Make your own decorative and functional bird houses using recycled materials, gardening supplies and dried gourds. These easy-to-make bird houses require few tools and minimum skills to construct. Different types of wild birds prefer different sized entry holes. Drill the holes to attract the type of wild birds that you wish to attract.
Gourd Bird Houses
Gourd bird houses are among the easiest types of bird houses to make. Select a dried gourd that's at least 9 inches in diameter. You'll know the gourd is dry if you hear seeds rattling inside and if the outside is hard. Drill the desired sized hole on one side of the gourd. Cut a 4-1/2-inch opening on the backside to fit a threaded clean-out. Threaded clean-outs allow access to the inside of the gourd, or other type of bird house, for seasonal cleaning. Hardware stores, hobby stores and online suppliers sell threaded clean-outs. Clean the seeds and other material from inside the gourd using a gourd scraper. Drill a hole straight through the top of the gourd to make a hanger for the bird house.
Terracotta Pot Bird Houses
Make a quick and easy bird house using an 8-inch diameter terracotta pot and a 10-inch diameter terracotta saucer. Decorate the pot and the saucer with acrylic paint, if you like. Apply a terracotta sealer prior to painting to make the surface less absorbent. Drill the desired size hole into one side of the terracotta pot using a diamond or masonry drill bit. Glue the terracotta saucer onto the top rim of the terracotta planter using waterproof construction adhesive. Glue a metal hook to the bottom of the terracotta pot to make a hanger for the bird house.
Metal Canister Bird House
Metal food or coffee canisters can become homey retreats for wild birds. Remove any advertising from the outside of the canister and clean the inside to remove any remaining food particles. Drill the entry hole for the bird house into one side of the canister using a metal drill bit. If the canister has a removable plastic lid, use it as the top of the bird house. If not, trace the outline of the canister onto a 1/2-inch thick sheet of plywood, cut it out and glue it to the inside of the canister to seal the bird house. It's also a good idea to paint or seal the wood to protect it from rotting. Drill air holes around the canister, decorate it with acrylics, attach a small dowel for a perch and hang the bird house from a tree.
Soda Bottle Bird House
Recycle a two-liter soda bottle into a simple bird house for your feathered friends. Remove the advertising and clean the bottle, inside and out. Cut a hole through one side of the bottle, about halfway up the side. Puncture a small hole straight through both sides of the bottle, 1/2-inch below the drilled hole. Decorate the bottle with acrylics or glue mosaic tiles, buttons or ceramics to the plastic bottle using waterproof construction adhesive. Insert a small dowel straight through the small drilled holes to make the perch. Seal the dowel in place with the waterproof adhesive. Wrap craft wire around the top of the bottle to make a hanger.