Megan July 14, 2011 at 8:41 am

I made one similar to this one recently. I have two boys, so I decided to make one with their hand prints instead of completely covering it with paint. To try to keep the paint from peeling, I used a spray polyurethane and coated it three times inside and out after putting on the handprints. I used a pre-glazed saucer so that I didn’t have to worry about painting it. So much fun to make this project your own. Also, someone was looking for the stones – you can find all sorts of river stones in the craft section of several chain stores or your local craft store. I replaced the bowl of an old broken bird bath with a clear deep plate and put stones in it to help it stand out a bit more – works great!


prairiecactus July 22, 2011 at 8:48 am

My husband and son had many old hubcabs around and I filled the bottoms with gravel to keep them from blowing away and stood them on various sized terracotta pots, filled them with water and set them all around the yard….it wasn’t long before the birds came to enjoy the water.


Margaret McLeod September 19, 2011 at 7:59 am

I had a few plants that were sitting in a long tray and the birds used to try and have a bath in it. I stumble across your page and was looking at your ideas and saw the bird bath. What a wonderful easy way to make a bird bath. Thankyou so much now the birds have a nice bath and I can sit on my balcony and watch them have fun. I have seen and male and female wren and a willy wagtail so far.


cemal May 9, 2012 at 3:37 am



cemal May 9, 2012 at 3:38 am

hello nerds=


L July 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

What kind of ceramic adhesive did you use and what store can I find it in?


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