Having a home for your feathered friends will encourage the birds to keep visiting your backyard. If you have a garden, you want to attract birds to establish a healthy balance. Birds consume thousands of insects, especially in the spring when they’re feeding their young. To help support this environment, I’m made a DIY Birdhouse from scrap wood. If you have scrap wood laying around, you could easily build this birdhouse for your backyard.
A simple bird nest box with correct dimensions will help a mother bird with a reliable place to live in and raise her young. This helps mother nature to keep the cycle of life in order.
You also might be interested in DIY Bird Feeder House or DIY Rabbit Hutch for Indoor and Outdoor.
Time to Complete
Download Printable Plans in PDF
Tools for this project
- 1x12x6′ (x1)
- 1 1/4″ Brad Nails
- 3/8″ Wooden Dowel Rod
- 1/8″ Air Craft Cable
- 1/8″ Cable Clamp
- Snap Link
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Print and Cut Out Templates
First, download the PDF and print out the templates on 11×17 paper. Make sure your printer settings are set to no scale. This will ensure the birdhouse template shapes will print to the actual size.
Take your scissors and cut out the shapes. Some of the larger shapes have smaller pieces placed inside to save space. You will need to cut all pieces.
Step 2 – Trace the Shapes on Wood
For this project, you could use 3/4″ thick wood or 1/2″. I would not recommend using plywood, because it will fall apart quickly when exposed to the weather.
If you don’t have scrap wood pieces, you will only need one 1×12 piece that is 6 feet long. Take a 1×12 board and arrange the shapes as close to each other as you can. You could place and trace the smaller shapes inside the large shapes so you wouldn’t waste wood.
Since the front pieces are identical to the back pieces you will need to trace each shape twice. The only shape that needs to be traced once is the largest middle piece.
Step 3- Cut Out the Shapes with Jig Saw
Once the shapes are drawn on wood, take your jig saw and cut them out on the inside first. To do that, drill a hole large enough for the jig saw blade to fit through (I used a 3/8″ drill bit). Clamp the board to your workbench, then insert the jig saw blade inside the hole and cut out the inside. Make sure to cut out the smaller pieces first and then work your way outwards to the outside perimeter of the piece. It makes the jig saw cutting easier when working on smaller pieces first.
Step 4 – Drill a Hole in the Pop-out to Hange the Birdhouse
The middle largest piece has a pop-out at the top to attach the rope/wire to hang the birdhouse. Depending on what you have available to hang the birdhouse, drill the hole size accordingly. If you’re using a rope, your hole might be larger than using a wire or a cable. (I used a 1/8″ cable, so I drilled a 1/8″ hole in the middle of the pop-out.)
Step 5 – Drill an Entrance Hole in the Front of Birdhouse
Find the two smallest pieces and pick the better-looking piece for the front and leave the other piece for the back. The front piece needs one large hole for the bird to enter through. It also needs one small hole to insert the dowel rod for the bird to sit on.
Using a pencil, make a small mark for the center of both holes. Take a 1 3/4″ hole saw bit and drill a hole on the upper portion of the front piece. Then take a 3/8″ drill bit and drill a hole directly under the large hole about 3/4″ down.
Once all of the pieces are cut and holes are drilled, take your random orbital sander and sand the boards including the edges.
Step 6 – Attach the Front Half of the Birdhouse
Place the front piece face down on your workbench. Apply wood glue around the perimeter of the piece. Place the second piece over the glue. Make sure that both pieces are aligned in the center. Then nail both pieces together with a nail gun using 1 1/4″ brad nails.
Repeat applying wood glue and nailing the pieces including the largest middle piece. Set aside the front half of the birdhouse and continue to the back half.
Step 7 – Attach the Back half of the Birdhouse
Follow the same procedure as step 5 to attach the back half of the birdhouse. Start with the smallest back piece working your way to the middle piece. Now you should have the front and the back sections of the birdhouse completed.
Step 8 – Connect the Two Halves Together
Take the front half and place it on your workbench face down. Apply wood glue around the perimeter of the middle piece. Then place the back half over the wood glue and nail them together with 1 1/4″ brad nails.
Step 9 – Glue Wooden Dowel to the Front of the Birdhouse
Take a 3/8″ wooden dowel rod and cut one piece to 3″ in length using a dovetail saw. Apply a small amount of wood glue on the tip of the dowel and insert it into the 3/8″ hole in front of the birdhouse. Use a hammer to insert the dowel into the hole.
Clamp the entire birdhouse to your workbench and let the wood glue dry.
Step 10 – Apply Polyurethane
Once the wood glue is completely dry, apply a few coats of polyurethane to protect the wood. Use exterior polyurethane because the birdhouse will be exposed to sun and moisture.
Step 11 – Tie the Cable to Hang the Birdhouse
To hang the birdhouse from the tree, you could use a rope, wire, aircraft cable, or any other method you prefer. Since I had an extra 1/8″ aircraft cable, I used it for this project.
Cut one section of 1/8″ cable to 30″ in length. Then feed one end through the hole of the middle piece of the birdhouse. Wrap around the pop-out and connect the cable together with a cable clamp.
On the other side of the cable, make a 4″ loop and connect it with a cable clamp. Then attach a quick connect to the loop.
Find a good size branch on the tree and hang the birdhouse. You’re done with a DIY Birdhouse.
3 thoughts on “How to Make a DIY Birdhouse from Scrap Wood”
This sounds like a very nice project to do with the kids.
Keep it up Viktor, you bring joy with your projects and ideas.
Karma points +1
Thank you Guillaume!
Beautiful birdhouse. I also enjoy making projects out of wood. Wrote a short article on my personal DIY project planning approach https://ismart.life/articles/planning_goal_project_task . There are some examples of mine. The planning approach itself is quite interesting and helps to make various projects with fewer mistakes. Hope this will be helpful. Thanks, Viktor.