How to Build a Nesting Box

Recently I ran across a very cute birdhouse nesting box at my local grocery store. 

I thought about buying it, it was a very good price but upon closer investigation it was made from a very cheap wood product that I didn't think was going to last very long. 

I took a few photos and brought them home because I knew I had some cedar scraps in my workshop. 

And here is how it went...

cedar nesting box

The birdhouse at the grocery store was very cute, painted with a white birch pattern on the front. 

birdhouse with birch design

I figured out very quickly how it was made and headed home. 

I had the perfect scraps of cedar that I saved from an old planter. Did you know that cedar is one of the preferred woods for making birdhouses?

cedar scraps

After cleaning and sanding these very dirty scrap pieces, I cut the sides of the box with a slight diagonal at the top. The front of the box is about 1/2" shorter than the back of the box. The front of the box was cut to the height of the short cut and the back of the box to the top of the taller cut. 

For the hole in the front of the birdhouse I used a drill and this Diablo drill bit.  This bit worked great on the candle holder I made a while back too! It is the perfect size for tea light candles!

drill bit and hole cut in cedar

I used wood glue and the brad nailer to attach the sides to the front and back of the box. 

sides and front of birdhouse

For the bottom of the birdhouse I used a small painted cutting board that was just the right size and added a little front deck for the birds. Don't worry about making your birdhouse perfect at the seams, the birdhouse needs drainage anyway to keep from filling with water. 

cutting board base of birdhouse

Next up, creating a roof for the birdhouse. 

birdhouse with cutting board base and no roof

I wanted something removable so the birdhouse could be cleaned out when necessary. 

I bent an old painted license plate over and attached it with screws to the back of the birdhouse. Before anyone reminds me about a metal roof being hot, please know that this birdhouse will be hung in a shaded area. 

back of birdhouse with license plate

I added a screw to the top of the birdhouse as well to hold it in place. 

license plate roof

At this point I was going to add a perch under the hole but after a little research I found out that it is best not to add a perch because it will allow predators to get in. 

You can certainly paint it at this point but I decided I liked the natural look and cedar ages beautifully. 

And that was it! 

painted license plate roof

I had my own birdhouse nesting box in no time and didn't have to pay for it. 

birdhouse on fence

I added a handle to the back of the birdhouse to hang on a fence hanger.

handle on back of birdhouse

I'm hanging it on the fence with these great hangers I purchased last year. These hangers allow you to hang on a fence or on vinyl siding. 

cedar nesting box on vinyl fence

Here is a post I wrote a few years ago about how to easily hang things on a vinyl fence. 

cedar birdhouse on fence

Please pin for later --->> 

cedar nesting box with overlay

There are many more hints and tips in this article for making your own birdhouse. This page tells you what size hole for which birds is best as well as tips for keeping predators away. 

birdhouse and lights on fence


birdhouse with license plate roof

This condo birdhouse is another fun birdhouse I made years ago from a vintage sewing box. 

birdhouse condo with hook perches

Thanks so much for visiting and before you go please take a minute to sign up for the Homeroad emails so you'll get my weekly newsletter with my latest and greatest DIY projects. 

cedar birdhouse on fence

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I am Susan, the author and creator at Homeroad. I am a wife, mother of 4 daughters, and a grandmother of 5 and counting. I am a retired teacher, a DIY blogger and an artist at heart. .