I absolutely love working with my hands and finding creative ways to upcycle scrap materials into functional pieces of art. Recently, I came across some beautiful scrap wood pieces in various shapes, colors, and textures. Inspiration struck and I decided to upcycle the wood scraps into a unique, off-balance birdhouse!
Gathering Materials and Tools
The first step was gathering the right materials and tools. For this project I used:
Scrap wood pieces in various sizes – I used pine, oak, cedar and even a few pieces with cool knotholes! Having different woods, colors and textures makes the final piece more visually interesting.
Wood glue – To adhere all the scrap pieces together. I used gorilla wood glue which is waterproof and dries clear.
Nails and screws – To reinforce the glued pieces together. I used both finishing nails and longer wood screws.
Sandpaper – To smooth out rough edges and prep the wood for staining/sealing. I used 120 and 220 grit sandpaper.
Wood stain – For coloring and sealing the birdhouse. I went with a natural pine stain.
Jigsaw – To cut out the entry hole for the birds.
Drill and drill bits – To create pilot holes for inserting screws.
Safety gear – Goggles, dust mask, and gloves for safe woodworking.
Design and Construction
I decided to give this birdhouse an asymmetrical, off-balance shape for visual interest. I started by laying out the different wood scraps to find an arrangement I liked. I made sure to incorporate pieces with knots, cracks, and color variations for character.
Once I had a design in mind, I used wood glue to adhere the scraps together, using clamps to hold them in place while drying. In addition to glue, I reinforced the joints by pre-drilling pilot holes and driving in wood screws in inconspicuous spots.
With the main structure together, I used a jigsaw to cut out a 3 inch circular entry hole towards the top of the front face. I sanded any rough edges smooth with 220 grit sandpaper.
Next I stained the entire birdhouse using a natural pine wood stain, applying 2-3 coats with a brush and allowing proper dry time between coats. Finally I drilled a few small holes in the bottom for drainage and attached a piece of paracord to hang the birdhouse.
When it came to hanging this unique birdhouse, I wanted a spot that would show off its off-kilter charm! I decided an overhanging tree branch would be perfect to hang it from. This allows it to hang at an precarious looking angle while still being securely attached.
I scouted the large oak tree in my backyard and found a suitable diagonal tree limb to hang it from. I wrapped the paracord around the branch and tied it tightly. Now the birdhouse hangs at a steep, whimsical angle, looking like it might tumble over at any second!
Benefits of an Off-Balance Birdhouse
While unconventional, there are some great benefits to a birdhouse with an off-balance, asymmetrical design:
Visual Interest – The uneven shape and varying woods make it much more eye-catching.
Fun for Birds – The tilted angle adds challenge and excitement for birds entering the hole or perching on top.
Weather Protection – The overhanging shape shelters the entry hole from direct sun and rain.
Easy to Mount – No need to find a perfectly vertical tree. It can hang at an angle from a slanted branch.
Conversation Starter – Unique birdhouses like this spark interest and conversations! People will ask about it.
So if you want to spice up your backyard with a functional birdhouse that’s also an unexpected work of art, try your hand at crafting an off-balance creation from scrap wood! It’s a satisfying upcycling project that the birds will enjoy.
Let me know if you tackle this project or have any other fun birdhouse design ideas! I’d love to see photos of your own whimsical bird shelters. Happy building!