DIY - How to Build a Birdhouse with Recycled Material

2 min
Apr 26, 2024

Learn how to create birdhouses using recycled materials in a family-friendly DIY project while exploring the world of native birds and their habitat needs.

Welcome to our guide on creating birdhouses with recycled materials—a fun and educational activity for families to enjoy together while helping native birds thrive in your backyard!

Why Build Birdhouses with Recycled Materials?

Building birdhouses with recycled materials not only provides shelter for birds but also promotes environmental awareness and teaches kids about the importance of reusing and repurposing items. Plus, it's a fantastic way to bond as a family while contributing positively to your local ecosystem.

Understanding Native Birds

Before diving into the DIY process, take some time to learn about the native bird species in your area. Understanding their habits, preferences, and nesting requirements will help you design birdhouses that cater to their needs. You can find information online, visit local nature centres, or consult with birdwatching groups for insights into your region's avian residents.

Materials You'll Need

Gather your materials from around the house or through recycling efforts. Here's a basic list to get started:

  • Empty plastic bottles or milk cartons
  • Scrap wood or plywood
  • Nails or screws
  • Non-toxic paint (optional)
  • Rope or wire for hanging
  • Tools: scissors, hammer, nails, screws, drill (for adult use), paintbrushes

Before getting started, make sure you have adult supervision and assistance where needed.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare Your Materials: Clean and dry your recycled items thoroughly. Cut an entrance hole (around 1-1.5 inches in diameter) near the top of the plastic bottle or milk carton. If using wood, cut pieces to size according to your design.
  2. Design Your Birdhouse: Let your creativity shine! Encourage kids to decorate the birdhouses with non-toxic paint, stickers, or natural materials like twigs and leaves. Remember to keep the decorations bird-friendly and avoid anything that could harm them.
  3. Assemble the Birdhouse: If using a plastic bottle or milk carton, secure it to a piece of wood or plywood using nails or screws, to act as the base. Ensure the entrance hole is facing outward and the structure is stable. If working with wood, assemble the pieces to form the desired shape, making sure to leave a small overhang to protect the entrance from rain.
  4. Add Perches and Roofs: Provide perches below the entrance hole to help birds land and enter the birdhouse easily. Attach a sloped roof to prevent rainwater from entering the birdhouse and keep the interior dry.
  5. Hang Your Birdhouse: Once the birdhouses are complete, find suitable locations to hang them around your yard. Place them at varying heights and distances from each other to accommodate different bird species' preferences.

Meet Your Feathered Neighbours

Take this opportunity to introduce your family to the native birds that might inhabit your birdhouses. Create a chart or booklet featuring pictures and fun facts about each species, including their preferred habitats, diets, and nesting behaviours. Encourage kids to observe and document bird activity around the birdhouses, fostering a deeper appreciation for nature and wildlife.


Building birdhouses with recycled materials is a rewarding and educational activity that brings families closer to nature while supporting local bird populations. By providing shelter and nesting sites for native birds, you're not only enhancing your backyard but also contributing to the conservation of these beautiful creatures. So, gather your materials, unleash your creativity, and let's build homes for our feathered friends together!

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