“Reusing Toilet Paper Rolls to Build a Birdhouse”

“Reusing Toilet Paper Rolls to Build a Birdhouse”

Reusing Toilet Paper Rolls to Build a Birdhouse


As an avid birdwatcher and crafter, I love finding ways to reuse household items to create fun DIY projects. One of my favorite reusable materials is the humble toilet paper roll. These cardboard tubes can be repurposed into all kinds of creative crafts, from bookmark holders to toy binoculars. But one of my all-time favorite toilet paper roll projects is using them to build adorable little birdhouses.

In this article, I’ll walk through the full process of transforming toilet paper rolls into a charming birdhouse that can spruce up your garden or yard. I’ll cover gathering supplies, constructing the house, adding decorative elements, and mounting it outside for birds to enjoy. With just a bit of effort, you can reuse and recycle toilet paper rolls into a beautiful and functional decoration that attracts delightful feathered friends.

Gathering Supplies

The great thing about this toilet paper roll birdhouse project is that most of the materials can probably be found around your home. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper rolls – The main building material! Save up rolls over the course of a few weeks. Around 15-25 rolls are ideal.

  • Scissors – For cutting rolls to size.

  • Glue – White school glue or a hot glue gun work well.

  • Paint & paintbrush – Acrylic craft paint in colors of your choosing.

  • Wooden perch – A small twig or wooden dowel for birds to land on.

  • ** decorations** – Optional. Things like fake leaves, small pebbles, moss, etc. to decorate the birdhouse.

  • Roofing – A sheet of waterproof material (e.g. scrap of rubber roofing, sturdy cardboard, felt, or vinyl) to create a roof.

  • Cord or wire – For hanging the finished birdhouse.

  • Exterior wood finish – Optional. Helps protect against weather damage.

The only other tool that’s handy to have is a hot glue gun to firmly adhere the toilet paper rolls together. White school glue also works if you don’t have a hot glue gun. And that’s it! With these basic supplies on hand, you’re ready to start constructing your birdhouse.

Constructing the Birdhouse

The construction process involves stacking and gluing toilet paper rolls together into the shape of a small house. Here are the key steps:

Forming the Front, Back, and Sides

  • Take 5-6 toilet paper rolls and glue them vertically together into a rectangular plank shape to form the front piece. Allow glue to dry completely.

  • Repeat this process to create a separate rectangular plank for the back piece.

  • For the sides, glue rolls horizontally together into another rectangular plank, about 5-6 rolls long.

  • For stability, the side pieces should be approximately the same height as the front and back pieces.

Assembling the House

  • Using hot glue or white glue, attach the front piece to the side pieces, forming a U-shape.

  • Then attach the back piece to the side pieces to create a four-sided box shape.

  • Allow the full structure to dry thoroughly before continuing.

Adding the Roof

  • Take a sheet of waterproof roofing material and cut a piece slightly larger than the top opening of the house.

  • Glue or staple this roofing sheet over the top of the box structure.

  • For decorative flair, cut triangular cornices for each corner and glue them to the roof.

And with that, the main structure of the birdhouse is complete! Now let’s move on to the fun part – adding decorative accents and painting.

Decorating the Birdhouse

With a blank canvas of toilet paper rolls, you can let your creativity run wild when decorating the birdhouse. Here are some easy ways to embellish it:

  • Paint the birdhouse in fun colors using acrylic craft paint and a paintbrush. Allow paint to fully dry before adding other decorative elements.

  • Glue artificial leaves or small pebbles around the exterior with hot glue. Try adorning just under the roof for added charm.

  • Add moss or grass along the bottom edges using hot glue to create the look of your birdhouse sitting in vegetation.

  • For visual interest, paint simple patterns onto the walls like stripes, dots, shapes, and tree silhouettes.

  • Attach a cute birdhouse number or other decorative sign using hot glue. Numbers and letters can be hand painted onto wood cut-outs.

  • Draw or paint little flowers along the sides and front. The artistic options are endless!

Decorating is a chance to add personal flair and get creative with embellishing your upcycled toilet paper roll birdhouse. Display it on a garden stake or mount it on a tree once the exterior is looking complete.

Mounting the Birdhouse Outside

Now that your decorative, handcrafted birdhouse is looking beautiful, it’s time to properly mount it outside for birds to use. Here’s how:

  • Insert a wooden perch near the hole, gluing or nailing it into place. This gives birds a place to comfortably land.

  • Attach a piece of cord or wire to the back top for hanging. Make sure it’s long enough to throw over a tree branch.

  • Seal the exterior with a coat of waterproof exterior paint or wood finish. This protects the cardboard rolls from weather damage over time.

  • Hang the finished birdhouse from a tree branch, garden hook, or wooden post. Avoid direct sunlight and aim for partial shade.

  • Consider adding a predator guard below the entry hole to prevent larger animals from raiding eggs. You can make one by gluing toilet paper rolls into a tunnel shape.

  • Clean out the interior each season to remove old nesting materials and debris. This keeps it sanitary for returning birds.

And that’s it – your toilet paper roll birdhouse is ready to hang outside for feathery visitors! Now you can sit back and enjoy watching birds make themselves at home.

Maintaining the Birdhouse

To keep your homemade birdhouse in good shape over multiple seasons, here are some maintenance tips:

  • Every year remove all old nesting materials and droppings. Give the interior a full scrub down.

  • Occasionally re-coat the exterior with new paint or sealer to maintain water resistance.

  • Check for any damage like small holes or gaps. Make repairs with glue or caulk.

  • Use wire cutters to trim back tree branches or vegetation touching the house. Keep clear entry and exit paths.

  • Every 2-3 years, replace the entire house. Recycle toilet paper rolls don’t have indefinite longevity outside.

With some simple yearly maintenance and replacement as needed, your creative toilet paper roll birdhouse can provide shelter for neighborhood birds for years to come!

Final Thoughts

Turning a pile of empty toilet paper rolls into an adorable DIY birdhouse is a fun, eco-friendly craft project for bird lovers. With a few basic supplies, simple construction steps, and your own artistic embellishments, you can upcycle toilet paper tubes into a unique creation. Place your finished birdhouse in the garden and enjoy watching feathery visitors make themselves at home in style. And whenever you need to replace it, just start collecting toilet paper rolls again for a new charming birdhouse build. With this easy guide, you can reuse household materials again and again to create delightful handmade crafts.