Introduction: Little Wren Birdhouse From a Soda Can.

Picture of Little Wren Birdhouse From a Soda Can.

Here's a sweet little birdhouse design that doesn't require a lot of time, tools or materials.

The "house" is an empty soda can, making it the perfect size for tiny wrens that enjoy close quarters. The pop top makes a great natural perch and larger birds or predators can't get through the 1 inch "doorway" to pester the tiny tweeters. 

Using a spray adhesive, bark and natural moss are glued to the entire surface of the can to provide insulation and camouflage.  

The finished wren house is finally attached to a tree limb using ZIP TIES.

No lumber or nails were used, making this finished birdhouse eco and tree friendly.

This project is FUN and easy-peasy!  Let's get started!

Step 1: What You'll Need:

Picture of What You'll Need:
  1. An empty aluminum can
  2. A Dremel with a small bit (or a drill)
  3. Spray adhesive
  4. Gathered bark and moss
  5. Zip ties
  6. A saw to trim bark (optional) 

Step 2: Can Prep

Picture of Can Prep

The can needs to be clean so it won't attract ants, wasps or other sweet-seeking bugs. Rinse it out thoroughly in hot water

Mark the holes where you need to drill, making sure the doorway and perch are in the right position. 

Using a dremel, drill the holes on both sides of the can where you marked them. Aluminum is soft, but it's also tough and can get a little squirrely.  Control the drill pressure because once the metal gives to the bit, it really GIVES. Be careful and don't let the bit get away from you.

Now push each zip tie through the holes and connect the loose ends temporarily with a piece of tape. This way you won't accidentally cover the holes when you camoflauge the can.

Drill a couple more holes on the bottom for drainage. I hear baby birds are messy and they won't wear diapers.

Step 3: Use Spray Adhesive and Add Camouflage Material:

Picture of Use Spray Adhesive and Add Camouflage Material:

Spray adhesive is TOUGH.  Used the right way, it'll hold almost anything together. Read the directions on the can before using it.

You might want to use a stick, as pictured, so you don't get the adhesive all over your fingers.

For the best adhesion, spray BOTH surfaces of what you want to glue together. Wait  30- 60 seconds, then press the surfaces together.

In this case, spray the can and spray the bark.  Wait 1 minute and press the bark onto the can. 

Wait another 5-10 minutes for the glue to bond before adding the next piece of bark. Continued until the can is totally covered with bark. Add sprigs of moss and and a few fir twigs or whatever is handy for you. 

I used dry bark and natural moss gathered from my property, but any natural, slow-to-decompose material will work to camouflage the soda can.

Step 4: Choosing the Right Tree and the Right Limb.

Picture of Choosing the Right Tree and the Right Limb.

I chose a pine that was about 25' tall.

I wanted the birdhouse to be fastened to a limb at least 8' above the ground, so out came the ladder. 

The wind on my mountain usually blows from the North, so I chose a limb that ran North to South.  

As it turned out, the diameter of that limb was too big for one 7" zip tie, so I connected 2 zip ties together, head to tail.  Problem solved.

Step 5: Home, Sweet (little Wren) Home!

Picture of Home, Sweet (little Wren) Home!

The little wren birdhouse is now in place, ready and waiting for a lucky wren husband and wife to move in and start a family. 

No lumber or nails were used, making this finished birdhouse eco and tree friendly. 


divadame58 (author)2013-12-29

How creative !!! I made this when it first appeared Mine is with 2 cans no glue. I wired the cans together and all the moss and twigs also. I put it in a low growing shrub. If no bird ever uses it . I won't complain because it is so neat tucked in the branches.Thank you for the clever ideab

JKPieGuy (author)2012-11-04

OK, there are two things that worry me about this project,

1st: are the chemicals used safe for birds since birds have a lower tolerance to

2nd: Did you made sure to smooth the opening of the can because the birds can
get cut when they enter and exit the can.

FrozenIce (author)2012-04-29

what kind of bird would fit?

Natasha Dee (author)2012-03-20

Anyone move in?

Melt223 (author)2011-12-26

Maybe I'm overthinking...but I wonder if a strip of burlap inside might not give the little ones a little better purchase against the slick aluminum for when they decide to stick their necks outside. Or do you level the house when you mount it?

SIRJAMES09 (author)2011-11-09

Bajablue, that's because nature makes sense... :)

Cloudifornia, TY for sharing! very Cool!!!

sunshiine (author)2011-07-30

I am making one of these for my sister! I love this.

bajablue (author)sunshiine2011-07-30

They are SO cute. Your sis will love one... and the decorating possibilities are endless!

(He didn't say, but he actually made 2 of them.)

Yesterday, he brought home a couple JUMBO cans of beer... but neither of us drink beer. hehehe... I see another version coming soon. ;-)

cloudifornia (author)bajablue2011-07-31


sunshiine (author)bajablue2011-07-30

KKewl! I am anxious to see more! My mom had a bird make a nest on her front screen door! It was awesome!

bajablue (author)sunshiine2011-07-30

That is SO NEAT!!!

I have trouble relating to all of the newfangled electronics.

Nature, however, is easy to understand... lol... most of the time! ;-)

WhyHello (author)bajablue2011-07-30

same here!

cloudifornia (author)sunshiine2011-07-31

Youre so creative sunshine. I'd love to see the finished house. Thanks for commenting!

dimtick (author)2011-07-31

HEY this is really cool. I've thought about using cans before but was always worried about the metal getting hot and hurting the birds. your solution fixs that problem perfectly.
couple quick comments. soda can openings can be sharp so i think you should file around the edges to smooth. I think you may want to pry out the piece on the inside and remove it for the same reason.
the other thing, I think it would be a good idea to mask off the opening before using spray adhesive to protect future inhabitants.

great instructable!!!!!
I'll be building a few of these. think it'll be a fun thing to do with my kids.

cloudifornia (author)dimtick2011-07-31

Thanks for your comments!

I've watched them little wrens squeak around sharp nails and through old tin roof crevices. I don't think the opening will pose any danger to these feathered friends but there's no harm in filing the doorway.

I do agree that it would be best to tape the opening to prevent residual spray adhesive from entering the nest area. Gotta keep the baby tweeters safe.

Great suggestion!

neetz (author)2011-07-29

soo cute! i love birds.

cloudifornia (author)neetz2011-07-31

I love birds, too. Thanks for your comment!

WhyHello (author)2011-07-30

so.. has anyone seen a bird go in one?

cloudifornia (author)WhyHello2011-07-31

The tree is about 40 yards from my house so it's hard to say if the wrens have discovered the little houses yet. Wrens are summer breeders and they might be through nesting this year.

I'll be building a couple more and place them closer to the house so I can spy on them easier.

grannyjones (author)2011-07-29

So very cute!
I almost wish I were a bird.

cloudifornia (author)grannyjones2011-07-29

LOL grannyjones! If I was a bird, I'd live there too! ;-O)

Thanks for your nice comment!

ChrysN (author)2011-07-29

That looks great, it really blends in well the tree.

cloudifornia (author)ChrysN2011-07-29

That's what I was striving for. Thanks!

SHIFT! (author)2011-07-29

Sweet! You should enter this into the Canning contest (or at least the Living Green contest) ;)

cloudifornia (author)SHIFT!2011-07-29

LOL SHIFT, you are IMPOSSIBLE! ;-O) Maybe the Green challenge but NOT the Canning contest!

btw,  have you heard about Randofo's weekly contest?

his week it's zip ties. Next week it'll be chop sticks. Great prizes so check it out! Hope to see you there!!!

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