Sunday, May 31, 2015

DIY Sunday: Satellite Dish Bird Bath


I'm very excited to share this project with you. I have come to the conclusion that a few things happen when you turn 30. You start paying closer attention to the wrinkle cream section, you start doing responsible adult things like look at retirement and estate planning, and you like birds.

Not that I had anything against birds before, but prior to turning 30, I thought of birds as weapons of window shield destruction. They still like to dive bomb my car. It's a good thing I have a white car to minimize the appearance of their efforts.

However now that I'm a wise old lady with leisure time on my hands (ha!), I have a new found appreciation for birds. I put out a feeder when we moved into our house and have added two more since. Next item on the "Crazy Bird Lady" DIY kit is a bird bath.

I had looked at purchasing one for a while, but as my motto goes, "Try to do it for free yourself first." Unless it's surgery. Please don't do that yourself first. Even if your husband is a vet and claims he could be a doctor during a Zombie apocalypse. No practicing for end of world events.

As we have discovered over the past couple of months, my new yard is full of all sorts of goodies from a old picnic table, an old bench to old stepping stones. It's also full of old satellite dishes. Three to be exact. Two small ones, and one that was considered high brow in 1983. I have big plans for the big one, but since it was apparently attached to the pole with super human bolts, it's going to have to wait.

So I have an old Satellite dish, an old metal pole stuck in the ground and Pinterest. This means I have two projects from one piece of old junk. I'll share how the old metal pole became another fun project at a later time. Today let's focus on the old satellite dish. You know you all have one, know someone who does or have seen one on a curb. They are EVERYWHERE. Why not reuse them instead of tossing them?

Old Satellite Dish Bird Bath


Old Satellite Dish
Spray Paint
Drill & Drill Bits

Optional: Scrap Wood and Water Bottle

Approximate Cost: $3.00


1. Remove Extra Pieces

Old satellites will have a big plastic like receiver. (Top of picture below) The receiver is attached to the dish with a couple of screws. You can easily remove the receiver with your drill or a screw driver. You may also need a wrench if your dish has bolts rather than screws. Clean the dish with some water and soap. Birds prefer a bath that slowly slopes and is shallow. Satellite dishes are perfect for that.

2. Paint

Using spray paint that is rated for outdoor use, paint the dish. If you haven't spray painted before, you want to start on the bottom/back first and work your way to the front (the most visible portion). You also want to make sure you keep your distance as you're painting and make broad strokes. Since the surface is going to be subject to standing water, you may want to do a coat of polyurethane after the color dries. I was impatient, so I didn't do a coat. If I have a problem with flaking paint, I will add the extra step the next time I paint. Bird like their bathes to be rough on the bottom as well. My dish was pretty rough from being in the elements so I didn't need to add any texture to the bottom.

3. Attach to Tree

I personally attached my dish to a tree that birds frequent. You could also use a pole in the ground and attach the dish that way. I drilled two holes in the "handle" and screwed the dish to the tree. Screwing into a tree is tricky business. It's not going to kill a tree, but you don't want to go crazy. You are subjecting your tree to a "wound" that could let in insects.

Initially my bird bath wasn't completely level as you can see. I unscrewed one of the screws, re positioned and now it's level. 

4. Optional: Attach Water Bottle

An optional step is to hang or attach a water bottle to the bath. The water bottle has a small pin size hole in the lid. I'm told the drops in the bath will attract birds to the bath. The drop also keeps the water from being perfectly stagnant and hopefully deters some mosquito growth. I will be cleaning the bath weekly to insure I don't have extra bug growth. I don't need more bugs in the yard! I personally started by hanging it from a branch...which promptly broke. I then used some scrapbook to create a perch for the bottle right on the dish.

My first attempted right before the branch broke. I decided to try something different and it worked out great. 

Hope you enjoy my bird bath! It's such a easy cheap project and keeps some more junk from the landfill!




1 comment

  1. The bird bath is so cool! I have a satellite dish and we've been in 90 degree weather in Maine, for days and the birds would love to have a little swim. Thank you so much for posting this.


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