We love to make milk carton bird houses. We usually paint them, but i wanted something different to do with them. When i was a kid i remember making patchwork flower pots. We used terracotta pots, coated them in glue and covered them in scraps of fabric. i thought we could use a similar technique for our birdhouse.
All you need for this project is a clean/empty milk/juice carton. Scrap fabric cut into squares or rectangles. i used pinking shears to give them a zig zag edge but you don't have to. You also need Mod Podge and a paint or foam brush. You might also want to have some newspaper or a table cover to protect your work surface.
First thing we did was mark where we wanted our bird house opening. We wanted a bluebird house, so i followed the measurements for a standard blue bird house the best we could. The entrance hole needs to be between 1 1/2" and 1 9/16" across and it should be 6"-10" from the bottom. You can really make your entrance hole and size/place on the carton any where you want if you don't care what type of birds nest in it.
After drawing on where we wanted the hole, i used a pair scissors to puncture the center, and then carefully cut around the hole. Older kids can probably do this step themselves, but if you have younger kids you'll want to do it for them.
Next dip your brush in the mod podge and apply a liberal coat of mod podge to one side of carton. Then arrange your fabric squares on the carton. You will have to continuously add mod podge to get them to stick well, and coat them in mod podge as you are adding the patches. Straigten them out as you go, and get rid of any bubbles under the fabric. Don't worry it will dry clear!! Once they are stuck where you want them, coat the entire side in mod podge again. Do the same thing for all four side. You'll have to stand up the carton to avoid the wet sides from sticking to the newspaper/table.
Continue to add patches. You may have to cut a few curved pieces to fit around the hole or just arrange your patches so that they don't cover the hole. It is fine if your patches overlap.
We overlapped patches along the endges to cover the corners. Continue adding patches and covering in mod podge until the entire carton is covered.
Then apply another liberal coat of mod podge and then let it dry for a few hours.
Once your birdhouse is finished, you can hang it outside by attaching a rope or wire through the top of the carton. You could easily make this a bird feeder instead of a bird house, by making the opening much larger and farther down on the carton. This is a great way to recycle your milk/juice cartons and use up small fabric scraps. It's a super-fun craft to do with kids of all ages (just a little supervision required). Mod podge is non toxic and water soluble, so it is safe and it cleans up easy.