Introduction: Popsicle Stick Birdhouse

About: I enjoy designing models in CAD and 3D printing them. I also love photography and graphic design, which I utilize in my Instructables.

This popsicle stick birdhouse is great for those of us who can't afford to be managing our pets 24-7. Simply string it up in your backyard and put some seeds inside, and you will be surprised by the number of birds that flock to your backyard. Whether you are simply trying to make a home for your bird or are trying to attract more, this birdhouse is simple and easy for anyone to make.

There are a variety of Instructables and articles on the Internet explaining how to make a birdhouse. However, my motivation for this Instructable was to create a birdhouse that anyone can make. I wanted this project to be a stepping stone for those first starting the DIY movement. Instead of beginners having to learn the ropes of using drilling, sanding, cutting, etc for the first time, I decided to write an Instructable on a project that anyone can make at home.

Step 1: Gather Materials

These are the materials required for this Instructable:

1) Popsicle Sticks - You can pick up a bag of 100 popsicle sticks at your local hobby store. You will need the standard size of popsicle sticks, with a length of 4 1/2 in.

2) Hot Glue - You will also need a hot glue gun and some hot glue sticks. You can use any type of glue, but hot glue is generally pretty cheap and easy to use as opposed to other types.

3) Finger Paints - In order to show how easily you can make this seemingly complex design, I used finger paints instead of acrylics or other expensive paints. I am really happy with the end result, so I think it was a decision well made.

4) Yarn - You will need some kind of string to hold your bird house up. I chose yarn because it goes well with the bird house design.

5) Paper Clip - You will need a single paper clip to hang up your bird house. This isn't completely necessary, as you could always glue the yarn to the top of the house, but if you use a paper clip it is easier to re-string your bird house.

While there are those who have their own workshop in their garage, have expertise in a variety of DIY skills, and can afford to make plenty of trips to their local craft store to pick up materials, most of us simply don't. This birdhouse design was meant to be easy to construct, while still looking amazing once complete.

Step 2: Create the Roof

To make the roof, we are going to use a simple repeating design.

Start off by marking 4 popsicle sticks in the center with a Sharpie. Use these markings to align the sticks into a perfect cross.

Now, glue on 2 sticks with a slight gap in between. Rotate 90 degrees and glue on 2 more sticks with the same amount of gap.

Continue this process for several iterations, increasing the amount of gap and moving back to the start orientation each time.

Eventually, you will have 4 popsicle sticks forming a perfect square, with no more room to expand. Flip your roof over and glue a single popsicle stick to the top to complete the roof.

The goal of this repeating pattern is to create a roof in the shape of an upside down "V" on all 4 sides without having to cut any of the popsicle sticks. By incrementing the gap every two layers, you are widening the "V".

If you want to make a more unique design, try changing the amount of gap you increment by each step. This can create a cool effect and give the roof a better slant aesthetic. I started off my roof with very small gaps and got to the point where each step was an entire popsicle stick width larger than the previous step.

Step 3: Add Walls

Flip the roof back over again so it is upside down. Glue two sticks parallel to each other on either side of the roof. Orient both of them so that the skinny side is facing down and the flat side is facing sideways. Then glue two popsicle sticks in between them so that the flat side is facing down and the skinny side is facing sideways. The end result should look something like two bridges spanning the gap between two opposing cliff faces.

Repeat this at least 3 times, preferably ending with 4-7 iterations. I ended up doing 5 iterations, but you can change this if you want to make a bird cottage or a bird skyscraper. Make sure to leave room for your birds to fit inside.

Along the flat side of the wall (the one with the smaller gaps, not the larger ones) you can glue additional popsicle sticks to obtain a cooler effect. I glued on 5 additional popsicle sticks and had them angle slightly outward like scales. Leave the other 2 walls open, however. This will let you see the birds inside your bird house.

Step 4: Make a Floor

The floor is going to be in the shape of a boat - curving a lot along the sides, and flattening towards the center.

Glue 2 popsicle sticks on their skinny side on top of the last two flat sticks from the previous step. Orient them as far towards the center as possible. Then glue on two more flat sticks on top of these, still trying to orient them towards the center. This should form a single stair step.

Repeat 2 times, for a total of 3 iterations. The end result will look much like a staircase climbing upward. See the pictures for details.

Then, start only gluing sticks on their flat side, reaching towards the center until you can bridge the gap with a single popsicle stick. Glue it on, and your bird house is almost complete!

Step 5: Remove Excess Hot Glue

If you are anything like me, you find it hard to keep hot glue designs "clean". Often there will be strands running to and fro, and big blobs in random places.

No need to worry! Simply pull off all of the strands are scrape off all of the blobs. Don't be worried if this takes some time - you need to do this before you paint because otherwise you won't be able to remove the hot glue without exposing the unpainted portions.

If you want extra strength and durability, apply a thin stream of hot glue in some of the cracks. This can also help cover up some hot glue "mistakes."

Step 6: Paint Your Design

Paint your design using finger paints. Apply more than you think you need, and lightly wipe off any excess with a paper towel. Let the paint dry. Optionally use a fan to speed up the drying process.

If you want to achieve an awesome tie-dye appearance, lightly paint over your initial coat with a darker color paint. Purposely do a "bad" job and don't apply the coat everywhere - instead, let some of the first coat show through.

Try experimenting with various designs. This birdhouse will look good in anything from a single bold color to a colorful rainbow pattern.

Step 7: Hanging Your Birdhouse

Bend the middle of a paperclip upwards to form an upside down "T" shape. Glue the two prongs of the "T" onto the top of the birdhouse. Put some yarn through the hangar, and hang your birdhouse anywhere you want.

Step 8: Finish

You have now completed this project! Have fun trying to attract as many flying friends as you can with your new birdhouse.

Thank you for reading this Instructable, and good luck DIY'ing.

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