Bird House Plans (Recycle an Old License Plate)

These free bird house plans show you how to recycle an old license plate to attract a variety of birds. This simple birdhouse (nest box) can be made from a single board and a license plate and requires only a few tools to assemble.   Building a birdhouse will encourage neighborhood birds to move in and raise families in your backyard.  Hence providing you and your garden natural pest control.

Free simple Birdhouse plans to attract birds to your backyard and garden. This bird house makes a great family project that the kids can help build.

Materials and Equipment Needed to Build this Simple Birdhouse

  • Wood: 1″ x 6″ x 3′ (2.5cm x 15cm x 100cm)
  • License Plate
  • Screws: Approximately 1.5in” (4cm) long
  • Power drill
  • Hand saw
  • Drill bit to match appropriate entrance hole size

Step 1. Cut the board using the birdhouse plans below.

Cut the 1×6 board as shown in the images below. Optionally sand all pieces smooth. Personally, I am using cedar. However, pine would also make a great choice.

DIY Birdhouse plans (Click to enlarge)
DIY Birdhouse plans (Click to enlarge)

Front of birdhouse (Click to enlarge)
Front of birdhouse (Click to enlarge)

Birdhouse pieces cut and ready for assembly.
Birdhouse pieces cut and ready for assembly.

Step 2. Drill the entrance hole for the birdhouse.

Drill a hole for the entrance using either a spade bit or forsnter drill bit. The plan above specifies a a 1.5in (3.8cm) hole 4in (10cm) off the floor.   A 1.5in (3.8cm) entrance hole is the optimum diameter for bluebirds and tree swallows. However, chickadees, nuthatches, warblers, woodpeckers, and wrens will also gladly make this their home. See Bird House Hole Size if you want to attract a specific bird.

 

Drill birdhouse entrance hole.
Drill birdhouse entrance hole.

 

Step 3:  Pre-drill the holes.

Drill pilot holes to help prevent the wood from splitting. Ideally this hole should be at least as large as the screw’s minor diameter.

 

Pre-drill holes for screws.
Pre-drill holes for screws.

 

Step 4: Assembly the sides, floor, and back of the birdhouse.

Use a combination of glue and screws to attach the sides, floor, and back of the birdhouse together. A waterproof wood glue will help extend the life of the birdhouse.  Personally, I recommend using stainless steel trim screws as shown below.  The smaller screw head is less obvious and helps prevent the wood from splitting.  If you pre-drill the holes, these screws will countersink themselves nicely because the head is not much larger than the pilot hole.

 

Glue joints before inserting screws.
Glue joints before inserting screws.

Trim screws have a smaller head than regular screws.
Trim screws have a smaller head than regular screws.

Step 5. Attach the roof to the birdhouse

First mark the center of the license plate as shown below. Next position this bend line over the straight edge of a table or work bench and bend down. Keep bending until the angle on the license plate matches the roof angle on the birdhouse. Attach the license plate to the birdhouse using only screws. This way, it can be later opened for cleaning.

Drill several 1/4″ holes in the floor for drainage.

Mark center of license plate.
Mark center of license plate.
Bend license plate on center mark.
Bend license plate on center mark.

 

Step 6. Paint or finish your birdhouse.

In our case, we applied a linseed-oil.  This finish helps accentuate the grain and helps make the wood more resistant to damage.

Paint or apply a finish to your birdhouse.
Paint or apply a finish to your birdhouse.

 

Step 7.  Hang or mount your birdhouse.

Mount your birdhouse and see which bird will call your habitat home. See Bird House Hole Size for the recommended mounting height for various birds. Your new birdhouse should provide you excitement for many seasons to come.

Enjoy your birdhouse for seasons to come.
Enjoy your birdhouse for seasons to come.

 

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