Introduction: Plastic Bottle Birdhouse

Picture of Plastic Bottle Birdhouse

Isn't that the best thing there is? Use your plastic waste for a bird-nursery. After your clothes have been refreshed you step out in nature and you hear the tiny squeaks of little birds housing in your former detergent bottle.

It is easy to make. No special skills needed. And very basic tools.
Still the result looks streamlined like proper designer stuff.

Photo's shown throughout this instructable show a big and a smaller birdhouse, both made in similar ways with minor differences.
The blue rimmed one ismy first built and it is the bigger one. Most instructable steps show the second built one.
It depends op the type of bottles you can find, how the end result will look at the end

Step 1: You Will Need:

Picture of You Will Need:

simple tools:
small hacksaw
strong all purpose scissors
revolver rod

Two plastic detergent bottles
The house one preferably with a more or less square bottom
The roof one almond shaped. See pictures

Step 2: Shaping

Picture of Shaping

Draw the shapes on the bottle with a pencil. The photo's will guide you to the right shape. Make first cuts with a small hacksaw and complete the rest with normal scissors. The all purpose scissor will come in handy on thicker parts.
The  first three images show the bottom part of the house. The last three pictures show the roof.
The house: Notice the high facade on the bulky side of the bottle, and a smaller back facade cut out of the handle.
The roof: Ignore the way I removed the handle in two parts. It has no special significance.  

Step 3: Splitting the Roof

Picture of Splitting the Roof

The under and back side of the roof are cut in two. The cuts ends in a small hole mode with the revolver rod. This prevents the cut from tearing any further. The cutting of the bottom requires the all purpose scissors. The two other holes punched on each side are needed tot attach the roof-part  to the house-part.

Step 4: The Entrance

Picture of The Entrance

Cut of the top part of the roof bottle, including the cap. Draw a circle on the cap approximately 2,8  -3,2 mm wide for birds like bluetits or tomtits. Punch a hole and cut out with a jigsaw. Cut a fitting big hole in the facade of the house and attach the cap with the other ring. I put my entrance a bit high, may be you will put it a little lower.

Alternately, like i did in the blue rimmed house you could look for an other bottle cap of the right size. Cut top off and squeeze it in a tight hole so it stays without further ado.

If you want to attach a tie-wrap under the porch, now is the time to do so.
Choose a bigger Tie-wrap witch is sturdy enough to carry small birds, and is no use to predators.

Step 5: Decorating the Inside?

Picture of Decorating the Inside?

I like beds to be made tidy! May be bird specialists would disagree.
I put a pre fabricated nest in. These are for sale in pet stores, but I made this one myself
I made a 2 meter long cord by finger-crochet, coiled it up and sew it together with the same type of rope and a big weaving needle. May be more details in an other instructable.
To secure the nest in the bird house i punched two hole in the bottom of the house end threaded a tie-wrap. A hole in the bottom of the house is a good idea, we don't want to make a birdpool. The overhanging roof will keep the rain out, but you can never be too sure.

Step 6: Back Talk

Picture of Back Talk

To attach the roof to the house you will need two tie-wraps at the back of the house. Punch corresponding holes in the back of the roof and the back of the house.  If you want you could cut out a piece of remaining plastic to create an more easy way to hang the birdhouse on a wall. The fotos tell all.

Step 7: Room for Sale

Picture of Room for Sale

Take your birdhouse outside and hang it on a wall. East side is recommended.
Once a year take it down again. Cut the two tie-warps in the back open. Clean the house and hang it back.
I hope you will get many visitors and a family that wants to settle!


kal98 (author)2017-07-01

Wow! Excellent! and glad to have found your site! Thanks, great family project too!

carolepullkowski (author)2016-05-09

can't wait to try

barbwire8up (author)2013-08-31

SWEET love to recycle

Productionmark (author)2013-07-15

Honestly it looks cool but it's a little bit too complicated... :(

Ruud van Koningsbrugge (author)2013-07-09

Thanks for sharing your experience.

autumn1 (author)2013-07-09

I make bird feeders out of 2-liter bottles. The birds won't really come around unless they are painted. I think it's the reflection.

IamWe (author)2013-07-02

Gefeliciteerd, met je eerste prijs! Dutch Design with recycle material. Well done.

Dank je Berto. Ik ben totaal verrast.
Zal binnenkort de website/ blogs van Safarana een goed bestuderen.
Oh ja ( taalfoutje?) je introductie op instructables zegt dat je een tinkerer bent; moet dat geen thinker zijn?

cepterbi (author)2013-06-28

it looks awesome

HollyMann (author)2013-05-14

This is just what I needed - a great bird house idea so I can move my sweet bird sparrows out of from underneath my window sill/air conditioner!! THANKSSS

wisconsinjimmy (author)2013-05-06

I would devise a vertical piece of wood attached to the opening instead of a perch. A perch will allow trash birds (sparrows) to access the house,

Edgar (author)2013-05-04

Good idea, and a link to it is now on my Gizmo Blog:

Muito obrigado!

How wonderful. I needed half an hour to translate the sentences on your blog that introduce my birdhouse. I am honoured!

There's google translate, you know.

swell (author)2013-05-03

Only thing I would add is a perch outside the entry hole. Maybe a wooden dowel secured with a screw?

darklotus (author)swell2013-05-03

Good idea! A small platform or perch would make it even more appealing to the birds!

darklotus (author)2013-05-03

A great idea, although, like many commenters, I'd be wary of using any bottles that haven't held safe, food grade ingredients.

Where I live (Australia), we have a real problem with feral cats killing off our local smaller birdlife, so this is one of the easier ways (along with planting trees and large bushes that are close canopied and even thorned to discourage the cats) that will help protect my local smaller bird species.

Green Silver (author)2013-05-03

I hope they appreciate the delicate scent of the fabric conditioner that was in the bottle.

The Satinbird is known for love of plastics...Decorates his surroundings with it. It must be the smell! (Or love of soft fabrics?)

chhaya.ipr (author)2013-05-02

Wov !!! Wonderful !! I will make it today only !! Thank you for sharing such wonderful idea !!

AmyCat59 (author)2013-05-02

I wouldn't use any bottles which aren't "food-safe" for this. As Gorozco and SparkMaster say, smell and chemical residue stays in plastic, and if it wasn't something safe to eat, it probably isn't good for the birds (especially tiny chicks!). There are things like gallon juice bottles for orange juice which aren't clear plastic, so the birdies don't have to go without privacy!

As long as you use "residue-free" bottles, though, this is a great idea!

ianmi (author)2013-04-29

Webcam inside

Yes please! And of course you provide the instructable?

Or a 2.4GHz wireless setup, very simple and no dangerous wires!
Quite cheap from places like DX.

gorozco (author)2013-05-02

Maybe use Juice bottles or milk, there is some juice bottles close to this shape don't use bottles that hold soaps detergent or any chemicals that may harm the birds.
Really a nice project for sure going to make some for home.

charliesdeb (author)2013-05-02

luv this.i will try this for my birds.thank you for the idea......=)

sparkleponytx (author)2013-05-02

Love this!! Thanks!

Tronclay (author)2013-05-02

One of the coolest ibles ive seen. The end results really do look like something modern you would buy for some outrageous price at a pet store. MY grandparents love watching the birds, I cant wait to surprise them with a few of these. Thanks for the ible!

Olga (author)2013-05-02

Clever and pretty use of these plastic bottles. I must try. Thank you for your idea and all the explanations.

ellora (author)2013-05-02

Have any birds moved in?

lbrewer42 (author)2013-05-02

This is a GREAT idea instead of the bottle ending up in a landfill

There's an ironic typo (that gave me a chuckle) in the "you will need:" list You accidentally typed "owl" instead of "awl!"

...very fitting seeing as this is a birdhouse :)

Thanks! It's quite a job to find all names of the tools in English. I did't know the awl was spelled with a A. If you see other strange words you are always welcome!

Yes - we in the Colonies have definitely corrupted the original language :^))

dfuller1 (author)2013-05-02

Nice project, thanks. The tool for poking holes is an awl, not an owl.

Thank you! I just learned it from Ibrewer. It sounded so familiar. English is not always that easy for me....

spark master (author)2013-05-02

the smell never leaves the plastic and is unhealthy for the birds as it is composed of chemicals that are endocrine disruptors. It is unhealthy in humans as well.

nice looking units though.

Really? Ouch, that's disappointing. Thanks for the warning!

NickGriffin (author)2013-05-02

I love the design! I have a question, tho. I am currently reusing detergent and softener bottles for plant water (I save the water that runs to get hot water at the tap in them) and even after running them thru the washing machine several times they still smell of the fragrance in the original product. Will this put off the birds? Does anyone have a suggestion to eliminate the residual fragrance? (other than buying fragrance free of course) Thanks for the great design!

You're right Nick, the smell is a problem. Would caustic soda be a good idea?

RobinCanCook (author)2013-05-02

There are large jugs of a similar shape that hold juice and you could use that type if you are concerned about the residue of detergent. I haven't looked to see if any of those are in anything other than clear though.

Edgar (author)2013-05-02

Very Ingenious! :)

joedutt (author)2013-05-02

Love the instructable but I have to make one comment coming from a parent with young teens. My first though o the main pic was Despicable Me minion clone troopers. Yes I am easily amused.

Great job.

Dream Dragon (author)2013-04-30

It looks very stylish.

foobear (author)2013-04-30

This is the coolest!

Dominic Bender (author)2013-04-30

I need to make one of these for the looks alone. At first glance I thought this was something from the Portal games... Thanks for sharing!

I wonder how birds would react to the use of transparent bottles... But I doubt they would appreciate it very much.

blkhawk (author)2013-04-29

Very creative reuse of a plastic container. Great project!

liquidhandwash (author)2013-04-29

very cool Ill be making some of these.

About This Instructable




Bio: Technics/ arts and crafts teacher at a school for mentally disordered young adults.
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