A Birdhouse With Country Charm
Made from scraps of vinyl siding and wood, this birdhouse is economical and as down-home as it gets.
His clever "bird barn" is sure to add a touch of the country to your backyard, whether it's in the city or along a rural back road.
Harlan Olson of Manitowoc, Wisconsin has given away dozens of these birdhouses. To his surprise, some of the recipients refuse to hang them outdoors.
"They say they're too nice to put outside," Harlan chuckles. "So they keep them inside for decoration."
Harlan designed the barn-style birdhouse in 1997, when a contractor was putting new vinyl siding on his house. "I asked him to leave the scraps behind, figuring I'd think of some use for them," he recalls. "Eventually, I came up with this birdhouse pattern that worked with the leftover siding.
"I made four or five barns from the stuff and gave them to relatives. Later, my nephew tore down a shed and had a bunch of extra siding. I really got busy building!"
Since then, Harlan has built nearly 50 of these barns and was getting ready to make "another 10 or 20" when we spoke to him.
He painted the first houses he made red, but now Harlan's tinkering with different shapes and designs. "The possibilities are endless," he says.
Your possibilities are endless, too. You can paint the birdhouse barn-red, develop your own color scheme or perhaps find some scraps of real weathered barn wood.
However, we recommend using light-colored siding or painting dark siding a light color before assembling. This will help keep the house cooler for the birds inside when the sun is shining.
When you're finished, go ahead and hang the birdhouse outside-no matter how pretty it is! The birds will love its country decor.
Here's What You'll Need...
- One 2-foot 1-inch x 10-inch No. 2 pine board
- 20 inches of double 4-inch vinyl siding
- 1-1/4-inch galvanized deck screws
- 1-1/4-inch wire brads
- 1/4-inch dowel (optional for perch)
- Glue stick
- Two screw eyes and chain for hanging the birdhouse
Download the instructions here.
- Table saw
- Saber saw
- Utility knife
- Hot-melt glue gun (optional)
- Hand saw
- Power drill
- Router (optional)