It's cold outside, and we're not the only ones who need a nice warm spot to go to. All those little feathered beauties out there are bound to be looking for a cozy spot to curl up in too. So yesterday, a dark and dreary day, I decided to make them one.
But, seeing as the temperatures weren't going to get any higher and a trip to the store would involve removing my car from a block of ice, I opted to make these little bird houses with what I had on hand. Namely, two old soup cans, some scrap wood...
... and a couple of colored pencils for the perches.
They are great additions to...
... this favorite old classic...
... and will hopefully make a few little winter wanderers just a bit warmer in the coming months.
Soup Can Bird House:
First paint the outside of a clean, open, large soup can with whatever house paint you have on hand and file the sharp rim on the inside a bit so you wouldn't get cut inadvertently. Then, screw a small piece of scrap wood from the inside to the back of each can (see photo above). A small hole drilled in this piece makes for easy installation whether you hang it from a tree or attach it to a fence.
Once this is done, measure the opening of the can and trace the corresponding circle on a piece of scrap wood. Once you have this circle traced, draw an additional circle inside of it for the opening and mark a point for your perch just below that. The size of the opening will depend on the type of bird you are making the house for, but seeing as most large soup cans are still rather small, this house would be for a small bird like a Chickadee or a Warbler. There is a great chart for opening hole sizes here.
It's best to cut out the small circle and drill the hole for the perch first (size should be just the tiniest bit smaller than the perch material so the fit will be snug) and then the large circle so that you keep your work piece as big as possible for as long as possible. Depending on the material you use for the front cover you can either cut these out with an X-Acto knife and a drill (if the material is relatively thin and soft) or a drill, a spade bit (for the entry hole) and a hole saw or a jigsaw if the material is more robust. Once the piece is cut out, glue the perch in with water-proof wood glue, superglue or epoxy. You could also try hot glue, but this may break down over time in harsh weather. When the perch is in place either nail (from the sides of the can) or glue the cover on. Then, simply hang in a safe quiet spot and let your feathered friends move in!
*Note: All tools should be used by adults or with adult supervision.
P.S. If you would like to make a bird house yourself but don't have many tools on hand, this amazing kit comes pre-cut with a hammer, nails and glue right in the box!
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: New Year Old Favorites