Introduction: Songbird Bungalow (from Kit)

About: We help you live a more energy efficient, eco-friendly, sustainable and green lifestyle. In our spare time, it's not unusual to find us turning stuff into something more useful or fixing broken stuff.

Be sure to read all instructions before you begin your project.

These instructions are for building the Songbird Bungalow Kit. If you would like to build from scratch, you can find free instructions at

The Songbird Bungalow kit can be purchased at Bishop’s Green Home.


Tools Required (not included in kit)

Paintbrush (unless you choose to use spray paint

Hammer or mallet

Phillips Screwdriver

Electric drill (or small nail or punch)

1/16” drill bit

Materials Included in the Kit

1 each 4” x 4” x ½” front wall

1 each 4” x 4” x ½” real wall

1 each 7-1/2” x 3/8” hanger (wood dowelling)

1 each 8-1/2” x 3/8” perch (wood dowelling)

2 each 3/8” (length) self-tapping screws

1 sheet Sandpaper (180 to 220 grit)

Materials Not Included in Kit

Tin can (Just about any 15 to 20-ounce can will do), but no larger than 3” D x 5” L and no smaller than 2-3/4” D x 4-1/4” L)

Paint - Polyurethane is recommended

Step 1: Step 1 - Clean Your Tin Can

Clean and dry your tin can thoroughly.

While I recommend using polyurethane based paint, you could use acrylics and others as well. Just keep in mind that acrylics and water based paints may not hold up over time and exposure to sun and rain. This may be overcome by using a polyurethane or other type of sealer. Read you labels closely.

Note: Having trouble removing glue residue from your tin can?


Try soaking it in scalding water. Let is soak for a minute, then remove with tongs. Using gloves, firmly rub the glue with a rag. It should come off with a little effort.

Better yet, use a heat gun or hand-held blow drier to melt the glue and then wipe with a dry rag.

Step 2: Step 2 - Paint Your Tin Can and Both Walls (Optional)

You may want to paint both walls and your tin can now. However, you could skip this step and paint the entire birdhouse after it’s built. Be aware, painting the walls now will allow all the wood’s surface to be sealed and likely give the birdhouse a longer life.

If you paint the walls now, be sure to place a tack or small nail on the orientation marks visible on side of each wall.

Don’t paint the hanger or the perch, because the paint will make them difficult to install in the 3/8” holes.

Step 3: Step 3 - Secure Your Tin Can to the Rear Wall

Take your tin can and turn it upside down, so that the opening is face down. Drill two 1/16” holes about 2” apart. These holes will be used to screw the can to the rear wall.

Note: You could use a small nail and hammer to punch holes instead of using a drill.

Next, place the can, closed end down, on the rear wall.

Line up the tin can so that the outside edge is close but doesn’t cover the 3/8” hole.

Notice that I’ve placed the can on the side furthest from the door. This is done to allow your bird tenant to build-up more nest material below the entrance.

Using the two holes you just drilled, secure the can to the rear wall using the two 3/8” long screws.

Step 4: Step 4 - Insert the Dowelling for the Hanger and Perch

Insert the 8-1/2” long dowel into the 3/8” hole closest to the can and the 7-1/2” dowel in the opposite hole. Lightly tap each dowel to seat it completely.

Step 5: Step 5 - Install the Front Wall

Line up the front wall and insert onto the 8-1/2” dowel (Perch). Gently tap the wall until it contacts the 7-1/2” (Hanger) dowel. Line up the hanger with the empty 3/8” hole and tap into place.

Step 6: Step 6 - Align the Hanger and Perch

Place the birdhouse on a block of wood or the edge of a sturdy surface, so that the end of the 7-1/2” dowel hangs over. Gently tap the dowel, so that it extends equally from the front and rear walls.

The perch can remain flush with the outside of the rear wall.

Step 7: Step 7 - Finish and Decorate

You can finish your Songbird Bungalow any way you like.

Here are a few ideas:

1. To prevent water from accumulating in the tin can, turn the Bungalow upside-down and drill two 1/16" to 1/4" holes at opposite ends on the bottom of the can.

2. Add an awning over the entrance. This will help keep water out and also add a bit of unique detail. The example above was created from the lid of an empty peanut butter container. Plastic lids are easy to shape and come in a variety of colors. Best of all, it's another way to up-cycle.