How To: Make a Birdhouse

Easy and inexpensive to make, building a bird house can be a great project for the whole family.

How to Make Birdhouse

Photo: CGardner

The homemade birdhouse is a DIY classic. And with good reason: It’s usually the first woodworking project for many; often how youngsters are introduced to working with tools. It’s a quick, simple project that’s inexpensive to build and easy to maintain, and it has the rewarding benefit of providing a home for the fine feathered friends hanging out in your backyard.

So if you’re thinking birdhouses are kid’s stuff, think again—bust out the saw, pick up some lumber (or make use of scraps you currently have) and dedicate an afternoon to whip up one. Or ten!

Related: 5 Easy Woodworking Projects for Beginners

C Gardner Basic Birdhouse Model How ToMATERIALS AND TOOLS:
One 1″ x 8″ cedar board 8 feet long (you’ll have enough to make at least two)
1″ Forstner bit or hole saw
Waterproof wood glue, such as Titebond III
Bar clamps
1-1/4″ decking or galvanized screws
1/2″ galvanized pipe flange and short screws
1/2″ galvanized pipe
Screwdriver

DIRECTIONS:
1. Begin by choosing a nice dry, straight 1″ × 8″ cedar board at the lumberyard or home center and cut it to the following sizes and multiples:

Sides: Two pieces cut to 4″ x 3-1/2″
Floor: One piece cut to 5″ x 3-1/4″
Right roof: One piece cut to 4-3/4″ x 7″
Left roof: One piece cut to 5-1/2″ x 7″
Front and back: Two pieces cut to 5″ x 8″
Note: You should have seven cut pieces in total

2. Cut the front and the back to create a “traditional” angled-roof house shape. Draw a line down the center and cut at 45° towards the sides to create a five-sided polygon. Then drill a 1″ in the front, about 2/3 of the way from the floor; the exact placement is up to you.

3. Begin assembling by placing the floor on a flat surface, with the rough side facing up. Add the front and back and the sides, with the rough part facing in. Apply glue to all joined surfaces, clamp, and allow to dry.

4. After the glue has cured, screw the pipe flange into the bottom using shorter screws. Attach the roof pieces with a butt joint and screw together at 90°. Center the roof on the house and use screws and pilot holes to attach the roof to the front and back only. This will allow the roof to be easily removed for cleaning.

Welcome your new friends to your yard. If you’re interested in a smaller or bigger house, just scale this design up or down. If you are interested in taking it up a notch, you can find a how-to for the modern bird house design featured in the top photo at Curbly and another at Build by Kids.

For more on birdhouses, visit our slideshow 12 Birdhouses We Love

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