These schoolhouse birdhouse plans were inspired by the old-time small single-room country schools of the past. If you are home-schooling students interested in learning more about birds and their habitats, this easy craft project is a good 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 choose to cut the various pieces). All of the birdhouses on myCarpentry.com are made from western red cedar, but other species can be used.
This schoolhouse birdhouse features a cupola on top. I put a small bell (purchased from a craft store) in the cupola of the birdhouse I built, but it isn't required. 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 make 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. Once you cut off the triangles, this will be 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" 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 make a mark at 4". Find the center at the top of the facade and mark a line between the center and the two 4-inch marks and cut off the triangles. This will form 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 on the top and bottom. Attach the cupola walls to the roof with the inside edges 1" from the peak and 3" from the front. I used a combination of wood glue and 1" galvanized 16 gauge finish nails.
- To create the cupola and facade roofs, rip a foot-long piece of scrap 2 3/4" wide with a 36° bevel 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, facade, and front panel.
Schoolhouse Birdhouse - Painting
If you chose western red cedar or redwood or some other wood that is naturally resistant to decay, you can leave the birdhouse unfinished. However, if you choose to paint your birdhouse, don't paint any of the interior surfaces, or the inside of the entrance hole, where the bird would be nesting.
The birdhouse shown at the top of this page was painted with a water-based antique red paint. For the roof pieces, I used a water-based charcoal color. If you are planning to paint your birdhouse 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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