Bird Motel


Introduction: Bird Motel

Birds are always on the move, constantly traveling due to their work. Don't they deserve to stay somewhere nice without tapping into their nest egg? Introducing the Bird Motel. With a pool, free continental breakfast and of course, a place to rest their beaks, they can't possibly go wrong. You too can build their home away from home and join in and become the proprietor of your own regional Bird Motel.


  • One 24"x48"x0.54" sheet of MDF split into qty 3 11.5"x16" and qty 2 11.5"x18" (rip the 24"x48" into two ~12" pieces, divide from there, you should have one 12" piece remaining)
  • Two cans (or more) of paint of your choice
  • A pole to mount the birdhouse.
  • Access to a CNC
  • Paintbrushes
  • Wood glue
  • A bunch of clamps
  • Sticker paper
  • A Polyurethane like sealer (there are lots of alternatives that are animal friendly so I would suggest one of those)
  • Scissors
  • 4x4 post for mounting the birdhouse

Step 1: The Design

First step is to design the motel. I went through a couple of iterations before I decided what I wanted. I read a blog about bird houses and then looked up which birds are in my area. This is designed for the Chickadee. I initially was trying to figure out a pun to make it a Chickadee only Motel but I figured that if another bird liked it, I'd allow it. Also I never check to make sure they're staying with us at the door so the breakfast is truly for the everybird. I designed it in Carbide Create but you could use any kind of file you want. See this link for the files for the Shapeoko 3 XL -

Step 2: Cut Out the Wood

So you'll need 5 total pieces to cut out on the CNC (less if you generate the NC files yourself).

16"x11.5" is required for Birdhouse1.NC, Birdhouse4.NC and Birdhouse5.NC files.

18"x11.5" is required for Birdhouse2.NC and Birdhouse3.NC

All of them only use the Carbide 201 flat cutter.

It took about an hour in total to cut out all of the pieces and sand them a little.

Step 3: Dry Fit and Sand

After everything is cut and initially sanded, dry fit the structure and see if there's anything that you want to change.

Step 4: Initial Glue Up

So the pool is two layers of MDF sandwiched together and the roof is lined so that when it rains the rainwater will be directed to the pool so no one has to remember to refill it! Many clamps are involved at this step.

Step 5: PAINT!

Paint the thing! It's a choose your own paint adventure. I used the Rustoleum Hunter Green and Almond paints and then a light green spray paint I had lying around but really, whatever is your aesthetic will totally work.

Step 6: Bird Motel, Assemble!

Just like the Avengers, it takes work to assemble this Bird Motel. Assemble and glue it all together and you'll have a Bird Motel in no time. Also this is a good opportunity to polyurethane the inside of the bird house because once the roof is glued on, there's no easy way to take it off.

Step 7: Labels


How are people supposed to know that your Bird Motel offers a FREE Continental Breakfast unless you have a sign saying so? Print out the labels (first image) on a sticky paper and carefully cut them out. If you have like a Cricut, this would be really easy but I used a pair of scissors and you can definitely see the precision (lol). Carefully place them on the Bird Motel.

Step 8: Polyurethane Everything

Just everything. Everything on the Bird Motel that is. You want to make sure that everything is sealed and water tight. If you didn't poly before you glued the roof on then that's a little unfortunate. Small brush and carefully paint from the little hole openings OR take off the roof. Either way, it'll be a bit of time.

Step 9: Mount It and Wait for Weary Travelers

This is the last step and the most difficult to pull off because unless you're on Bird Twitter (which is weirdly also called Twitter and not Tweeter or some clever name like that) you'll have to wait for the word of mouth to come about your Bird Motel's opening. They'll come eventually and they'll be shocked by the affordable rates, the fact that it has a breakfast AND a pool! There's no way that they don't try and pay their way into being a long term resident!

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