DIY Project: How To Make Your Own Birdhouse

If you’re looking for a perfect weekend pastime activity for you and your children that will be both functional and engaging, try building a birdhouse for your backyard. Simple, fun and not overly demanding material and knowledge-wise, birdhouse DIY projects offer a way for you and your kids to spend some quality time together and do something good for the local fowl-fare, so it’s no wonder they’re usually the first woodworking effort undertaken by any future handyman or tooling aficionado.

Here, we bring you some straightforward step-by-step instructions to help you make your own safe nesting haven for the feathered friends with minimum invested time, money and effort.

Step 1: Get the materials

To build a basic wooden birdhouse sizing 10-3/4 x 8-1/2 x 7-1/4 inches, you’ll need some regular lumber boards or planks measuring minimum 1 inch x 8 inches x 8 feet, which are typically sold at most home centers. When choosing the wood type, it’s best to go with untreated redwood or cedar as these are weather-resistant and strong enough to withstand numerous bouts of unfavorable elements. Pine will also work well as it cuts easily and smoothly, but it is less durable than cedar and redwood so if you opt for it, make sure you place your birdhouse somewhere where it won’t get heavily rained on or snowed over in fall and winter.

Step 2: The cutting edge

Begin by cutting the front and the back panels (ideally sizing 9 x 7-1/4 inches) for your birdhouse. After you’ve sawed the panels out from your board, make a vertical mark down the center of both pieces (it’s best to make the marks on the interior side so that they won’t show once the birdhouse is complete) and use your miter saw to make 45-degree cuts along the top, going from the centerline towards the outer edges. After that, mark the pieces at 1-1/2 inches from each edge on the bottom of the panels and cut them going from each mark to the point where you previously made the 45-degree cuts to get the true shape of a birdhouse.

Step 3: Remains of the birdhouse

Now cut the remaining pieces you’ll need to assemble your birdhouse. First, cut side panels measuring 5-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches. These pieces should be a little shorter at the top to allow optimal ventilation. Then, go on to cut the roof pieces, one of them measuring 6 x 7-1/4 inches and another sizing 5-1/8 x 7-1/4 inches. Finally, cut the bottom part of your birdhouse (measuring 5-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches) and make a miter cut on the corners at 1/4 inches from each end so as to provide outlets for water that may get in the birdhouse when cleaning the inside of the box.

Step 4: Enter the birdfare

After you’ve cut the essential components for your birdhouse, it’s time to make the entrance. You can do this by making a vertical line on the front panel at 4 inches down from the peak. Now use your drill to make a 1-1/2-inch hole that will serve as the entrance for the birds. Before you begin boring the hole, put a scrap board underneath the front panel to avoid potential splintering and make sure you’ve tightly clamped the pieces to the work surface.

Step 5: Assembly time

It’s finally time to put all your birdhouse components together. To keep your box pieces firmly in place, apply some strong glue to the outer edges of the side panels and insert them between the front and back parts while keeping the outside edges flush. Then, proceed to drill two 3/32-inch pilot holes at every joint and drive in the nails to add some extra strength to your birdhouse. Attach the bottom part of your birdhouse in the same manner, using some water-resistant glue and finishing nails, and assemble the roof (but don’t fix it to the remainder of the box just yet) by placing the longer plank so it overhangs the smaller one. Finally, drill a 1/4-inch hole at about 1 inch below the entrance hole and put in a 3-inch dowel piece with a bead of glue on one end to keep it in place.

Step 6: Colors of the wind

After your birdhouse has been assembled and the glue has dried, it’s time to paint it or stain it after your taste. When painting the birdhouse, make sure you use a water-based exterior color coat and pick a neutral or tan tone so that your project will blend seamlessly with the rest of the garden. You can also use some bright accent tones for the side panels or roof to make the birdhouse more prominent, but natural tones with a transparent finishing coat will also work well. When applying the paint, avoid the top edges of the front and back panels as glue will be applied on these points.

Step 7: Hang in there

After the paint has dried, it’s time to finish the construction work and attach the roof to the rest of the birdhouse with the help of some glue and nails. Now, you can proudly display your project at a convenient spot in your backyard. It’s best to hang it from a loose tree branch or garden hook by screwing in two eye-hooks at the roof peak of the box and suspending it using some chains, rope or wire.

A simple yet effective hardware addition to your backyard, birdhouses are rather easy to make and don’t require all that much work, technical skills or building materials. All you’ll need to complete your project is a longish wooden board, a can of paint, a handful of nails, a pack of glue, some trusty power tools like miter saw, drill and cutter, and just a dash of good will – and off you go!

John Stone

John Stone

John Stone is a business consultant who tries to live life to the fullest. When not working around the house he enjoys watching Formula 1.

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