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June 1, 2016

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Bookish Birdhouse

Alison Morris, of our own Book Club’s video book talk fame, recently wrote a blog post about how to make your own bookish birdhouse. Everyone in the office was enamored with it so we thought for this week’s edition of Wait! This Is the Best Part! we would share it with you.

A Bookish Birdhouse from The Quiet Book.

Back before moving to New York and packing away my birdhouse-making supplies, I promised to share with you my instructions for making what I call “Bookish Birdhouses.” It’s taken a long time, but I’m finally living up to that promise! Earlier this year I unpacked my supplies and hosted a Bookish Birdhouse workshop in our apartment for three friends and colleagues, who agreed to let me photograph them as they tried their hands at this project for the first time. Included with this post are photos (click to view larger) of their efforts and mine — hopefully enough to tempt you to try this project too! I’ve made about 20 Bookish Birdhouses as gifts in past 3 years, and each one has turned out beautifully. If you can cut and paste paper, this is a craft you can do!

The birdhouse on the right featuring art from The Quiet Book, written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Renata Liwska, was a retirement gift for the amazing and wonderful Beth Puffer, lately of Bank Street Bookstore. The other birdhouses and birdhouse-makers featured below are as follows… Betsy Bird (of the New York Public Library and Fuse8) made a birdhouse featuring More written by I. C. Springman and beautifully illustrated by Brian Lies; Heather Scott (my Scholastic Book Clubs colleague and Aunt Feather) made a birdhouse featuring B Is for Brooklyn by Selina Alko; and Lori Ess (who shares an office with me!) made a birdhouse that features Polly Dunbar’s fantastic illustrations for Here’s a Little Poem edited by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters. (The Miss Rumphius birdhouse was another of my own projects.)

Three quick things before we dive in:

First, these birdhouses are intended for decorative purposes only. You can try putting one outside for use by actual birds, but I suspect it won’t last long if you do!

Second, unless you are using books that are no longer under copyright, you are arguably in violation of copyright law by making one of these beauties. (See info about “derivative works” for more info.) It’s a gray area of the law, but suffice it to say that you could well into hot water for making these and trying to sell them. GIFTS! They make great GIFTS!

Third, you should NOT be intimidated by the length of these instructions! It’s not hard to make one of these beauties (even a 6th grader can do it), but some steps are trickier than others, and I hope to save you from potential frustration by giving you my insider tips.

For the full story and how to make it, click here!

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May 4, 2012