Real Lace on a Birdbath and Concrete Garden Decorations!

8 Materials
4 Hours

We combined two great loves … lace and our garden. You can add crochet lace and doilies to most any garden ornament with a strong glue topped with chalk paint and a good sealer. For a longer video on this original craft click here.

Here's a short video on this project, the longer video is at the link above

This sweet birdbath looks made of icing sugar, but it's tough enough to stay outside in the garden most of the year.

Crochet lace and cotton doilies conform well to the curves of this project, and the fabric soaks up everything needed to bond permanently to the concrete.


The plain birdbath before we started this project, along with a basket of crochet lace pieces.

It's intimidating to cut into fabric that can unravel. Here are some tips: 1) look for single crochet links to cut through; 2) do not pull the lace too much after cutting; 3) glue the lace as soon as possible to your project.

Also, remember that round doilies are often made from spirals. Study the design carefully so that you can cut them properly, especially if you want a round edging. Remember that doilies will not be perfectly shaped if they are handcrafted.

Use sidewalk chalk to mark the concrete where you will apply your lace. We used Titebond glue to attach the lace with a one-inch craft brush, blotting excess glue away with a damp cloth. Do not let glue pool in your lace details. Reposition very quickly if necessary because glue like Titebond sets very quickly.

Here's our finished design. We left lots of bare spaces so that our lace would really stand out.

We brushed white chalk paint and worked it into the lace with a toothbrush. This was very slow finish work, so we sped up the process by using one can of Behr Chalk spray paint and when dry, we brushed one coat of Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint in Plaster shade. Any good chalk paint will do!

Lace looks wonderful in white … but we had other ideas!

A little color will make the lace stand out very well.

We shaved artist chalk onto our palette then mixed it with a few drops of Howards Feed N Wax furniture polish. Pour a little oil from the top of the bottle … the beeswax will tend to stay on the bottom out of the way. The oil will help chalk penetrate. Like most furniture oils, this will dry given a few days on a porous surface.

While the oil is fresh, we can brush, wipe, and even finger paint the chalk to create a colorful aged appearance. We will let these colors and oil cure outside (under a tarp) for five days, then spray the surface with ModPodge Clear Matte Sealer. When that's dry, we'll brush on matte concrete sealer to help preserve both the colors and textures even more.

On day two, we noticed that many the colors had settled into the surface and could not be wiped away. Hooray! We test the colors each day for the right time to apply the sealers.

We'll bring the birdbath inside for winter to protect it from ice.

See you soon!

If you enjoyed this project, we hope you'll follow us on HomeTalk. AND, if you 'like' the longer video on YouTube you'll make the little thumb icon turn blue. You don't want to miss our gnome getting his makeover!

Resources for this project:

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Stephie McCarthy
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Leslie Leslie on Aug 19, 2021

    This is lovely, thank you for sharing. I even liked it all white. I have one question about the process. I didn't listen to the video, so not sure if you explained why you didn't paint the bird stand before adding the doilies and then accentuated? Thank you for taking the time to answer.


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2 of 20 comments
  • Patsy47 Patsy47 on Oct 25, 2020

    (giant eyeroll!) first thought was, Grandma is in the garden, then.....this really grew on me! the birdbath itself is great looking, now it's really a headturner! i would do different colors but thats just me...well done ! thanks for the inspiration...😍

  • Sandra L Warren Sandra L Warren on Aug 19, 2021

    Looks so good!! I wasn't sure at first but the after is great!