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Sunday, July 27, 2014

So You Want to Build a Birdhouse, Need a Little Help???


How was your weekend???  Mine was awesome.  As you will see, I had company and he helped me build a birdhouse.

Check this out!!!

My 6 year old helper!

Let's make a birdhouse you can mount on a fence, wall or tree...

Find some wood.  These are old fence boards.

This birdhouse will be good for smaller birds.  That's what I have all over my neighborhood.  These boards are 5 1/2" wide.

I used 2 different sized boards.  The wider for the
front and back.  The smaller for the sides.

We are going to cut the front and back tops
into a 90* angle or some thing like that. 
As long as it's close... I'm happy.

You can use the yellow tool in the last picture
or use a saw with a way to cut at an angle.

Remember one BIG thing... birds don't care if this is perfect.  They just want a place to live safely.

I took one of each sized fence boards to make this.  I cut both ends of the wide board into points with my table saw.

Then I cut one end 9" long from the point to
the edge.  This will be the front of the
house.  I cut the other one 15" long.

You don't have to make yours that exact measurement.  Any where close is fine.... I PROMISE!  I don't worry about measurements like I should. 

Now I place the thinner board next to the
side walls of the front (shorter) piece.

At this point, you don't have to measure the sides.  Just lay your thinner piece next to the wall of the front piece.  Mark it just a little bit shorter than the length of that wall.  If it is 5" mark your piece at 4 7/8".  It's okay if you miss that by a 1/4"... it won't matter.  DON'T worry!  It just can't be too long.  That will get in your way.

After you cut your sides you should have
some thing that looks like this.  4 parts.

Sorry this is so fuzzy.  Mark 2 or 3 spots on each
side of your pointed pieces. 

We are going to pre-drill the holes.

Usually at this point I figure out where I want the hole for the birds entrance and a hole for the perch.  BUT, I had help.  Enough said.

We placed nails in our pre-drilled holes and went to
add them to the sides.  This is when I remembered to
add the big hole for the birds entrance.  I pulled the
nails out of the front piece and we started again.

OOPS!  Forgot to drill the holes for the opening and the perch ... ready???

Mark your front board about 4" or so from the bottom. 
Close to the middle is good enough.
NOW:  Here's a big secret.  Okay,,, it's just a simple way to drill those big entrance holes.

What you see is a 1 1/4" hole drill bit.
When you drill through your board 
DO NOT go all the way through. 

I adjust the bit so when I lower it as far as it will go, it still can't go all the way through my boards.  This will make it so much easier for you to get that wood hole piece out of your bit.

This is what you should see.

Turn your board over.  Place the bit inside your
larger bit in the hole,,, then turn on your
drill and finish the hole.

When you finish drilling and pull your bit up ... this is what you should see.  The wood you want to remove
hanging out of your bit.  Twist and pull and it's out! 

Your hole may not be perfectly clean.  See the little
ridge.  The birds don't care.  If you do,
a round wood file will take that out.

We want to use an old wood peg from a wool spinning wheel for the perch.  First, measure the piece you need to add to the birdhouse.  I would be lost without this drill gage.  I use it for nearly every piece of art I make.

Put the piece inside the hole.  Now you know
what size hole to drill.

Place that hole an inch or so below the opening.  Now, nail front and back of your house to the sides.

Add a little wood glue to the peg and the hole. 
Add to house. 

You are almost done.  I promise.  We need to add a bottom and roof.

The piece I used for the bottom was in the scrap bucket
ready to be thrown in the recycle bin.  It's close enough.
  I didn't cut it, measure it or anything.  I "had help" so
we nailed this on.  Usually I would use screws on the
bottom to make cleaning it out easier later.

My help loved this license plate, so we bent it over the
edge of the table saw, drilled a couple holes down each
side and screwed it onto the tops of the points of the
front and back pieces.

We added a little bit of metal decoration and
2 nails on the long piece.

My helper nailed his finished piece onto the fence
where I can see it from my kitchen window.
Because we used metal for the roof, we are going to leave this in the shade.  If it was in the sun, it would be WAY to hot for most birds.  One way to fix this so you can use it in the sun... just add wood under the metal.  That will make a nice barrier from the heat. 
He's very happy and proud of his work.


This piece would take me 10 to 15 minutes to make. 
Mostly because of the lack of measuring and the
way I drill out the opening.  Both big time savers.

He did a great job for his first of many to come.

I hope I've given you a few ideas on how to make a birdhouse quick and easy.  If you have any questions,,, YES!  Any questions, drop me a note!  Shell


  1. you make it look so easy! great idea for using up scrap wood - but your helper was the best!

    1. That one is easy. My helper,,, oh my goodness... I think we're going to go into business together. He's awesome! :)

  2. Good job! Nice to have a handy helper.

    I like it a lot.

    1. Thank you! My helper and I had a great time. He's so full of energy. I wish I had just 5% of it!