Make Mom a Birdhouse for Mother's Day

Bird Houses Make Great Gifts for Gardeners

This one's made from distressed cedar,
This one's made from distressed cedar, | Source
Light painting makes them prettier
Light painting makes them prettier | Source
They'll use these houses over and over again.
They'll use these houses over and over again. | Source
This one is made out of bamboo flooring. You can use any wood.
This one is made out of bamboo flooring. You can use any wood. | Source
Before the hole is drilled.
Before the hole is drilled. | Source
Putting the sides together.
Putting the sides together. | Source
Putting the roof on.
Putting the roof on. | Source

Mother's Day Can be For the Birds

Wild birds really need human help, especially in the winter. Hummingbirds have been sighted taking temporary shelter in empty birdhouses during winter storms, and feeders everywhere draw in so many different species to an area. If there are both feeders and birdhouses, its extra likely that you’ll have year-round wildlife in the yard. A bird house can also be painted to be decorative, but some birds won’t live where the design is very busy or colorful; you have to think survival instinct. Here’s super easy directions to build a birdhouse that Ma will love.

You will need:

  • Fence-plank cedar (about $2, or other wood, you choose) 1x6, enough to get two pieces ten inches long, one piece 14 inches long, one piece 12 inches long, two pieces 7.5 inches, and the bottom piece is 5.5x4 inches.
  • 18-20 four-penny nails or screws1.25 - 1.5 inches long (less than a dollar unless you can bum them from a neighbor).
  • Safety glasses
  • A saw
  • A hammer
  • A drill with 1-1.25 inch bit
  • Tape measure
  • Safety gloves
  • A square
  • A screwdriver or screw gun
  • Exterior wood glue
  • Caulking for the roof
  • Optional exterior paint and primer
  • Paintbrushes
  • **Tip: Wood comes in many sizes, so if you’d like a birdhouse of different sizes, measure the bottom piece first and go from there.

  1. Measure (twice) and cut the 1x6 into the necessary lengths. Make the 12-inch piece with the corners cut, leaving a 30-45 degree angle (choose if you want a steep pitch to the roof or a flatter look) to accommodate the roof.
  2. The two 5x7 roof pieces need to be mitered so the edges fit flat together at the point. Mitering the touching edges is optional, it can be left flat on both sides and you caulk it that way.
  3. Nail the face (12-inch) to the sides, so that you can’t see the sides from looking directly in front of the birdhouse; that leaves the back open.
  4. Nail the bottom piece to fit inside the rectangle of the birdhouse, being careful to push the floor in an inch, leaving a footed bottom so it won‘t collect rainwater under it.
  5. Nail the 14-inch piece on the back the same way as the front; so you can’t see the edges of the sides.
  6. Nail the top pieces together first, whether mitered or not, and then nail the roof on. Use screws in the roof (or the bottom) for easier access to clean it out at the end of the season.
  7. If you can’t find a board with a natural hole, drill one, 1 inch to 1.25 inches, depending on what kinds of birds will reside in it. Drilling it after it's been mounted is a good idea because then the shavings fall inside and the birds like it. Plus, it's easier.
  8. Caulk the roof. Don’t make it air tight so you can clean it later and so there’s natural ventilation while it’s needed.
  9. Paint, or unpainted, the birds won’t mind mild designs and few colors.

DO NOT make a perch in front of the hole because birds may not choose that house, if you do. It’s a safety factor, and if there’s no perch it isn’t as easy for predator birds to get in; some wild birds steal nests and houses from other birds, killing any babies or eggs that are already there. No perch = safer for the little birds; they can hold onto the birdhouse itself just fine without a perch. Choose to paint or not

Even if you’ve made something by hand, wrap it nicely and make it look like a gift. Let your imagination go wild - melt soap and pour it in candy molds to cool, or bake sugar-free (or whatever a special diet may be) cookies. You can think of something she’ll enjoy, and she isn’t likely to forget it, either.

More Hand Made Gifts for Mom

Go ahead to see how to make these other nice gifts for mom, or choose index page to go back to the list:

  • The old Coupon idea taken further
  • Scented and colored mineral salts in beautiful vessels
  • Original spice mixes and condiments
  • Homemade Artisan Pasta
  • Craft supplies (is *enough craft supplies* even a real thing?)
  • Natural cosmetics, cleansers and moisturizers
  • Bedazzled candles and tea lights
  • Handmade blanket
  • Photograph album that’s a paper album, not digital
  • Cedar birdhouse

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What Kind of Craft Does Your Mother Like? 4 comments

Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

My son made me a birdhouse for Mother's Day last year, it is a great gift. I like it mostly for decorative purposes though. My cats are hunters so I don't like to draw birds into my yard. Voted up.

SandyMcCollum profile image

SandyMcCollum 4 years ago Author

Thank you Sherry! Yes, I love my birdhouses too, but our roomies have 4 cats and I didn't feel it was right to 'bait' the cats lol. I also like my birdfeeders.

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Nicely written instructions and a great idea for a Mother's Day gift. My Mom loves her bird houses and the birds that come to her feeder are a constant source of joy for she and my 92yo Auntie. Thanks for the instructions!

SandyMcCollum profile image

SandyMcCollum 4 years ago Author

Thanks, Peg! 92 years young, how lucky! Yes, I enjoy my houses and feeders immensely, I can't wait to live somewhere I can have them up again. Thanks for reading.

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