Introduction: Vintage Camper Birdhouse
I hope you enjoy these plans of this vintage camper birdhouse I made. I decided to make it after my wife told me that one of her favorite ornaments on the Christmas tree was of a vintage camper. After I surprised her with the birdhouse I was told it was not going on the fence outside like I had planned. But that it was going on a shelf in her office where she could enjoy it instead, lol.
1 x 6 lumber
6 inch wide metal flashing
Step 1: Coming Up With a Design
1. Drawing a design on drafting paper to size which turned out to be 9 1/8 inch by 5 1/8 inch
Step 2: Building Frame for Birdhouse
1. Trace design on 1 x 6 lumber and cut out for birdhouse sides.
2. Locate and drill 1 1/2 opening on one of the sides.
3. Cut three cross pieces for between sides. One for top and two located on each end of bottom. I left a opening on bottom for a clean out. Width of birdhouse after assembling was 5 5/8 inch.
Step 3: Cutting Top From Metal Flashing
1. Cut a strip of metal flashing 5 1/8 inch wide about 20 inches long. Find the exact length by pulling across the wood frame you made.
note: (I found it was easier to cut flashing with old scissors then metal snippers. Doesn’t distort metal as bad)
2. Drill holes about 1 1/8 inches apart on each side of flashing to allow for nailing to frame.
3. Nail flashing to wood frame using brad nails.
4. Use a sealant between wood and flashing as you nail to hide any gaps and to weather proof interior.
Step 4: Making Some of the Accessories on the Lathe
1. First I turned two wheels for the camper. These ended up being 1 5/8 inch wide. I found it easier to paint these as it was spinning on the lathe at low speed. If you don’t have a lathe you can purchase wooden wheels online.
2. Next I turned two cylinders as lp tanks for the front of the camper. These ended up being 3/4 inches wide by 1 3/4 inches tall.
3. For the fender I cut a slit in a 3/4 inch wide piece from 2 inch pvc pipe and heated it until it fit nicely around the tire.
4. Then for the last step on the lathe I combined a piece of red resin with a screw finish washer to make a tail light.
Step 5: Making the Windows and Door Trim Plus the Hitch
1. All the trim pieces were cut from pvc trim I bought that was 1/4 inch thick
2. I cut the door and window trim down to a 1/8 inches. So once placed on the birdhouse it was 1/4 inch wide and 1/8 inch deep. I heated the trim pieces on the front window to bend it to follow the curve on the camper.
3. The trim over the door was made by cutting a angle section off of a 2 inch pvc pipe.
4. The hitch was made by gluing pieces of the 1/4 inch material together. finished hitch ended up being 5 inches long by 4 inches wide.
5. The hitch post was made with a 1/4 inch wood dowel cut 1 3/4 inch long.
6. The post handle was shaped from a piece of tie wire then glued into 1/4 inch dowel.
Step 6: Making the Metal Wings and Bumper
1. Cut a 12 inch strip of metal flashing just over 5/8 inch wide for the following pieces.
2. Out of the strip cut two pieces 3 inches long with a 45 degree on one end and rounded on the other end.
3. Give the metal wing dimension by flipping the piece over and using a straight edge plus a tool. Using the tool press down hard along the straight edge this puts a slight bend in the metal that shows up on the front. Use this same technique on the bumper.
4. Cut the metal bumper 5 1/8 inches long with curved ends.
5. I glued a layer of thin wood on the back of the wings and bumper for support. Wood tongue suppressors worked good for this.
6. Drill holes on each end of bumper to secure it to birdhouse with screws.
Step 7: Time to Paint
1. First thing I did was to spray paint the entire birdhouse with several coats of white.
2. Next I glued the fender on before laying 1/2 inch stripes out on the side. HaHa (Don't Do This) lay the lines out before you glue the fender on.
3. The lines help you determine where to tape off before you spray the red.
4. After several coats of red I go back and layout the black lines with a posca pen.
5. I determine where I want the windows and tape off to spray a blue background in these areas.
6. Next draw your grid lines in the windows with a posca pen.
7. Last step is to spray several coats of a sealer over the entire birdhouse to protect your paint job.
Step 8: Final Step - Assembley
1. Glue wheels on birdhouse.
2. Glue window and door frames on.
3. Secure bumper on back with two screws.
4. Glue tail lights on.
5. Attach hitch on front with two screws.
6. Install cover plate over cleanout opening on bottom.
7. Glue lp tanks on the front of the hitch.
8. Final step is to glue the metal wings on.
Second Prize in the
Anything Goes Contest