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Project Ideas: Fun & Games

How to Build a Birdhouse

Hello everyone!


I think one of the most simple and beautiful DIY projects to liven up your yard is to put a birdhouse in it. I recently got to build one, and I thought I would share with you this  fun task. 


When it comes to building a birdhouse for attracting birds, you'll need to ask yourself a few questions before you get started.


  • What kind of bird(s) do you want to attract?
  • How large or how many birds can safely nest in your new birdhouse?
  • Will the area that the birdhouse will be located is safe from predators and easy to for you to view it?
  • Where in the yard would you like to place it?
  • Does the species nesting habits tend to go closer to a body of water, a tree, shrub, etc.


Birdhouses come in all shapes and sizes and functions. Most are pretty simple, and some are made from some rather unusual materials. No matter what you decide to use, after answering the questions above, you'll be ready to start planning on building the birdhouse of your choice. Best of all, building a simple birdhouse is a great project to do for anyone ages 5 thru really can be a great family experience to make one.


Anyone that knows me knows that I love to travel on my off days. Before I get started, I just wanted to show you how varied your birdhouse can be from some recent places I've been to...


 birdhouse types


Even on a modest budget, you can build a very beautiful birdhouse that can be unique. Below is one that I made from an earlier Kids Workshop that is great for lots of birds to call home, which is what we will be making in this post.


finished birdhouse

While this birdhouse kit comes with fasteners and sizes already, you can use different types of wood or materials to

get the look you want. 


I liked the fact that using unfinished wood can give you plenty of creative space to paint or cover the birdhouse to your liking. It's low price and easy manipulation is the ideal choice for this project.


For my birdhouse, I have measured out 8 distinct pieces from 1" thick dimensional southern yellow pine shown below to get you started...

 birdhouse parts list


All pieces can be glued or nailed together, but the best way to ensure it will last is to do both. The bottom piece is screwed into place and not glued, so you can clean out the birdhouse after each nesting. You can use screws for all fastening, but thicker screws can split the wood easier than a finishing nail.


As for making a hole for the entrance, you'll need to center up a 1-5/16" hole on the front piece. For the perch boring out a 3/8" or slightly larger hole will give the perch piece to fit in it. You can bore about halfway through the front piece to give the birds enough room to rest on the perch.


The roof will be at a 60° angle so as to allow rainwater to roll off. This measurement can be altered as you see fit if you'd like to change the basic dimensions. But remember, any changes to one side you most likely will need to change with all or other sides.


If you choose wood as your material, be sure to first sand down all pieces to eliminate any rough edges. A sanding sponge block works great for this.


To get started, start putting nails halfway in the front, back, and roof pieces. Do not nail all the way through: we are just starting the nails into the wood. Finishing nails about 1-1/4" in length I find works great for putting all the pieces together. Nail 3/4" away from the edge of the roof to ensure the pieces have enough overhang to mimic the look of a house roof. Nail about 1/2" away from from the edges for all other pieces to ensure they will fasten directly into the other pieces.


2 Next, stand your side pieces on end. Take your wood glue and squeeze a thin line of glue along the top end of each. Place the back piece over the side pieces, with the corners matching and the ends even with the outside edge of the back piece.

birdhouse step 2


3 Turn this section over and repeat step 2 for the front piece. You should now have front, sides, and back piece completed and standing upright, with the back piece flat on your working surface.


4 Line up your bottom piece with the front, back and side edges. Screw the bottom piece onto the front and back pieces, using a power drill or screwdriver if a pre-drilled hole is there. Remember not to glue the bottom piece.

At this stage, your birdhouse should look something like what is shown below...

 birdhouse step 4


5 Turn the birdhouse on its side. Next center the angled edge of the small roof piece (piece 3) even with the top edge of the birdhouse. Remember by centering the roof pieces up that you are allowing overhang over each side. This piece should also overlaps the front and back pieces. After positioning it, you can now finish nailing the roof piece to the front and back pieces. There should be a small gap under the roof and side pieces for ventilation.

birdhouse step 5

6 Apply a thin line of glue along the top edge of the roof piece. Place the large roof piece over the top edge of the small roof piece. The large roof piece matches the front, back and top edges of the small roof piece. Finish nailing the large roof piece into the front and back pieces.


7 Squeeze a dot of glue onto one end of the perch. Insert this glued end into the small hole on the front piece.


Let the glue dry a few hours, and make sure to inspect any areas before painting. it should look like the image shown below:

unfinished birdhouse


Now, paint or embellish your birdhouse to your liking!


After drying, hang or fasten to your liking and marvel at a job well done!


If anyone has further questions regarding building this birdhouse, or you'd like to post your own creations, please feel free to let us know here on the community!




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Posted 2012-06-04T20:17:15+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL Joseph_HD_ATL

Here is a US Government publication that talks about birding, feeding, houses, etc. Might as well get some use out of our tax dollars and check it out. There is a table included that details dimensions for birdhouses for more than two dozen species of birds.

Posted 2012-06-05T20:46:04+0000  by Paul

 As I am fond of keeping birds, I had also built a bird house in my garden. I have not kept it fully closed but had just covered with fencing.  It gives them separate space. Just amazing.

Posted 2012-06-06T13:00:14+0000  by MarkHenry

the chart for the bird houses was great thanks for the post !

Posted 2013-01-06T01:41:38+0000  by saint
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