Security Camera Birdhouse





Introduction: Security Camera Birdhouse

About: The term, engineering originates from the Latin word Ingenerare, which means "to create". My name is Vincent and I am a graduating student in the master track Construction Management and Engineering at Delf...

Hi all,

Spring will be soon and the time is right to put up some birdhouses!

I made this particular birdhouse for my father. He becomes a bit older and this goes along with two characteristics: 1) he becomes a bit paranoid and thereby afraid for unwelcome guests around our house, 2) he starts to love birds.

I made him this birdhouse, intended as a joke, in the form of a security camera. I retrieved the idea from this website but after figuring out that this birdhouse did not have the required height I decided to make one myself.

After the enormous enthusiasm for my first instructables (click!) I decided to put this project also on the web. If you like the project/look/idea then please vote for me in the Plywood contest. I would love to win another Instructables T-shirt!

PS: If you are interested in making this project, I am willing to help you out with the laser-cutting. I am able to laser-cut the wood at a nearby company and ship the wood. The cost for laser-cutting will be around 15 euro, the cost for shipment depends on where you are living. I will not charge additional costs. If you are interested please email me: .

Step 1: Information on Birdhouses

I made this birdhouse with the help of a laser-cutter. Ofcourse you can just copy the idea and make a security camera birdhouse yourself with, for example a fredsaw. But before you start I want to give you some advice on important aspects that you need to take into account!

Time to start!

The ideal time to put up the birdhouse in the autumn or else late February. In this way, the birds can already ged used to their new cabinet during the winter. It is still February so let's go!!!!

Birds and dimensions

Before you start designing your own birdhouse you have to know which species live in your neighborhood and which you want to host a pleasent house. Birds will only make use of your house when it has the right dimensions, and the required dimensions are different for each specie. They are very picky so watch out!

If you live in the South of America and want to make a birdhouse for a flamingo, I`m afraid the web will not help you out. Otherwise there is huge amount of information availible on the web. If you live in The Netherlands you can make us eof this website. They provide some helpful tips and good dimensions.

Orientation and position

Ensure that full sun does not shine all day long in the cabinet. Also, prevent that rain will come in. In the Netherlands we used to put the opening to the North-East or South-East.

Avoid drama and hang the nest box so that your cat can not reach it.

Source images:

Step 2: Design

For the design I made use of two software programs: Googles Sketchup and Autodesk Autocad.


For the design I used the software Sketchup. Sketchup is design software and easy to use. It can be downloaded free from this website.

Simply start by drawing a 2D survice and extrude it until you reached the height of your material. For my birdhouse I used 3 mm plywood. Make sure to group each plate/wall you design (select all 2D plates, right mousebutton and group). If you are ready with your design you can move all the parts on one level (see image 3). Change the Style (window --> style) in 3D printing style. Also, change the projection from perspective to parallel and view to Topview (picture 4). Export your model as 2D graphic to an Autocad dwg file.

Autodesk Autocad

To cut the 3 mm plywood I used a laser-cutter. The company that run these things has got a manual on how they like to receive the drawing. The company I use prefer a DXF file therefor, I downloaded Autocad. You can download Autocad for free if you are an student.

In Autocad open the file you exported from sketchup. Put the cutting, engraving and edging lines each in separate layers. Consult the manual of the laser-cutting company for the requirements.

Make sure to delete double lines in your Autocad drawing to avoid the laser running twice the same line. You can do this by selecting the entire drawing and use comment: "OVERKILL". Then press enter and Autocat tells you how many lines are deleted.

You can add engraved text to your model. I added the words: "Theo`s beveiliging", which is Dutch for "Theo`s security". Make sure you use a front with a single line when you want the text to be engraved instead of edged. Save the file in format the laser-cutting company requires. Now send your model to the laser-cutter and cross your fingers!

Step 3: Building

The building process is strait forward. Use a bit of wood glue and some imagination to put all the parts together.

I recommend you to start with the side walls, top and back wall of the birdhouse. After you are finished, you can ensemble the front panel of the birdhouse. The stick will hold the two front panels together. Do not forget to paint the small front panel before assembling to create the camera lens look!

Step 4: Further Improvement

Of course it would be fun to put a real working camera inside the camera to see the birds build their nest! Do you have other suggestions please tell me and I will post them in this section.

The only thing that rest me is to ask you for some feedback. Also, I would love to help you with the design of your birdhouse. Please post pictures below if you made one!





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    20 Discussions


    Could you tell me which version of AutoCad you used?.. I can't open the .dwg file with what I have here..


    2 replies

    Hi, I used Autocad 2016, an educational version which was free to download for me as a student. Mabey you can try to open the file with an other software such as adobe illustrated. I am sure that illustrator can export formats that are perfect for lasercutting. Let me know if you need help.

    Thanks for the reply and heads up!... I have AutoCad 2001 here and it is too archaic to open such a new version.. I also have DraftSight that has been Cin opening most versions of AutoCad, but not any longer.. I will download the Acad 2016 so as to be up to date... Thanks for your help!...

    Hello, could you please convert to vector image format, for example cdr?

    1 reply

    Hi Bober, I have extract a pdf from the dwg file and added it at the step above. Hope this will work for you.

    not yet.. hopefully soon :)

    Nice! please let me know if I can help you with the design or anyting else. A final tip: make sure that your plywood is exactly 3mm if you use this design. Mine was 3.2 and therefore i had to sand the notches and some sides.

    yes i ran into this problem a few times before and had to a lot of sanding. in USA they sell 3.2 and 6.4mm (1/8" and 1/4") and 3-6mm in europe is my experience after all.

    Already any progress. Would love to see your version of the birdhouse :)

    great idea, very useful!

    innocent camera...:D

    ziet er goed uit.
    Just a word on birdhouses: it seems that the stick in front of the opening is more a bother to the birds than a help. I have a number of birdhouses all without the stick and birds seem to have no trouble entering them

    2 replies

    Bedankt! I think the use of the stick will depend for the different species. For sure that many of them don`t need them but in the end: I added the stick in front so that the birdhouse had the camera look and the birdhouse look at the same time. Thats is the big plus of this design!

    Je hebt gelijk, For the camera birdhouse it is best to have it look as classic as possible and it is even better if the birds do gind it bothersome to use :-)

    Great work. I use a low power laser, and I don't think I could do this without marking and cutting manually, but I like the design a LOT! Very creative!

    Help request here:
    Any tips on software to use with GBRL lasers would be very helpful to me (HELP!). My cutter came with no build instructions, and no software, when pressed they sent me software full of viruses (I checked with three AV products, it'sNOT a false positive). GearBest is NOT good at support., though they tout themselves as promising "Lifetime technical support". I cannot do anything but engrave the examples they sent with GBRL sender. I'm kind of stuck. I'd LOVE to be able to do more than play...

    1 reply

    Hi John, Thanks for the compliment. Unfurtunately I cant`t help you as a company does the lasercutting process for me. I only provide them with the design file. I don't know anything about the software that is necesarry to run these things.

    I like it. Pretty cool design


    2 years ago

    That looks really good!


    2 years ago

    That looks really good!