How to Build Recycled Birdhouses

Birdhouse image by lexyu/


Building birdhouses from recycled materials will allow for many different designs. This is an eco-friendly design option that allows you to save money and reuse items that would otherwise be thrown away. Most people choose to make decorative birdhouses for decoration and design purposes. Birdhouses can also come in a variety of sizes based on the amount of materials that are available.

Step 1

Locate salvageable materials for the wood. Barn wood from an old barn is one choice. Weathered wood from fences and outdoor furniture adds rustic charm and character. An antique that is unsalvageable as a furniture piece but still has good wood also can be used. Kitchen cabinets and cupboards no longer in use can be used to create recycled birdhouses.

Step 2

Search for items to be used for the hardware for the birdhouses from older items being thrown away. Dressers, cupboards, cabinets and shelving units have hardware such as key holders, doorknobs, handles and hinges. Old license plates can be used for roofs or bases.

Step 3

Use a tape measure to mark out the dimensions for your birdhouse. Use wood that is close to the same width so the birdhouse pieces will fit together and that you have enough for four sides, a roof and a base. If it is for a decorative birdhouse only, measurements don't have to match up with typical birdhouses; the standard size of 8 inches tall by 5 or 7 inches wide is sufficient.

Step 4

Put on safety glasses. Use a power saw to cut each piece to length. Use the jigsaw or a drill and drill bit to cut a 1- to 2--inch entrance hole on the front face of the birdhouse. Apply a small line of Gorilla Glue or or wood glue to the edge of each piece and apply clamps. Let the glue dry overnight.

Step 5

Reinforce the birdhouse by screwing or nailing the pieces together. Bend a license plate in half to serve as a roof and attach with nails or screws.

Step 6

Create a perch using antique door handle frames with a piece of salvaged hardware such as a key or faucet handle. Attach the perch using a screw gun. Add flair that is more decorative by using refurbished hinges around the sides to add character and charm.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use care when operating a saw or any other type of machinery.

Things You'll Need

  • Barn wood, driftwood or other recycled wood
  • Tape measurer
  • Power saw and jig saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Gorilla glue
  • Glue clamps
  • Hammer or screw gun
  • Tack nails or screws
  • Perches such as antique door handle frames, keys, belt buckles, golf club heads, faucet handles and children's blocks License plates


  • Recycled Birdhouses
  • Wild Birds Forever Birdhouse Dimensions

Who Can Help

  • Recycled Birdhouse Ideas
Keywords: build recycled birdhouses, license plates, birdhouses

About this Author

Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.

Photo by: lexyu/