Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to Make a Bucket into a Bird House

It's finally Spring I am so excited! I cant wait to get outside and play! So here's what I've been up to, I built a birdhouse.  Bird Condo really, it has 8 rooms.  Oh wait maybe a bird apartment complex would be a better description. No I like Condo. I have no idea why I made a Bird Condo other than I saw a picture of one and thought I would really like a round one but how would I make that?  Oh wait a bucket is round......

I have plans for a new garden area and I think this baby will go nicely there.  I have no idea if birds will find it appealing or not but I hope they do.

I planted the roof with hen & chicks and some other succulent type plant that I have around the yard.  I love to garden but I never remember the names of things.

Here's how I did it.  I had one of those black plastic buckets that you get when you buy large plants lying around that was the perfect size.  The bottom of the bucket measures 9” and the top opening is 10” so it tapers.  (I think a bucket that doesn’t taper would be better but I didn’t have one of those)   

Here's how I did it.

to make the holes:

- figure out where you want your holes for the "doors"  I used the square drainage holes on the bucket to line them up, 8 holes total (I made the first two then put a piece of paper inside and traced those holes to make a template for the rest)

-use a 3/16" drill bit to screw thru the center of the template holes this creates a place for your hole saw to start if you have the kind like mine with the drill bit in the middle. 

-use 1 1/4" hole saw to cut holes, sand edges to smooth.

To make the “condos”

-cut 2 pieces from 1x6 board that taper from 9” to 9.5” to fit snug in the bucket

-cut a channel in each and fit together like an +  

-cut a circle with a 9.5” diameter and place on top
-make another + measure from the circle to the top of bucket to determine height) set on top of circle

I thought I was going to find a plastic pot that would work for the roof but nothing quite fit or they were too fancy.  Then I saw this metal frame basket with a coco liner in it.  

I liked the shape but thought at first it wouldn’t work because it wasn’t water proof but then it dawned on me, I could put dirt in there and plant it and have a living roof! SWEET!  I went on the hunt for something that would work to hold the dirt in.  The basket opening is 12". I found a plastic tray you know the kind that goes under a garden pot and it was the perfect size.  I spray painted the rim black.


To attach the roof:
-Cut a wood circle to use as a spacer to get the right height and stabilize it.

-screw the spacer to the bucket from the inside of the bucket. 

-center plastic tray on top and screw that to the spacer

-use washers so the screws don’t pull through  I used the holes I had cut when I made the "doors" for the condos.  They were all over the shop floor because I am messy when I work and when I was searching for washers I saw them. ;)

-drill some small holes in the rim of the tray to allow water to drain 

-fill the pot with dirt and using hot glue attach the rim of the coco liner to the tray. 

-screw through the rings on the frame of the roof to attach to tray. (these rings were for the metal chain that normal hangs it)

For the bottom and stand:

-use the bucket to trace a circle onto wood, cut out w/ jig saw 

-screw wood decorative trim piece to circle & screw post in 

-attach to the bucket by screwing the bottom circle to the wood + structure inside the bucket

-trim out the bottom with rope

Do you recognize what I used for my little perches?  They are plastic shelf brackets.  I drilled a hole and popped them in.  A little glue keeps them in place.

I primed and painted the base then screwed it to the metal bracket in a concrete block.  Of course if you don’t have a decorative post and trim piece in your stash you could always use a plain 4x4 and some scraps of wood.

-screw through the bucket rim into wood bottom
There is a gap at the bottom where it meets the base but lets just pretend I did that for ventilation.  It’s not perfect but good enough for me. 

The last step was to cut holes in the coco liner and plant the top. 

what I purchased:

Square wood trim piece-$1 from Habitat Restore
Decorative post-$5  from  Habitat Restore
12" wide metal coco basket -$7 from Walmart

The rest I had lying around. I never get rid of anything. It's a sickness.

It cost me under $15 but even if I had to buy everything it still would have been pretty reasonable.  I love projects like this where you just use what you have and design as you go.  I am pretty happy with how it turned out and I am dying to see if the birdies will like it.

Happy Spring!