Using Duct Tape and Paper Clips to Build a Birdhouse
Building a birdhouse using duct tape and paper clips may sound unusual, but it’s actually a fun DIY project that can be done with materials you likely already have around the house. As an amateur birdhouse builder, I’ve found that a little creativity and the right techniques allow you to construct a durable, decorative birdhouse without any wood required.
In this article, I’ll walk through my process for using duct tape and paper clips to build an easy birdhouse that birds will love. I’ll cover choosing the right design, tips for construction, decorating your birdhouse, and finally installing it in your yard. Whether you want to build with your kids on a rainy day or are just looking for an eco-friendly craft, read on to learn how to make a cute home for your feathered friends.
Choosing a Design
The great thing about building a duct tape and paper clip birdhouse is you can create any shape or size you like. Classic birdhouse designs include simple rectangles or squares, cylindrical shapes, or even more unique options like tepees or pagodas.
When choosing a design, keep these factors in mind:
- Size of the birds – Tailor the interior dimensions to the species you want to attract. Larger birds like robins need bigger houses.
- Entrance hole size – The entry should be just big enough for the bird to pass through, generally 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches.
- Ventilation and drainage – Add windows or gaps for airflow and drainage holes in the floor.
- Protection from elements – Overhangs above the entry and a good roof will help keep the interior dry.
- Durability – Duct tape construction will make a long-lasting birdhouse.
I decided to make a rectangular birdhouse with a sloped roof and polka dot pattern that would attract small birds like chickadees, wrens, and sparrows. Read on to see how I constructed it.
Building Your Birdhouse Frame
To build the basic structure, you’ll need a roll of duct tape and a bag of jumbo paper clips.
Step 1) First, cut and bend paper clips into long, straight pieces to form the sides, roof, and floor frame. Overlap the ends and use small pieces of duct tape as brackets to join each corner.
Step 2) Next, cut duct tape strips about 2 inches wide to cover each face of the frame. Layer 2-3 strips over the paper clips, pressing firmly to adhere.
Step 3) Cut an entrance hole with a 1 1⁄4 inch diameter in the front panel before applying the tape.
Step 4) Finally, cut a piece of tape for the roof and floor. The roof should overhang the sides a bit to provide protection.
Tip: If the structure still feels flimsy after taping, run extra strips of duct tape along the inside corners for reinforcement.
Decorating Your Duct Tape Creation
Now the fun part – make your birdhouse unique with decorative duct tape, paint, and additions like fake flowers. Here are some easy ways to customize your birdhouse:
- Use patterned duct tape like polka dots, stripes, flowers etc. Layer colors and patterns!
- Paint designs with acrylic craft paint before or after taping. Let dry fully between coats.
- Glue on bits of fake greenery, berries or vines using hot glue.
- Add creative roofing like flower petals or leaves.
- Attach a small wreath to the front.
- Stamp designs into the tape with erasers or corks before applying.
I made a bright polka dot pattern alternating white, blue and green tape. Then I hot glued a sunflower to the roof for a pop of color. Get creative with materials you have on hand to make it your own!
Once your masterpiece is complete, it’s time find a good spot to mount it outside. Here are a few tips:
- Location – Pick a sheltered area away from prevailing winds. Near trees or shrubs is ideal to provide cover.
- Height – Mount the house 5-10 feet off the ground to deter predators.
- Mounting – Use exterior wood screws in a metal hanger or pole to attach the birdhouse securely.
- Protection – Consider using a guard to prevent larger birds and squirrels from taking over the nest.
Make sure to maintain the house by emptying old nests and cleaning annually. Then your duct tape creation will provide seasons of shelter for birds to raise their young!
Enjoy Your Handmade Birdhouse
Building a cute duct tape and paper clip birdhouse is a fun craft that allows you to flex your creativity. With a simple frame construction and endless decorating possibilities, you can make a unique decorative accent for your garden and provide much needed habitat for birds.
I encourage you to try this budget-friendly project using materials you already have at home. Learn the basic techniques for assembly in this article, then get the kids involved to design your own one-of-a-kind birdhouses. It’s incredibly rewarding to see your handmade house become a home.