Gardens attract wildlife with their vibrant colors and as a source of food. Encourage birds to take up residence in your garden by adding birdhouses. Birds will provide you with natural pest control. Birdhouses are simple to build and can be hung from low branches on trees or placed on posts installed in the ground. They can be left plain, decorated to match your house, or designed to attract a specific type of bird.
Measure and mark the plywood for the individual pieces using the tape measure and carpenter's square. You will need: two rectangles 6 1/2 inches by 8 5/8 inches (front and back); two rectangles 5 inches by 6 1/2 inches (sides); one rectangle 6 1/2 inches by 6 1/4 inches (floor); two rectangles 6 1/2 inches by 9 1/4 inches (roof halves); two rectangles 5 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch (floor attachment rails). Label the pieces according to their use.
Mark the front and back pieces 51/4 inches from the bottom on the vertical sides. At the top of each piece mark the center point (3 1/4 inches in from the side). Connect the marks to form a triangle. This creates the angular roof shape.
Use the handsaw to cut out the large pieces. Use the coping saw to cut out the floor attachment rails. Stack all of the pieces except the front and back panels and set them aside. Use the coping saw to cut along the angled sides of the triangle. Measure the center point on the front panel at the base of the roof line. Drill a hole 1 1/2 inches starting at the center point, this forms the entrance. Drill a 1/4 inch hole 1 1/2 inches below the entrance hole. The dowel rod will be inserted here as the perch.
Turn the front and back panels over and mark a horizontal line 1/2 inch above the bottom of the panel and 1/2 inch in from each side. Using the marks, attach the floor attachment rails with wood glue and galvanized nails. Run a bead of glue along the short side of one side wall, attach it to the back panel, make sure to align with the bottom of the panel, and secure with nails. Attach the other side wall to the back panel. Run a bead of glue on both exposed ends of the side walls and attach the front panel, secure with nails.
Run a bead of glue along the angled top of the front and back panel on one side. Line up one roof panel so that the top edge is even with the points of the triangle. Secure with nails. Run beads of glue on the other angled top including the edge of the first roof panel. Align the second roof panel and secure with nails.
Turn the birdhouse upside and line the floor up with the floor attachment rails. Do not use glue, secure with wood screws, two on each end. The floor can be removed later for easy cleaning between nesting. Sand the birdhouse to remove rough edges and prepare for painting. Screw eye hooks into the top of the front and back panels. Insert galvanized wire into one eye hook, approximate 1 inch of wire, fold upward and twist to secure. Insert the other end of the wire into the second eye hook, approximately 1 inch of wire, fold upward and twist to secure.
Paint the birdhouse with exterior paint. Allow the paint to dry according to the directions on the paint can. Coat with polyurethane and allow to dry. A second coat of polyurethane might be necessary.