Paddlewheel Paracord Birdhouse




About: Former technics and arts and crafts teacher at a school for mentally disabled young adults.

Someone gave me a lot of scrap oak wood pieces, remaining from a parquet floor. All about 7 x 13 cm. It took a while to get an idea what to do with this. I thought of this design, and I made several bird houses and bird feeders. Everybody around me wants one. May be you do too. Here are some instructions

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Step 1: Material

You will need:

thirteen hardwood(?) boards about 7x13 cm

Two metall wire circles 20 cm diameter (can be bought ready made or made from some 2,5 mm garden wire)

Two wood discs 20 cm diameter

A small piece of wooden stick (for the bird to sit on)

paracord (or iron wire) to connect all parts

some metal wire scraps

A drill to make holes (including one to make a 30 mm hole)

Step 2: Drill

Drill hole in the corners of all 13 boards. Best use a 6 mm drill. You do not have to be to precise. The threading allows some tolerance without being to obvious.

Step 3: Thread

Thread all 13 boards to the first circle. Paracord is the most decorative material to do this, but I used wire on other birdhouses as well. Pull the string through the first hole. Go round the Iron wire of the circle and point it back through the same hole. *Then pull the tread through the second board, and the second hole of the first board. Again round trhe iron wire of the circle. Repeat the steps from "*" until all boards are attached. End with a knot to connect both ends of the cord. First photo shows the top side. All other photo's show the other side.

At first I tried to prevent the paracord from fringing with some cellotape, but melting the fringes together with a match proved to be the better way.

Step 4: Shape

Pull all boards upward in a barrel shape. Take a second piece of paracord and thread the second wire circle to the boards in the same way as the previous step. Ans like the previous step knot the end together.

Step 5: Front

For the birdhouse I used a 20 cm circle of the same wood. If you prefer you could make it into a bird feeder by adding two moonshapes. For this draw a circle of 20 cm and cut of two pieces slightly smaller than half.

Make markings on the wood circle at each place where the paracord goes round the metal circle. Drill the thirteen holes round the periphery. Drill a big hole for an entrance ( about 30-32 mm) and a hole to attach a little stick for the birds to sit on.

Step 6: Facade Stich

I used sort of a blanket stitch to fasten the front. Start with a piece of cord and point it through one of the holes of the front. Go round the metal wire of the circle and pull up between side and front board. Repeat with all hole in the front making sure the cord crosses over the last stitch each time. End with a knot on the inside.

Step 7: Back

A real die hard would use the paracord on the back side, but I took the easy way out. I drilled three holes and connected the back with three small pieces of wire. Big advantage to this way of attaching is you can easily untwist the wire to clean out the inside when needed.

Step 8: Install

Attach a metal hook to the back of the house. You can connect it with the metal circle inside to make it trustworthy.

Now be still and wait. May be future tenants are in the air nearby.

And if you made it into a feeder, fill it with bread or other bird feed and enjoy.

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    17 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    not water tight or air tight enough for most birds in the NE, the design is unique and interesting, just need to seal it up a bit more maybe with some clear non-toxic RTV/Silicon

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very unique design, I like it a lot! However I suggest removing the perch, as the birds don't need it, and it's an easy in for predators and sparrows (you don't want either).

    1 reply

    Thank you for this comment. You are right, without the perch its safer for the nesting birds, and they have no difficulty whatsoever to enter the birdhouse.
    I knew, it but forgot, and added the perch out of tradition. Thanks for reminding: NO PERCH PLEASE!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice and everything that helps birds these days is good as their numbers are declining everywhere due to chemicals in the environment and climate change. Another big help for the birds would be to leave off the perch. A perch allows predator birds a convenient place to stand while they poke their head inside the birdhouse and eat the eggs or the baby birds. Cavity nesting birds can get in and out perfectly easily without a perch, just as they do in old woodpecker holes in trees. But I encourage people to put up as many birdhouses as possible. I have more than 50 on my small farm.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is very beautiful, but I would like to suggest layering the panels for the bird house like you did for the bottom feeder picture. Instead of going all the way around, have the top cover the side panels, they cover the next panels that cover the next, down both sides, with both sides coming out on the outside of the bottom panel. It will shed water better, keeping the family inside dryer and warmer.

    Looks good. Thank you for the great ideas!

    2 replies

    You are completely right. The panels in one direction is not watertight, but I like the rhythm of the panels in one direction só much...


    5 years ago

    no sign 'house for sale' in your garden, the birds must be very happy with this beautiful home. I love the design.