Create a Rustic Birdhouse

Transform an ordinary birdhouse into the swankest roost on the block using basic tools and trimmings from your yard.


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Colorful twigs from shrubs and trees dress up birdhouses in rustic style. Choose plants with contrasting bark color and gather small branches just prior to starting the project; freshly cut twigs are pliable and easy to cut. For contrast, we used yellow- and red-twig dogwood and weeping willow. Copper sheeting provides a shiny roof. Stain the birdhouse before gluing on wood pieces or leave it unfinished to weather naturally.

Add an easy DIY gourd birdhouse to your collection.

What You Need

  • Wooden birdhouse
  • Wood stain and paintbrush
  • Twigs of various colors, 3/4-inch diameter and less
  • High-heat glue gun with wood-type glue sticks
  • Hand pruners
  • Copper sheets
  • Scissors
  • Embossing tool
  • Magazine or pad of paper
  • Drill and 1/16-inch bit

Cut the Twigs

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Using hand shears trim one end of a twig, and then hold it up to the birdhouse to determine the desired length. Cut several 3/4-inch discs from twigs.

Glue On Twigs

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Apply a line of hot glue to the house and quickly press the twig in place, holding until glue hardens. Glue only one twig at a time, working from outer edges toward center walls. Alternate colors to make a pattern.

Attach Each Disc

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Apply a bead of glue on the disc, press it in place, and hold until the glue hardens.

Make the Roof

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Unroll a copper sheet, placing it over the birdhouse roof and tracing underside edges to mark the cutting line. Use household scissors to cut copper to finished size. Place the copper on a magazine or pad of paper and use an embossing tool to draw a pattern. Hold the copper in place on the roof to pre-drill holes. (Drilling prevents the copper from puckering when tacks are hammered in.) Display either side of the copper to vary the embossed effect. Lightly tap the tacks through the roof.

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