Last year, my girlfriend and I moved into our first place together, a nuclear-era bungalow with a beautiful back yard. We wanted to put up some bird houses, but we were both very busy with work and spring was just around the corner. So, I came up with a super simple birdhouse pattern to make sure we got some homes up in time for our feathered friends, and although it's basic, it gets the job done.
All the birdhouses we put up last year got used, and they are still in good condition after the winter, so I decided to share this pattern for anyone looking for an easy and cheap way to make a birdhouse. I definitely think that sometimes simpler is better, especially if it's the difference between making a project happen or continuing to put it off.
My dad's a carpenter, so I'm certainly aware of the many corners I cut from a professional woodworking perspective. None the less, this is a project you can do with very few tools, supplies and previous carpentry experience.
If you're having trouble watching the video, here's a direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0werPvrrPI
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Start off by gathering together the tools and materials you're going to need for this project. In addition to a clean working environment and nescessary safety equipment, you'll need:
- A wooden board (I'm using spruce) 3/4" thick, 5-1/2" wide and at least 48" long.
- Nails. I'm using 1-1/2" framing nails
- Screws. I'm using 1-1/2" wood screws
- Tape measure
- Sharpie or pencil
- Handsaw or similar way to cut wood
- Small drill bit (for drilling pilot holes for the screws)
- Hole saw (1-1/2" or smaller - anything larger will attract aggressive bird species.)
Step 2: Cutting the Board
Okay, if any of this doesn't make sense please refer to the video in the introduction of this intractable! This project is much easier to describe with videos than photos.
You're going to mark and cut the board according to the diagrams in photos 1 and 2. Measure from one end of the wooden board and mark the intervals annotated in the first image.
Once your board is marked according to the first diagram, line up the marks to make it look like the second diagram. I use the back of my handsaw as a straight edge, but you can use anything that is flat and straight.
Before you cut these lines, I also suggest you write the name of the part of the birdhouse on each section so you don't get them mixed up. Starting from the base of the board, the sections are: bottom, back, top, front, side, side, scrap. If you're not going to be painting the birdhouse, I would suggest using pencil for this step so you can erase the writing afterwards.
Now, cut the board into sections!
Step 3: Make the Front
We're going to do some more work on the front of the board house. To start off, we need to reduce the width from the stock width of 5-1/2" to 4".
Start by making two marks at 4" along both sides of the piece, then line them up with your straight edge and cut.
Finally, cut a hole with your hole saw in the centre of the board and about 2/3 the way up from the bottom of the board.
Step 4: Nailing the Pieces Together
Now comes the fun part - putting it all together.
Start off by nailing the sides onto the base. The square cut on the sides should be right against the base piece and the diagonal cuts should be facing the same way. I also suggest you start a couple nails in the base, then sink them into the side piece. Again, refer to the video to see how I do this.
Once the sides are on, slide the front wall in and nail it in place.
Finally, nail the back in place.
Step 5: Screwing the Top On
You can by all means nail the top on also, but if you instead take the time to screw it in place you can unscrew it at the end of each nesting season to clean out the inside of the birdhouse for next year's guests.
Start off by drilling 4 pilot holes for your screws. It's important to keep the top from moving around while you drill each hole or they'll be misaligned by the time you get to the 4th one. You can also do the pilot holes and screws one at a time to stop this from happening.
Once the holes are drilled and the screws are in place, you're done!
Step 6: Finishing Touches and Future Steps
To complete the birdhouse, add a hook or screw in the top to hang it and a nail below the hole for birds to sit on.
That's it! Thanks for watching and please check out my other instructables for more easy projects.