How to Build a Simple Birdhouse


Birdhouses are great for people that enjoy nature and birds, people who want to add a nice decoration to their yard or garden, or people who are simply looking for a fun project. Building a simple birdhouse can be a fun project and a great way to attract birds to your yard.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick plywood
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Dowel
  • Wood glue
  • Short nails
  • Wire

Planning and Cutting

  • Lay your plywood on a solid surface. Use the ruler and pencil to draw out the sides, roof and floor of the birdhouse. The back wall of the birdhouse is 6 inches wide and 14 inches tall. The front wall is 6 inches wide and 12 inches tall. The sides are 8 inches wide, 14 inches tall towards the back, but slanting down to 10 inches tall at the front. The roof is 8 inches wide and 9 inches long. The bottom should be a 6-inch square.

  • Cut the pieces out using a saw, preferably an electric saw. Bevel the top edge of the front and back, so that it slants slightly down towards the front.

  • Cut or drill a circle in the center of the front side of the birdhouse. Make the circle diameter 2 or 3 inches, depending on the size of the bird you want to attract.

  • Sand each piece of wood.

Drilling and Nailing

  • Nail the sides, back, and bottom of the birdhouse together.The bottom will not fit in between the sides and back, so place it under them and nail through it into each of them. Make sure that the taller edge of the sides are at the back of the birdhouse. Nail the front of the birdhouse to the sides and then nail the roof on top.

  • Sand the entire birdhouse again, especially the corners and edges. Sand the hole on the front of the birdhouse.

  • Cut a skinny dowel to 5 inches long. Sand it and glue it with the wood glue to the front of the birdhouse, slightly under the hole. Birds can perch on this.

  • Paint the birdhouse or stain it with wood stain.

  • Nail two little nails on the top of the back of the birdhouse. Attach a wire between them. Hang the birdhouse using this wire.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a non toxic paint to paint the birdhouse and coat it with polyurethane to make it safe and attractive for birds. Earth-tone colors are usually best, unless the birdhouse is in direct sunlight, then white would be better to reflect heat. If you want to change the size of your birdhouse just keep the dimensions proportional to one another.
  • Place your birdhouse carefully. Partial sunlight and close access to water make it more attractive to birds.
  • Use caution when operating power tools like the drill or saw. Wear gloves and safety goggles.

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  • Photo Credit bird house image by John Sandoy from Female Tree Swallow (tachycineta bicolor) in a birdhouse image by Steve Byland from
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