A Wren Birdhouse Plan
These schoolhouse birdhouse plans are great nest boxes for wrens. This birdhouse's design mimics the old-time small single-room country school buildings. If you are home-schooling students interested in learning more about birds and their habitats, this easy craft project is a great way to get them started. A birdhouse is also a perfect homemade gift idea. Be sure to check out the other birdhouse plans available on mycarpentry.com.
Building the Schoolhouse Birdhouse
This birdhouse can be built from one or two 1x6 fence boards (depending on how you cut the various pieces). All the birdhouses on mycarpentry.com use western red cedar, but other species of wood that are naturally resistant to decay are acceptable. This schoolhouse birdhouse features a Cupola on top of the main roof, with a small bell (purchased from a craft store) mounted inside. It also has a clean-out door that hinges on two screws at the top-right of the front and back panels (see diagrams). There's a facade attached to the front panel, with a 1 1/4" entry hole.
Note: I used a combination of 16 gauge x 2" and 1" air nails to build my birdhouses, which requires a compressor and nail gun, but if you don't have that equipment, you can use small galvanized screws or nails to attach the pieces of your birdhouse.
Note: The dimensions in these plans assume all of the wood is 3/4" thick. If the thickness of your wood is less or more, you might need to make some adjustments here and there.
|Front and Back Walls||3/4" x 5 1/2" x 8"||2|
|Left Side and Rt. Door||3/4" x 5 1/2" x 6"||2|
|Base (not shown)||3/4" x 5 1/2" x 4"||1|
|Main Roof||3/4" x 5" x 9"||2|
|Facade||3/4" x 3" x 5"||1|
|Porch||3/4" x 5 1/2" x 2"||1|
|Facade Roof||3/4" x 1 1/2" x 2 3/4"||2|
|Cupola Walls||3/4" x 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"||2|
|Cupola Roof||3/4" x 2 1/4" x 2 3/4"||2|
Schoolhouse Birdhouse - Assembly
- Cut the two 8-inch front and back panels from a 1x6 (3/4" x 5 1/2").
- Measure from the bottom of each piece, and create a mark at 6" on each side. At the top of each piece, find the center and make a mark. Draw a line from the two 6-inch marks to the top center mark. Cut off the triangles to create the slope of the roof.
- Cut the 3/4" x 5 1/2" x 4" base. Attach the front and back panels to the 4" sides, overlapping the base 3/4" on each side (see diagram above).
- Cut the two sides. Attach the left side to the base and front/back panels. Attach the right side, or clean-out door, only at the top, with a single screw at the front and back. These screws are the hinges for the clean-out door.
- Cut the two main roof sections with a 36° bevel along the 9" length of both sections. Attach them (centered) to the front and back panels.
- Cut the 3" x 5" facade. Measure from the bottom on each side of the facade, and create a mark at 4 inches. Find the center at the top of the facade, draw a line between the center and the two 4-inch marks, and cut off the triangles - thus creating the roof pitch of the facade. Attach the facade to the front panel of the birdhouse, holding it up from the bottom 3/4" and centered from side to side.
- Cut the 5 1/2" x 2" porch. Notch the front corners of the porch piece 45° before attaching it to the bottom of the facade and front panel of the birdhouse (see diagrams)
- Cut the two 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" cupola walls with a 36° bevel angle on the top and bottom of each piece. Attach the cupola walls to the roof with the inside edges 1" from the peak and 3" from the front. I used exterior-grade wood glue and 1" galvanized 16 gauge finish nails.
- To create the roof pieces for the Cupola and front facade, rip a foot-long piece of scrap 2 3/4" wide with a 36° bevel angle on one side. From this, cut two pieces 2 1/4" (for the cupola roof), and two pieces 1" (for the facade roof).
- To make the entrance hole, measure up from the top surface of the porch on the facade and make a mark at 3 1/2" centered on both sides. Use a 1 1/4" paddle bit to drill through the center mark, the facade, and the front panel.
Schoolhouse Birdhouse - Painting
If you chose western red cedar or redwood - or some other wood naturally resistant to decay - you can leave the birdhouse unfinished. If you plan to paint your birdhouse, don't paint the interior surfaces or the inside of the entry hole where the bird will nest.
I painted my schoolhouse birdhouse with a water-based antique red paint. For the roof pieces, I used a water-based charcoal color. If you plan to paint your birdhouse in more than one color, as shown in the images, I suggest painting the roof sections before attaching them to the birdhouse.
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