DIY Birdhouse Ideas and Upcycles: That’s For the Birds!


DIY Birdhouse Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind Looking for some unique birdhouse ideas that go beyond ordinary? Me too! I’m someone who really appreciates our avian friends very greatly, but for the obvious reason of having cats I know I could never have a pet bird of my own.

So I really get into making birdhouses and birdfeeders – I’m not too much into the milk carton method; I was aiming for the timeless classic round hole in the middle, out of wood. It’s a classic for a reason, but milk cartons…uh, sounds kind of amateurish (plus that material breaks down easily).I do take that back somewhat –  last month I did use one (keep reading…)

They do what they were made to do…house our feathered friends, but sometimes we want something a little more outside the (bird) box!

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diy birdhouse ideas

Think a birdhouse has to be boring? Think again! That’s about to change when I show you some of the most unique approaches to birdhouse crafting!

But First: Here’s MY Birdhouse!

I came across what I guessed was an old tissue box with a heart-shaped opening which would be great for the “entrance”

I used the following tools: Empty wooden box of which I didn’t know if it was made for tissues or whatnot, twodiy birdhouse from tissue box scraps of wood, acrylic paint, adhesive, popsicle sticks, and one clothespin (I’ll explain why in a moment), small hand saw, sanding paper, spray sealant.

It was tricky determining how short/wide to cut the wood pieces so they would fit on top flush with the box; which meant that I needed to use a measuring tape. You may have an easier time with a flat -style roof rather than the classic apex style.

I glued the sticks in the space; at times I had to cut and piece them together (a few did overlap a little) At some point I may have been a stick short…I have lots of clothespins laying around but sometimes they are cheap and pop a spring, but I realized that without that spring, each half can actually get used, so there you go (it’s at the back)

I ended up using a long length of 12 gauge aluminum craft wire ran through the opening and twisted it enough to be taut before hanging.

My first experience with making birdhouses dates back to a job program I was a part of once, a long long time ago – 1997 to be exact. We were working on a watershed project and focusing energy on creating a bird sanctuary. We had a blast putting them together and I got the privilege of painting pictures of different birds on the sides. You can see a couple of them here – they have faded a little, but that’s my handiwork!

It was the traditional style, you know, with a roof, round opening, you’re probably familiar with. From wood of course. Which is great – nothing beats a classic. But if you ever want to think outside the (bird) box, look no further than what I’m about to show you.


Creative Birdhouse Ideas You May Not Have Thought Of!

Need a quick goodie for a roof? Old license plates seem to do the trick – If you save yours, this is the upcycle you’ve been hoping for. Most plates are flexible enough that if you have a workbench handy a few taps of a hammer could bend it into the right shape.

The license plate idea seems to be pretty popular! If you’d like to try it yourself, check your garage, you just might have one of those old plates lying around (where I come from people literally collect these.)

Make it a House AND Feeder

Did you know you can perform double duty and turn your birdhouse into a feeder too, just by covering the outside in seed  and other treats? All you’d need is an object (preferably linear, like this milk carton I used here) The tissue box I described earlier would have worked too. It’s a great way to give our feathered friends the best of both worlds. The tutorial is right here!

edible birdhouse diy

Upcycle a Teapot or Pitcher Into a Mini Bird Sanctuary

A teapot turned sideways with the top removed to provide an opening is the perfect upcycle. Look how I did it with this old yellow pitcher…It got a little chipped, but too cute to throw away so I turned it into another birdhouse too!

birdfeeder from pitcher

I used a metal plant hanger dealie to hang mine, but if you have some strong rope you can just wrap it around the handle and secure it from a sturdy tree limb.

Using Craft Sticks

Popsicle sticks….If you have plenty of these you may be able to pull off a birdhouse like this one! I like how much it resembles a “people house” yet still has enough room to make a few birds comfy!

I like that it’s also lightweight enough that a simple metal mug hook can be used as the hanger, as you can see in the picture above. Because they are completely linear, popsicle sticks are ideal for craft projects that need a good foundation – starting a birdhouse is not too different from the approach to making a trinket box.

popsicle stick birdhouse

I like what this guy did with his craft stick arrangement – in this tutorial, he shows you how to arrange the sticks for the roof as well as the bottom and sides; which I understand can be tricky unless you can see how it’s done up close.

You can paint your finished birdhouse in your desired colors, (or get colored craft sticks instead – another good approach.)

Make One From a Coffee Can

The perfect way to make use of some of those cans you may have collected, this is another goodie I attempted after seeing a really cute one on Pinterest.  All you’d need is a sharp cutting tool to cut an opening and something to perch on, (I used a pencil)  Hang it on your fence, as I did, if you have one. If you don’t have fencing, you could nail it to a tree -either way, their new “residents” will love you for it.

recycled coffee can birdhouse

An Old License Plate Makes For a Good Roof …

(Or the whole house…)

If you’ve got experience working with aluminum this is another one that’s popular…especially where I’m from and lots of people are prone to collecting vintage license plates. I have never attempted this, as it does take some specialized tools, but my hat’s off for this guy’s level of ingenuity:

Image credit: Image by mazzmn

Upcycle a Single Shoe or Boot Into a Killer DIY Birdhouse

Wow…check out what these people did! A certain bird family is gonna want to move into these for sure! This is a dynamite idea for one of those weird instances in which you only have “one odd” boot for whatever reason (weird, but it happens…) If you look closely, you can see that these boot birdhouses are hanging via simple eyehooks.

upcycled boot birdhouses

This Birdhouse Uses a Roof Made From a BOOK!

Wow…here’s an idea if there ever was one…an old hardcover book used! Used to make the roof….And what do you think of the pipe used as a perch? Genius!

Just when you thought there were no more uses for old books. When it comes to birdhouses…dare to be different!

Why is it when people say “that’s for the birds” it is usually something bad or lousy? Birds rule!!

Image credit: Hmk

I hope you enjoyed this collection of great ideas and they help inspire you further. Which of these do YOU like the best?





2 thoughts on “DIY Birdhouse Ideas and Upcycles: That’s For the Birds!”

  1. With the way the world is today “War / Greed /Starvation It is no wonder so many people stay at home and enjoy the likes of these fantastic ways of helping to both house and feed the birds,
    I spend many an hour locked up in my workshop just trying to improve my skills shown by you people and i thank you very much for what you do, And so say’s my 16yr old best four legged friend “HENRY”

  2. Glad you enjoyed the post, Daniel, and hello to Henry too 🙂 Not seeing many wild birds this time of year, but there’s always spring to look forward to!

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