How to Build a Rustic Birdhouse with Household Items

How to Build a Rustic Birdhouse with Household Items

How to Build a Rustic Birdhouse with Household Items


Building a rustic birdhouse with items commonly found around the home is a fun project that allows me to get creative while also helping our little feathered friends. In this article, I will walk through the complete process to build a charming and simple birdhouse using basic tools and recycled materials.

Gather Materials

The first step is gathering the household items I’ll need to construct the rustic birdhouse. Here is a list of materials:

  • Wooden box or tin can – This will form the basic structure of the birdhouse. I can use an old wooden box, jewelry box, or metal tin.

  • Scrap wood pieces – I’ll need small wood offcuts or pieces of bark to create the rustic exterior.

  • Twigs, sticks, and branches – These add to the natural, rustic look.

  • Hammer and nails – To assemble the birdhouse.

  • Sandpaper – To smooth out any sharp edges.

  • Paint, stain, or wood finish (optional) – To seal and decorate the exterior.

  • Drill with hole saw – To cut the entry hole for birds.

  • Exterior wood glue – To attach the perch and decorative elements.

Prepare the Birdhouse Structure

Once I have gathered suitable materials from around the house, it’s time to prepare the main structure that will become the birdhouse. Here are the steps:

  • Take the wooden box or tin can and ensure one side is fully open to become the front. Remove any lid or cover.

  • Using the hammer and nails, seal off any unwanted holes or openings in the box/can except the front.

  • Optional: Paint or stain the inside and outside of the box. This isn’t required but can help protect and decorate it.

  • Let any paint or stain fully dry before continuing.

Add the Entry Hole

Now it’s time to cut an entry hole for the birds. Here’s how:

  • Using the drill with a 1 1⁄8” to 1 1⁄4” hole saw bit, cut a circular entry hole on the front of the box, about 5-6 inches above the floor.

  • Tip: Drill from the inside out to avoid splintering. The entry hole size will determine which bird species will be able to use the house.

  • Sand the edges of the hole smooth.

Create a Rustic Exterior

To give the birdhouse a charming, rustic look I’ll add natural elements like sticks, twigs and wood pieces:

  • Apply wood glue around the exterior surfaces.

  • Press and hold assorted sticks, twigs, bark pieces and wood scraps into the glue to cover the outside.

  • Let the glue fully dry.

  • Optional: I can use jute or twine wrapped around the exterior for an added rustic touch.

Add Finishing Touches

Almost done! A few final touches will complete my rustic birdhouse:

  • Use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges or corners.

  • Coat the exterior with a protective sealant like polyurethane or beeswax to waterproof it.

  • Attach a small wooden perch below the entry hole using glue and/or screws.

  • Hang the birdhouse from a tree, post, or wall using wire, cord, or a metal bracket.

  • Enjoy watching birds move into their new rustic home!


With simple household items and basic tools, I was able to craft a charming DIY birdhouse with a rustic aesthetic. The natural materials blend perfectly in any outdoor space while providing birds with a safe place to nest. This is a fun, creative project that can be customized in many ways by choosing different containers, wood pieces, and decorative elements. I’m excited to see if birds will make this handmade house their home!