Plastic Bottle Birdhouse




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

Isn't that the best thing there is? Use your plastic waste for a bird-nursery. After your clothes have been refreshed you step out in nature and you hear the tiny squeaks of little birds housing in your former detergent bottle.

It is easy to make. No special skills needed. And very basic tools.
Still the result looks streamlined like proper designer stuff.

Photo's shown throughout this instructable show a big and a smaller birdhouse, both made in similar ways with minor differences.
The blue rimmed one ismy first built and it is the bigger one. Most instructable steps show the second built one.
It depends op the type of bottles you can find, how the end result will look at the end

Step 1: You Will Need:

simple tools:
small hacksaw
strong all purpose scissors
revolver rod

Two plastic detergent bottles
The house one preferably with a more or less square bottom
The roof one almond shaped. See pictures

Step 2: Shaping

Draw the shapes on the bottle with a pencil. The photo's will guide you to the right shape. Make first cuts with a small hacksaw and complete the rest with normal scissors. The all purpose scissor will come in handy on thicker parts.
The  first three images show the bottom part of the house. The last three pictures show the roof.
The house: Notice the high facade on the bulky side of the bottle, and a smaller back facade cut out of the handle.
The roof: Ignore the way I removed the handle in two parts. It has no special significance.  

Step 3: Splitting the Roof

The under and back side of the roof are cut in two. The cuts ends in a small hole mode with the revolver rod. This prevents the cut from tearing any further. The cutting of the bottom requires the all purpose scissors. The two other holes punched on each side are needed tot attach the roof-part  to the house-part.

Step 4: The Entrance

Cut of the top part of the roof bottle, including the cap. Draw a circle on the cap approximately 2,8  -3,2 mm wide for birds like bluetits or tomtits. Punch a hole and cut out with a jigsaw. Cut a fitting big hole in the facade of the house and attach the cap with the other ring. I put my entrance a bit high, may be you will put it a little lower.

Alternately, like i did in the blue rimmed house you could look for an other bottle cap of the right size. Cut top off and squeeze it in a tight hole so it stays without further ado.

If you want to attach a tie-wrap under the porch, now is the time to do so.
Choose a bigger Tie-wrap witch is sturdy enough to carry small birds, and is no use to predators.

Step 5: Decorating the Inside?

I like beds to be made tidy! May be bird specialists would disagree.
I put a pre fabricated nest in. These are for sale in pet stores, but I made this one myself
I made a 2 meter long cord by finger-crochet, coiled it up and sew it together with the same type of rope and a big weaving needle. May be more details in an other instructable.
To secure the nest in the bird house i punched two hole in the bottom of the house end threaded a tie-wrap. A hole in the bottom of the house is a good idea, we don't want to make a birdpool. The overhanging roof will keep the rain out, but you can never be too sure.

Step 6: Back Talk

To attach the roof to the house you will need two tie-wraps at the back of the house. Punch corresponding holes in the back of the roof and the back of the house.  If you want you could cut out a piece of remaining plastic to create an more easy way to hang the birdhouse on a wall. The fotos tell all.

Step 7: Room for Sale

Take your birdhouse outside and hang it on a wall. East side is recommended.
Once a year take it down again. Cut the two tie-warps in the back open. Clean the house and hang it back.
I hope you will get many visitors and a family that wants to settle!

Instructables Green Design Contest

Second Prize in the
Instructables Green Design Contest



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    47 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Wow! Excellent! and glad to have found your site! Thanks, great family project too!


    6 years ago on Step 7

    Honestly it looks cool but it's a little bit too complicated... :(


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I make bird feeders out of 2-liter bottles. The birds won't really come around unless they are painted. I think it's the reflection.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Gefeliciteerd, met je eerste prijs! Dutch Design with recycle material. Well done.

    1 reply

    Dank je Berto. Ik ben totaal verrast.
    Zal binnenkort de website/ blogs van Safarana een goed bestuderen.
    Oh ja ( taalfoutje?) je introductie op instructables zegt dat je een tinkerer bent; moet dat geen thinker zijn?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is just what I needed - a great bird house idea so I can move my sweet bird sparrows out of from underneath my window sill/air conditioner!! THANKSSS

    I would devise a vertical piece of wood attached to the opening instead of a perch. A perch will allow trash birds (sparrows) to access the house,


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea, and a link to it is now on my Gizmo Blog:

    2 replies

    Muito obrigado!

    How wonderful. I needed half an hour to translate the sentences on your blog that introduce my birdhouse. I am honoured!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Only thing I would add is a perch outside the entry hole. Maybe a wooden dowel secured with a screw?

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea! A small platform or perch would make it even more appealing to the birds!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    A great idea, although, like many commenters, I'd be wary of using any bottles that haven't held safe, food grade ingredients.

    Where I live (Australia), we have a real problem with feral cats killing off our local smaller birdlife, so this is one of the easier ways (along with planting trees and large bushes that are close canopied and even thorned to discourage the cats) that will help protect my local smaller bird species.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Wov !!! Wonderful !! I will make it today only !! Thank you for sharing such wonderful idea !!