Finding projects for my little ones to do on the weekends can always be challenging. They always like being out in the garage with me whenever I’m building something. So, I figured a woodworking project of their own would be a great option, cue the Basic Bird House. I used the bird house that Ana White has posted on her page with some modifications.
Not long ago they each received a small tool box from my dad with the basic tools: hammer, flat head and phillips head screw drivers, pliers, small tape measure, and work gloves. Both of them were able to use their tools to help build their own bird houses.
- 1 – 1x6x8 pine board
- 1¼” brad nails
- Wood Glue
- 2″ Drill Bit
- Sand paper
- Jig Saw/Circular Saw/Hand Saw/Some kind of saw
- Speed Square
Each 1x6x8 board will make 2 separate bird houses. Many people use cedar picket fence boards for this project, but they are only a half inch thick. I wanted some more support to our bird houses which is why I went with the 1×6 boards. You will need some kind of saw to make the cuts to your board. It doesn’t have to be any specific saw, in fact, if you wanted you could use just a hand saw.
Here’s a list of the cuts that you need to make (uses about 47″ of board):
- Front and back – 2 pieces @ 7¼”; on both of these pieces, you will need to make a mark 4½” from one end on the left and right side of the board. On the opposite side from where you took that measurement mark the middle of the board on the end. If you connect this middle point to each of the marks on the side, you should have a 45° angle. This will be the peak of the bird house.
- The sides – 2 pieces @ 4¼” long.
- The bottom – 1 pieces @ 7″ long.
- The Roof – 1 piece @ 8½”; 1 piece @ 8½” x 4¾”
Once all the cuts were made, I did drill some pilot holes before I let the boys start pounding away on the nails. I wanted to ensure that the boards wouldn’t split as they were nailing away. However, before they were able to nail anything they each got a spare block of wood with sand paper attached to it. Each of my boys was responsible for sanding their own bird house smooth. From there, it was time to attach the sides to the front and back. I started each nail for them to make sure it was going straight before unleashing them with their hammers.
Once they had the sides attached to the front and back, we flipped them over and attached the bottoms. Before we attached the roof, I took the opportunity to drill the 2″ hole for the birds to get in to the bird house. I wanted to do this to make sure I could get all the saw dust out of the bird houses before we put the lids on. When attaching the lids, you will want to take the smaller piece (8½” x 4¾”) and line it up even with the angle on the front and back. The larger pieces will then line up with this edge and both sides of the roof will be even when attached.
Both boys were very proud of the work they did when they finished making their bird houses.
After this it was painting time! They each got a plate with plenty of colors and plenty of paint brushes. They had a blast!
This was a great project to keep the kids busy for almost an entire Saturday. It was pretty easy for them to do most of the work, and when it is warmer out they will each get to pick where we will be hanging them. Hope you enjoy this project and teach your kids to use tools; they are going to need to know some basic skills later in life.