Making this birdhouse was completely out of my comfort zone. I am not the one who likes working with electric tools of any kind. I even have issues with driving a car because it is a machine, and I never feel in complete control of any machine. Tools, that’s another thing entirely. Give me a saw, rasp, or a hammer, and I’ll be happy and comfortable. I will be in control. My partner, on the other hand, is an electrician and knows electricity to the core of its being. Naturally, there isn’t a machine he can’t operate or fix. The Universe really does have a great sense of humor, doesn’t It? But this was my little project, and I wanted to do as much as I could by myself. He provided guidance and mentoring, with occasional stepping-in when I started swearing, but I am proud to say that I managed to build this thing more or less by myself. Honestly, I have zero intention of repeating this experience.
I’ve never made a birdhouse before, so naturally, some research was required when it came to not only what materials were needed but what kind of design to make. Did you know different birds require different hole openings? Well, I didn’t. After some googling and reading various tutorials and articles about birds, I had to decide how large the hole needs to be and what kind of birds do I want in that birdhouse. The reason for different sizes lies in the fact you need to keep predators out. Luckily for me and my future bird tenants, I live on the third floor, so no cats and rodents whatsoever. The trees surrounding the building and next to the balcony are too short for crows and other bigger birds that like to nest in higher places.
So far I’ve seen two nightingales that I listen to every morning, sparrows, common blackbirds, and a lot of great tit birds. Sparrows are all over the place, blackbirds like to be on the ground, nightingales sing beautifully, and tits seem to be the bravest. They are the only ones that so far had enough courage or curiosity to come close and sit either on the balcony fence or on the windowsill. Anyone interested in taking a wild guess which one of them will become the birdhouse tenant? My money is on great tit, but I do hope for nightingales. They require very similar hole openings, differentiating only in a centimeter or two, so I went with 30cm diameter. Fingers crossed that some of them will like it.
There are many designs to choose from. If you want to look at something adorable, google birdhouses. Some people are very creative, much more than I am, and extremely skillful. I wanted something relatively easy to make since it was my first one but also nice-looking. Yes, I was doing it for the birds, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t look pretty to me. You will find how straight roofs are better or slanted are better or you have to make this or that. I went with my logic and intuition. Birds make nests, not houses with roofs. I presume that if a nest can be on a tree, it can very well be in any shape of a birdhouse. That is why some people have round birdhouses and birds come. Some people have entire hotels for birds, and they come. You will even see birdhouses made out of carbon, plastic, and glass. Birds come. They come because the birdhouse provides more shelter than a tree.
When deciding on the design, I found the best one on https://hr.top-home-tips.com. I changed it slightly by adding the bottom board which is not in the design and two metal hooks on the roof so the birdhouse could be hung on a chain. Dimensions of the elements in the design I followed exactly. The measurements are in the image below.
When I say exactly, it means that I tried to follow the measurements. It was my first time using the electric reciprocating saw, and not all lines came out straight. The saw was heavy, which in combination with my issue with electrical tools producing loud noise resulted in a birdhouse that isn’t at all perfect. You will see in the pictures of it finished how there are certain holes between the sides and the roof. I pretend I did it on purpose so the birds would have more fresh air in there. In the image above showing the elements and their measurements, the pale yellow ones are front and back, slightly darker are the sides, and those in the darkest yellow are the roof pieces.
My advice is to use screws instead of nails. Well, it’s my partner’s advice which I followed and am sharing with you. Screws provide much more stability, even though they are somewhat harder to use when putting the pieces of a birdhouse together. Without any further ado, here are the steps I took:
- with a pencil and a ruler, measure and draw every element of the birdhouse on your wooden panel
- using an electric reciprocating saw (or any other saw tool you have or prefer) cut the elements out
- once the elements are cut, be surprised how you screwed up and the lines are not straight
- take a rasp and try to straighten them out as best you can, swear in the process
- cut the whole of 30cm diameter in the front element (trust me, you don’t want to know how we did that)
- spend 10 minutes fixing the hole with the rasp so it actually looks round
- connect the side elements to the bottom with screws, swear at screws and the wood splitting
- take a break and ponder on why the f@ck did you decide to do this
- come back and screw the little, round, wooden ledge in just below the hole
- connect the front and the back element to the bottom and the side ones with screws
- connect the first roof element with screws
- connect the second roof element with screws
- swear at the first roof element and the screws for falling off
- connect the first roof element again using extra screws
- screw two more screws on the second roof element just to be on the safe side
- screw in two metal hooks on the roof, one on the back and left roof element, and one in the front and right roof element
- start feeling a bit of satisfaction because it’s starting to look good
- thank the Universe you haven’t hurt yourself and pray to the old Gods and new that some crazy bird out there will actually like this
Painting and decorating
You can decorate the birdhouse in any way you want, just be careful and use water-based paint that isn’t toxic to animals. I decided to paint it green (surprise, surprise) with a brown roof and bottom. As for the decorations, I didn’t want to go too big and only glued a couple of wooden ladybugs on the front side. Since this is a house and houses do often have nests on them, I glued a small bird’s nest on the roof. It gave the birdhouse a kind of meta-art vibe with a dash of humor.
Drumroll, please. Here is the final product:
When the paint dried, I asked my partner to hang the birdhouse under the roof of the balcony. To attract the birdies and make them feel wanted, I’ve put some seeds in front of the entrance. Now we wait.
As I’ve said at the very beginning of this text, this is not an experience I wish to repeat any time soon. On the other hand, stepping out of my comfort zone always brings a certain amount of pride and feeling good about my potential capabilities to create something. Satisfaction is sweet, so very sweet.
Interested in more crafts and projects?
When a pagan utters the word Craft, they usually mean the conscious governing of their life and influencing the world around them, controlling it in a way, and co-creating it. It really is a special skill and a craft to be able to control yourself and then in extension, your influence and coexistence with other creatures of the Universe, humans, plants, and animals. Craft includes…
– sparrow: photo by aniket solankar on Unsplash
– great tit: photo by Federico Maderno from Pixabay
– nightingale: photo by shifa kaynat from Pixabay
– blackbird: photo by Roman Klimenko on Unsplash
– elements – measurements: hr.top-home-tips.com
– my personal photographs are free for use with the proper credit and link back to this site
Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again my dear pagan soul. Rejoice in life, and life will rejoice in you. May God and Goddess bless you in everything you do and spirit guides follow you wherever you go.
In love and light,