How to Build a Birdhouse

Birdhouse Tutorial

Birdhouses are one of those first projects that every kid remembers. As a child, I remember building some in Girl Scouts and I have already built several with my own kids. Mine was likely the one covered in far too much paint and glitter but you better believe that thing was never coming apart! I am thankfully more minimalistic in decor today. When thinking of a fun project to include in this Mother’s Day Series that kids could be a part of, a birdhouse seemed only natural. To check out my plans and learn to build your own with a few simple tools and a single cedar fence picket, read on!


I played around a bit with some really cool designs, but nothing felt quite as good as the classic A-style framed birdhouse. Sometimes classic is the best direction because it’s iconic. Like aviator sunglasses, it will never go out of style. To make it a bit more interesting, I added larger ventilation and I encourage a million times over to add some unique touches.  Ill include some ideas later in the post, but be sure to go with what feels best!

Supply List

Birdhouse Tutorial

  • Cedar Fence Picket- 6ft
  • Twine or a hook to hang it with
  • Wood Glue
  • Narrow Crown Staples or Brad Nails
  • Nail for perching

Tool List

Birdhouse Tutorial

Cut List

  • 2-8-inch boards (sides)
  • 2-11-inch boards (roof) ( one trim to 5-inches wide with a table saw)
  • 2-10.5 inch boards (front and back) (cut at 45 for the peak)
  • 1-9.25 inch board (bottom)


Birdhouse Tutorial

Start by cutting your fence picket down into each smaller board.  You will have a small piece left over

Birdhouse Tutorial

You will cut the front and back pieces at a 45-degree angle, on each side to form a peak.

Next, you will want to cut a hole in the front of your front board using a hole saw. Try to keep the hole center, and for this, I used a 1.25-inch hole saw. I used part of my 13 piece Hole Dozer set from Milwaukee for this, which cut easily through the cedar.

Birdhouse Tutorial

One last cut to make is on the table saw. For your roof pieces, in order to be symmetrical, you will need to trim one down to 5 1/8 inch.

Birdhouse Tutorial Now that all of the cuts are made, we can move on to assembly! Birdhouse Tutorial

Pull your front and back pieces as well as the side pieces out. (This front did not have the hole driven yet, but it is easier to add it prior to assembly.)Birdhouse Tutorial

To assemble the main structure of the birdhouse you will attach the sides to the front and back. Use wood glue on the short end of the sideboard and position the front board so the bottom is flush.

Birdhouse Tutorial

The top of the sideboards will not be flush with the flat of the front board. That allows for ventilation. Secure with either crown staples or brad nails.

Birdhouse Tutorial

Attach the other side piece the same way. With wood glue and the narrow crown stapler.

Birdhouse Tutorial

Attaching the base is the last step before the roof. Always dry fit this piece a bit and trim if needed. I noticed some slight warping of the boards could adjust the base 1/8 of an inch or so. Attach using nails and glue.

Birdhouse Tutorial
The last pieces left, are the roof boards.

Birdhouse Tutorial

Prior to attaching the roof, you have the option to drill two small holes into the roof to run twine through to hang the birdhouse.

Birdhouse Tutorial

Attach the narrower roof panel first, being sure to get it as flush with the peak as possible. Use the crown stapler and wood glue to attach.

Birdhouse Tutorial

Ready to hang!

Birdhouse Tutorial

An alternate hanging method is to attach the remaining scrap with wood glue and a few nails to the back of the birdhouse allowing an easy way to attach to a fence or structure.

Birdhouse Tutorial

Attach the screws to the front so that your winged friends have a place to perch, and you are done!

Birdhouse Tutorial


Both of my kids got into the mix on this project!

This birdhouse is an easy and fun to make project! Any person who enjoys the outdoors will love seeing birds make nests in them and even more so, will love the thought that went into them. Decorating is also a fun part that kids will really enjoy, so don’t be afraid to get really creative! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TIAcrew on social media so we can be sure to check out your creations!

Tips and Tricks

  • You can always seal your birdhouse, but its a matter of preference! If you decide to paint it, or your kids do, be sure to protect that effort!
  • If you do not have a Narrow Crown Stapler or a Brad Nailer, you can always use small nails and a hammer. I’ve done many projects that way!
  • I used a waterproof wood glue on this birdhouse, while not required, it does help add a but more protection from the elements.
  • If you do not have a table saw, don’t stress about it! One roof panel being wider than the other is no big deal! If anything, incorporate it into your design!


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