How to Turn a Gourd into a Birdhouse

Get into the fall spirit and learn how to turn a gourd into a birdhouse with this handy how-to. A DIY gourd birdhouse is a perfect fall project.

Gourd birdhouseMark Derse/Country Woman

Supplies You’ll Need to Turn a Gourd into a Birdhouse

  • Dried birdhouse gourd
  • Wooden dowel
  • Pumpkin carving tool
  • 220- and 400-grit sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Drill
  • Paint pen
  • Spray Varnish
  • Twine

How to Turn a Gourd into a Birdhouse Directions

  1. Use pumpkin carving tool and cut a circle into belly of gourd. (See note below on suggested hole sizes, depending on the type of bird you are looking to attract.) Sand cut edges with 220-grit sandpaper. Clean out as much of the dried flesh and seeds inside gourd as possible.
  2. Lightly sand outside of gourd with 220-grit sandpaper. Wipe off dust with rag and sand again with 400-grit sandpaper.
  3. Drill horizontally through top of gourd, using a bit the same size as wooden dowel. Trim down dowel to fit through top of gourd with 2 in. on each side outside the gourd.
  4. Draw design onto gourd with pencil, and trace with paint pen.
  5. Spray gourd with varnish to seal. Tie twine around each dowel side, making a loop to hang.

NOTE: Each bird species has its own requirements for habitat, entrance-hole size and cavity dimensions. For instance, house wrens need a 1-in. entrance hole in a 5- to 6-in. diameter gourd and prefer them hung in a shady area close to brush. Purple martins like doorways that measure 2 1/8 in. and the gourds to be hung high in open areas. Chickadees need a 1 1/8-in. hole and like to nest in wooded areas. Bluebirds and tree swallows require a 1½-in. hole and prefer to nest in open areas. For flycatchers, make the hole 1¾ to 2 in. in diameter and hang the gourd in a tree close to a brushy area. Here’s how to identify 8 types of swallows.

Plus: Learn how to make a DIY nesting box for bluebirds.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman