Not Your Grandmother’s Bird Bath

Last summer, a friend of mine passed on this charming, child-sized table and chairs. They sat in the front garden for a while, available to our neighbor’s daycare kids. Small children don’t do much sitting, as you know, so they didn’t get much action.

child's table and chairs white mosaic

Child-sized mosaic table and chairs

At one point I planned to use the pint-sized furniture to hold potted plants. Eventually that plan morphed out of necessity: The table and one of the chairs is now a bird bath, and a source of water for bees, butterflies and squirrels.

squirrel and bird bath from chair

MacGyvered Bird Bath and Watering Hole

We’ve had a wonderful series of storms passing through all month, but last summer was a different story. When I spotted a squirrel drinking the morning dew off of our garden umbrella, it spurred me into action. I bought a pair of heavy-duty dog food bowls, and filled them with water for all the thirsty critters that pass through our garden.

squirrel closeup on umbrella

California Grey Squirrel looking for a drink

Finding a good spot in the back garden was easy: one of the bowls sits elevated on a gardening bench out of harm’s way.

 squirrel drinking from bowl

Dog food bowl + water = happy squirrel

It was trickier in the front garden, since the planting bed at the curb is only a few inches tall.

Short term, I grabbed the small table, turned it upside down, and rested the bowl between the table legs. It worked perfectly. It was tacky, but effective.

In order to improve the look, I bought a can of Forged Hammered Spray Paint, masked off the butterfly mosaic, then painted the rest. It looks earthier than the original white paint and I really like the hammered effect. It’s also a nice match for the bowl.

DIY bird bath collage steps

Table and chairs, before and after painting, forged hammered spray paint and a large dog food bowl

I put the chair in the center of the planting bed, added the upside-down table to the chair, then wedged the bowl between the chair legs. It’s now accessible, but harder to negotiate if you’re a cat. The table After removing a drowned bee, I added a small ceramic bird so the bees and butterflies have a shallower place to drink.

Do you know the expression, necessity is the mother of invention? It would never have dawned on me to turn this charming furniture into a bird bath, but I’m so glad I did.

bird bath bowl in the rain

Rain-filled bird bath