How To Make A Birdhouse: Ideas & Tips
Birdhouses are a terrific way to attract delicate, fascinating birds to your yard. Making your own birdhouse is a fun project for families and kids of all ages. (for more information on kid-friendly bird feeders, see How To Make Bird Feeders With Your Kids).
Gourds: Natural Birdhouses
Birds in the wild find their own natural sources for shelter and nesting space. This gourd birdhouse is very much like the homes a bird might find in nature. For this project, you'll need:
- One medium sized gourd
- Carving knife
- Strong string
- Slender twig
- Non-toxic glue.
To make this easy birdhouse:
- Let the gourd dry out.
- Cut two small holes across from each other at the top of the gourd and a two-inch round entrance hole in the fullest part of the gourd. Clean out the insides of the gourd through the entrance hole.
- Drill a few tiny drainage holes at the bottom of the gourd.
- Drill a hole, the right diameter for your twig just under the entrance hole.
- Cut your twig to about two inches in length, and insert it in the small hole for a perch. Glue twig in place.
- Hang the birdhouse from a string tied through the two small holes at the top.
Milk Carton Birdhouses: A Great Project for Young Children
If you have kids, chances are you've got lots of old milk cartons that are just getting tossed in the trash. This birdhouse project for kids puts those cartons to a better use. You'll need:
- A half-gallon paper milk carton.
- Pen or pencil
- ¼ inch dowel
- Non-toxic glue
- Non-toxic paint.
To assemble the birdhouse:
- Open the entire top of the milk carton and wash it out well.
- Close the carton back up and glue it shut.
- Poke two small holes in the top of the milk container and run thin, strong wire through it for hanging.
- About ¾ of the way down from the top of the container, cut out a two-inch wide entrance hole on one of the sides.
- Poke a few drainage holes in the bottom.
- Poke a small hole just under the entrance hole and insert the dowel. Glue into place.
- Decorate with non-toxic paints and hang the birdhouse from a tree.
(For more bird feeder crafts, see Easy Ways To Make A Bird Feeder).
Birdhouses From Other Recycled Materials
Have you lost or damaged one of your kids' boots? The other boot is useless then, isn't it? Not if you make it into a birdhouse! Your entire family will have fun with this project. Here's what you'll need:
- An old, rigid boot
- Two wood squares, 6 ½ inches long and wide by ½ inch thick
- Hanging wire
- Wood screws
- Carving knife
- Wood scrap.
To create the birdhouse:
- Screw the two wood squares together at a right angle. This will form your roof.
- Drill a few drainage holes in the bottom of the boot.
- About five inches from the bottom of the boot, cut an entrance hole with your knife. Be sure the edges are smooth so birds can't get hurt.
- Drill two holes at the top of the boot, opposite one another.
- Drill two corresponding holes in the roof.
- Run wire through the roof and the boot to attach the roof and allow you to hang it. The roof will lift for easy cleaning when necessary.
A Traditional Wooden Birdhouse Project
This beautiful wooden birdhouse project is adapted from the Lowe's website: Click Here and is appropriate for adults and older kids (supervised) with some basic carpentry experience. You'll need the following materials:
- One 2 by 4 foot piece of plywood, ½ inch thick
- One 5/8 inch wooden dowel, cut to six inches
- Three penny nails
- Waterproof, non-toxic glue
- Exterior, non-toxic paint.
On your plywood, measure and draw these shapes:
- One roof panel: 6½ inches x 9¼ inches
- 2nd roof panel: 6 inches x 9¼ inches
- Two attachment rails: 6½ inches by ½ inch
- Two sides: 5 inches by 6½ inches
- One floor: 6½ inches by 6¼ inches
- Two front/back pieces: (House shaped – 5 sided) 6½ inches across the bottom, 5¼ inches up each side of the top, 8 5/8 inches high where it meets the roof, angling to a point in the center.
To assemble the birdhouse:
- Saw out house pieces from the wooden board (adults only.)
- Drill a round hole, about 1½ inches wide on the front panel for the bird entrance.
- Drill a 5/8-inch hole for the dowel perch.
- Glue attachment rails to the lower inside edge of the front and back panels and reinforce with nails.
- Attach the side panels to the front and back panels with glue and nails.
- To put on the roof, first glue and nail on the 6-inch piece, lining it up with the roof peak. Then overlap the first piece with the second at the peak.
- Flip over your birdhouse and screw on the floor. This section shouldn't be glued so the floor can be removed for cleaning each year.
- Sand the birdhouse smooth.
- Insert a dowel in the perch hole and glue into position.
- Paint the birdhouse with non-toxic, exterior paint.
With your homemade birdhouse, you'll spend countless hours enjoying visits from regional birds. If you're lucky, you may even be treated to the debut of some adorable down-winged babies.