Bird-Shaped DIY Birdhouse

This little DIY birdhouse is simple, sweet and versatile! If you can find a box that matches the approximate size needed, then you’ll be able to make this birdhouse almost before you can say “black-capped chickadee!”

Materials:

  • 5-in.-square box (built, reclaimed or purchased)
  • Lauan for “bird” shape
  • Small finish nails
  • Picture-hanging hardware or wire and 2 screws
  • 1-in. butt hinge
  • Screen door hook and eye
  • Glue
  • Exterior latex primer and paint
  • Shellac or other outdoor varnish
  • Bird template
  • Jigsaw
  • Screw gun or drill
  • 1¼-in. to 1½-in. hole saw
  • Clamps
  • Hammer
  • Fine-grit sandpaper

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Step 1

Cut one 5×5-in. square, two 5×4¾-in. rectangles and two 4¾x4½-in. rectangles out of ¼-in. plywood, clear pine, shelf board, barn board or similar.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are building the box, follow the instructions from step 1. If you already have a box, begin with step 6.

Step 2

Glue one 5×4¾-in. rectangle to one 4¾x4½-in. rectangle. The 4¾-in. dimension is the height of both rectangles. Once joined, they will form an “L” with a short side, and a longer side but both the same height. Clamp until dry. Repeat with the other 2 rectangles.

Step 3

Glue the two L-shaped side sections to the 5-in.-square box bottom. Make sure that the sections come together to form a perfect square. Clamp until dry.

Step 4

Once dry, reinforce the joints with small finish nails or brads.

Step 5

Sand box with fine-grit sandpaper in preparation for painting.

Step 6

Print out the template and cut out the bird shape.

Step 7

Trace bird onto lauan; cut out with the jigsaw.

Step 8

Using a hole saw attached to a screw gun or drill, bore a 1¼-in. to 1½-in. hole in the lauan. This is the bird’s entrance, so be sure to place it accordingly.

Step 9

Sand the face and edges smooth in preparation for painting.

Step 10

Prime and paint the outside of the box and bird shape, leaving the inside unpainted.

Step 11

Hinge the bird cutout to the box using a simple 1-in. butt hinge or similar connector.

Step 12

Attach screw-eye with hook to the back of the bird and the other screw-eye to the side of the box so that they meet when the hook closes.

Step 13

Seal the outside of birdhouse with several coats of shellac.

Step 14

Attach picture-hanging hardware to the back of the box and display in your backyard!
Heidi Hess

Alison Auth
Alison Auth makes crafts with her love of wildlife in mind. She enjoys beckoning birds to her backyard and creating an oasis for butterflies with beautiful plants.