In this instructable I will teach you how to make your very own bird birdhouse! This is a completely beginner project that can be built for fairly cheap. It would be great for a first time woodworker (like me while I was building this project), or even a good project with kids!
Step 1: Gather Materials!
When I first built one of these birdhouses I was a complete beginner at woodworking! As I didn't have any tools to begin with, I had to buy them all, therefore I will be including all tools and there approximate prices in the list of materials!
- Wood, one pine 4 foot 1x10 (about $5)
- Clamps (not mandatory, but useful. I bought a pack of 22 for $6)
- A drill (don't buy a new one, they are expensive. I bought a good cordless drill for $15 dollars at a thrift store)
- A handsaw (take the money you saved on the drill and buy a new saw, you want to make sure it is sharp. I got a good Japanese saw for $30, but you can by a regular saw at a hardware store for $15)
- Paint brushes (check your storage, there are probably a few left over from when someone painted something, if not they are like $1)
- Paint, you will need two colours of your choice, and black and white(again, you probably already have some. If not, you can get some at a dollar store for a few dollars)
- A pencil or pen (most places have them as freebies)
- A ruler (about $1)
- Screws (by good wood screws, about $5)
- A drill bit about the size of your screw for drilling pilot holes ($1)
- A hole saw or any other large hole making drill bit ($10)
- Wood glue (about $5)
- Sand paper (not mandatory, but nice if you don't want splinters. I bought a pack of 120 grit for $2)
If you can't afford to buy all the tools at once, don't worry! It is fine to accumulate over time, or even borrow from a friend or neighbour. Someone you know will probably have the tools you need, they might even have some power tools that they would be willing to teach you how to use! Lots of people really want to keep their craft alive, they would probably be very willing to help if you are interested in woodworking!
Step 2: Measure, Measure, Mark, Mark, Cut
Time to cut our wood! Generally it is good practice to measure and mark up your wood before cutting, in fact, it is recommended to do so twice. I found my 1x10 was actually a 3/4" x 9 1/8", so when I write 9 1/8" of an inch it is because that is how long my side is. You can adjust the measurements to suit your piece of wood.
- Two 9 1/8" by 9 1/8"
- Two 6" x 9 1/8"
- Two 7 1/2" x 9 1/8"
If all goes according to plan, you will have a little strip left over, you can divide it up as shown in the second photo above. These will be the features of your bird. (beak, feet, wings)
Step 3: Clamp the Beak
When you were cutting out your wood, you may have noticed 3 triangles, 1 big one, and 2 small ones. They are the triangles that are not 90 degree triangles. These 3 triangles are the beak. The big one is a finished beak, the other two need to be glued together in the pattern above, and clamped. Once this is dry you can sand it.
Step 4: Drill!
Now you need to drill. I like to use circular saws for this step as they are what I have. I start by roughly marking where I want the hole and eyes to be, once these are marked I start drilling. When drilling the mouth, all you need to do is go all the way through. The eyes are where it gets complicated. To drill the eyes I used two separate hole saws. One should be the size you want the eye to be, and the second one should be the size of the pupil. Then, use both to drill half way through the wood similar to the pictures above. If you do not have a hole saw, that is ok! You can simply paint on the eyes later.
Step 5: Sand, Then Paint!
Now it is time to paint! Start by sanding all your pieces of wood, you don't have to use a huge amount of different grits, I just use 120. We are painting it anyway. I like to paint my pieces of wood first, then assemble, and touch up. I find this works best with the difficult to paint nature of this project. I just put on a very rough coat of paint, and anticipate touching up later. I paint the big rectangle pieces a solid colour (bird body), the beaks and feet orange, and the wings green. Make sure your paint is 100% dry before proceeding!
Step 6: Assemble!
Now it is time to screw it together! Assemble it as shown in the picture above. The 6" pieces are the sides, 9 1/8" pieces are the front and back, and the 7 1/2" pieces are the top and bottom. Be sure to drill the proper sized guide hole so that your wood doesn't crack, I ruined 3 birdhouses by making this mistake. Don't forget the wings! (I made that mistake with this bird house)
Step 7: Touch Up and Finish!
If you liked this instructable please like, and please show me any birdhouses you make in the comments below!