Introduction: Bug House Build + a Timelapse Video

So, we built a Bughouse for the garden. I'd say a pretty decent way to pass this stay-at-home Covid-19 thing.

Our team of 5 very amateur woodworkers (and mess-makers) completed this project in two days.

Hope you'll enjoy watching the process. Be sure to check out the timelapse video on the whole build.

Please be aware, that this build is also planned as a low maintenance decoration for the garden, thus the colors, wood treatment, etc.


Before attempting to build a bug house/hotel, do read online on bug safety/health. Apparently there are quite a few ways to do more harm than good.

Step 1: Bughouse, Step 1: Tools, Supplies, Materials. Size & Measures

The size & measurements of the build:


  • 145 cm in height (~57 inches)
  • 44 cm in width (~17.3 inches)
  • 24 cm depth (~9.44 inches)
  • Used mainly 8cm Torx screws (6mm shaft thickness) (~3,14 inches, 0.23 inch thick)
  • Weights ~25-30 kg (55-66 lbs)
  • Only painted the wood, not any of the inside "add-ins"


  • Roof length is 52 cm + 56.5 cm (roof overlaps a bit, thus 4.5 cm difference) (~20.47 x 22.24 inches)
  • Roof thickness - 4.5 cm (~1.77 inches)
  • Material - ash wood. This was the only planks I had lying around.
  • Paint color - hazelnut, water-based, for wood treatment, 4 coats

Main structure

  • Material - pine planks, 24 cm wide, 4.5 cm thick (~9.44 x 1.77 inches)
  • Internal structure width (between the sidewalls) - 35 cm (~13.78 inches)
  • Section heights from the bottom - 48 cm, 13 cm, 28 cm, 35 cm, not including the horizontal dividing boards (~18.9, 5.12, 11.02, 13.78 inches)
  • Paint color - golden oak, water-based, for wood treatment, 3 coats
  • Added a regular building block with many holes.
  • Side walls - 105 cm in height (~41.34 inch)


  • Two "feet" stick out ~19 cm each to give out extra stability (~7.48 inches)
  • "Feet" made from 7 cm x 4.5 cm pine stud (~2.75 x 1.77 inches)


  • Screwdriver, electrical
  • Scrollsaw
  • Jigsaw
  • Pen, ruler, angle, spirit level
  • Brach cutter for the twigs


Reagular add-ons from a metalworks facility specialising on metal for fences, gates, etc.

  • 3 sunflowers - yellow & black emalic paint
  • 2 cones - ~15 cm in height. Left unpainted - should get a nice brown rust after a while.

Step 2: Bughouse, Step 2: Building the Structure

  1. Use the actual cinder block for width and depth of side panels and the bottom panel
  2. Cut two equal side panels
  3. Cut 3 "separating shelves" and 1 bottom plank
  4. Pre-drill tiny "guidance" holes before driving in any screws. Otherwise the panel sides/ends will split.
  5. I'd suggest the octagon star-shaped torx screws instead of phillips plus shaped ones. It was a great relief when I found and used them.
  6. Build a necessary size wooden block and drill multiple various size holes.
  7. Narrow slot box is for butterflies. I just made a hole on the top and bottom and then used a jigsaw to do it.
  8. Build a roof from two uneaquallength boards. If you cut equal lengths, on board will look shorter when joining them at 90 degrees angle.
  9. I've attached the roof using metal holders, that are pretty popular & available at the local hardware store, in the screw and fasteners section. Screw from inside & try to keep the roof planks intact for better waterproofing.
  10. Screwed in two loops to attach a string and the hanging docirations on the sides.
  11. Screwed additional water protection on the very top.

Step 3: Bughouse, Step 3: Decoration

1. Drill holes or create attachment points on your decoration (if any), i.e. using welding.

I drilled small holes and used flat-headed screws usually used for sheet metal.

2. Attached hanging cones using a string.

Step 4: Bughouse, Step 4: Painting

Color names - on the first page.

You can choose not to paint the bughouse and make it super natural. Hopefully it'll last 2-5 years untreated.

I'd like mine to stay in use (and as a garden decoration) longer, thus, treated non-bug-critical parts.

Step 5: Bughouse, Step 5: Final Result

Filled in with various twigs, hay.

We'll see how it performs.

I also thought about leaving the top shelf empty & placing a sheltered candle to act a tiny light for the dark.

Woodworking Contest

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest