Birdhouses are great because they not only make for fun woodworking projects, but you will continue to reap the benefits of a good birdhouse for years to come. It’s a great way to spruce up both your day and your backyard.
The other great thing about birdhouses is that they can be as simple or as complex as you like. On this list you’ll find birdhouse plans of varying difficulty, so whether you’re a novice carpenter or someone looking for more of a challenge, we’ve got you covered.
On this list you’ll also find different types of birdhouses. Depending on the layout of your lawn, as well as the presence of any bird-friendly amenities like trees, feeders, etc. you might be looking for a specific type of birdhouse. A few examples include hanging houses, houses mounted on poles, and houses mounted to a tree. Different birdhouses also have different sized entryways, so you’ll want to consider what type of avian guests you’re hoping to attract before you make your decision.
So, without further ado, here’s our list of our favorite birdhouse plans:
To start, here’s a basic birdhouse design from Lowes that’s perfect for beginners. The tools you’ll need don’t amount to much more than a saw, a hammer and nails, a drill, and a sander. The materials you’ll need include one cedar board, one box each of galvanized wire brads and deck screws, and a bottle of wood glue. Altogether, it won’t set you back more than $100, making this design not only simple, but affordable as well.
Though simple, the design of this birdhouse is pretty versatile in terms of where you can place it. It can be hung if you like, but it also looks great mounted to a tree or a fence.
The instructions on the website are well laid-out and easy to follow.
One-Board DIY Birdhouse
Here’s another basic birdhouse, this time from Birds & Blooms. Though similar to the first birdhouse on this list, we’ve included the one-board birdhouse because, well, it only takes one pine board to build it, so it’s probably the simplest and most affordable house we found.
The instructions on the website are easy to follow and supplemented with useful graphics.
And remember, simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Birds & Blooms also has helpful woodburn designs, so you can spruce up your avian sanctuary to your heart’s content. You can find those designs here.
Chandelier Birdhouse and Planter
Here’s another charming design from Birds & Blooms. And true to their name, you can host specimens of both the aerial and flowering variety on this hanging birdhouse and planter.
All you need to build the chandelier birdhouse is, well, a chandelier, and a birdhouse. We’d recommend searching around your local antique shops or yard sales to find the chandelier. Your mother’s attic is always a good bet, too. Since this is a hanging birdhouse, you’ll want to make sure the chandelier still has the chain, and that all bobeches are present. If not, it’ll throw the whole establishment off kilter.
Basically, all this birdhouse design amounts to is attaching a small birdhouse to one bobeche, and small planters filled with flowers to all the rest. And voila, the result is a hanging oasis for both the birds and the bees.
This is a really neat birdhouse plan from Family Handyman magazine. You can make it in about half a day for less than $20. You can use any softwood (such as pine, cedar, cypress, etc.) and you have the option of following the plans to the letter or experimenting with your own designs.
You do have to make sure that you build the entrance with the size of the guests in mind. The plans on Family Handyman set parameters for a variety of small birds, including nuthatches, bluebirds, and chickadees.
The plans on the website are detailed and littered with helpful photographs and illustrations. They’re also made with birdhouse maintenance in mind. The plans include a sliding door on the back of the birdhouse so that you can easily reach inside and clean it out in preparation for nesting season.
Here’s a really cute and simple hanging birdhouse from homedit.com. All you need to make it are a few pine board scraps and an 11 ounce coffee can (any can of similar size will do).
The result is a cozy little hanging home great for smaller birds.
Bird’s Nesting Box
This bird’s nesting box from Amatuer Woodworker kind of looks like Hagrid’s cabin from Harry Potter. It’s a very minimalist type of plan, requiring few tools and materials.
The directions are very detailed and well written, so you should have no trouble putting the nesting box together. It’s a simple design, great for beginners just starting out, or for veterans looking for a light project.
The directions also specify that you should set your birdhouse out in the winter so that by the time Spring rolls around, all the human smells that rubbed off on the house while you were making it have merged nicely with nature.
License Plate Birdhouse
I’ve seen these license plate birdhouses at fairs and farmer’s markets before, and always thought they looked really neat. If you agree, here’s your chance to build one. This particular plan from runnerduck.com for a license plate birdhouse is very minimalist. To make it, all you need is a single cedar board and an old license plate.
It’s a simple design, but a great way to add a little more charm to a standard birdhouse.
This is a really unique plan from friendsschoolplantsale.com. It’s essentially the same as a basic birdhouse, except that it has a planter box attached to the top.
The green-roof birdhouse is great for small birds like wrens and chickadees, since they’re especially attracted to flowers and other types of plants.
I came across the design for this penny-roof birdhouse on dreamalittlebigger.com and thought it looked really cool. It’s an especially useful design if you’re one of those people with tons of coins lying around that they don’t know what to do with.
Basically, all you have to do is buy or build a birdhouse, then glue pennies to the roof. The only real decision you have to make is what kind of glue and coins you’re going to use. Though this design specifies pennies, you could potentially use any kind of coins you want to. As for the glue, you need something that dries quickly, otherwise you’ll be gluing pennies to the roof of a birdhouse for the rest of your life. The website recommends DAP Rapidfuse All Purpose Adhesive, which as the name suggests, dries very quickly, sealing the pennies to the wood in a matter of seconds. The author of the article says she was able to glue on an entire side of pennies in just 10-15 minutes. Just make sure you’re wearing gloves while you do it, otherwise you might glue your fingers together.
Here’s another great design from runnerduck.com. It’s a birdhouse cut to look like a teapot, complete with spout, handle and all.
The design of the body of the house is fairly straightforward, and the directions are very clear and straightforward. After you build the body, all you do is attach the teapot-shaped fourth wall to the front and you’re done!
‘Whimsical’ is the perfect word for this birdhouse plan from hertoolbelt.com. The body of the house takes a kind of half-moon shape, and is decorated to look like a small cabin that wouldn’t look out of place in a fairytale. The house features a slatted roof and a little door complete with a tiny doorknob (purely decorative of course). The actual entrance is carved to look like a small window, and the outside is decorated with carved birds. The designer also included a perch underneath the window-entrance, only instead of a wooden peg she substituted a metal spoon which she bent and screwed into the wall of the house. The spoon is a nice touch because it forms a little dish under the entrance for the birds to perch on, and you could even sprinkle some bird seed into it if you wanted.
Overall, this is a probably a project best suited for the intermediate to advanced woodworker, as there are a few more steps involved than some of the more basic plans. Nevertheless, the Whimsical Birdhouse is one of the most charming designs I’ve come across.
Log Cabin Birdhouse
I’m a big fan of the rustic look, so of course I had to include this log cabin birdhouse. It’s also from Instructables.com, which is a fantastic website filled with all the DIY projects your heart could desire.
This design is a little more involved as it entails a lot of time splitting small logs in half and gluing them together, but the authentic-looking end result is worth it. It looks just like a miniature log cabin, complete with a tiny porch. All that’s missing is a bird-sized stone fireplace.
Once you’re done putting all the logs together and have the roof on, all you have to do is apply some finisher and paint the roof. Feel free to add any other decorations you can think of.
The log cabin birdhouse is a bit on the heavy side, so it’s best mounted on a pole or post.
Birdhouse with Nightlights
Here’s another great design from Instructables. It’s a birdhouse with nightlights on it!
The actual design of the house has sort of a modern look mixed with something out of a Dr. Seuss book. But the most appealing features, of course, are the two small lightbulbs attached to the front wall on either side of the entrance. According to the author of the Instructables article, it isn’t too difficult to set up. So if you’re intimidated by having to fiddle around with the electronics, don’t worry, the instructions will walk you through everything.
Cedar Double Birdhouse Planter
Here’s another of many birdhouse-planter combos. This double birdhouse planter is made entirely of cedar wood. The design is very simple, and just looks like a planter with two birdhouses attached to either end. This a great birdhouse to hang from the tree in your backyard, and is sure to attract lots of colorful guests.
Wine Cork Birdhouse
This quaint birdhouse from feltmagnet.com is made entirely out of wine corks, making it not only the cheapest birdhouse on this list (since it uses all recycled materials) but also one of the simplest. You can put the cork birdhouse together in less than a day. All you need is a knife, a glue-gun, and about 130 corks and you can have a brand new birdhouse ready to go by the time the sun goes down.
This martin birdhouse from motherearthnews.com is meant specifically for wrens, and to be honest it’s less like a birdhouse and more like a bird hotel. The plan outlines a house with three levels, ensuring that you can accommodate a variety of guests in your backyard.
The plans themselves are very well-drawn and detailed, which is good since this house is a bit more complicated than some of the previous designs we’ve listed. Since the martin birdhouse is a bit larger in size, it is best mounted on top of a pole, a step that is helpfully included in the instructions.