How to build a birdhouse from pallet wood

Craft a colourful sanctuary for wild birds in your garden with a trio of bird boxes made from pallet wood

Provide visiting wrens, robins and blue tits a permanent home in your garden with a charming birdbox that they can roost and nest in. It’s a must for a wildlife-friendly garden.

Treat the wood with a wildlife-friendly wax or paint it pastel like our three boxes. Place them at least 1.25 metres off the ground to prevent cats from jumping up to the nests. When hanging the boxes, tilt them forward to avoid rain driving into the holes – the chicks will appreciate the dry setting! Be sure to thoroughly sand the holes into the birdboxes for a smooth finish as well, this will protect garden birds and shouldn’t ruffle any feathers.

Check out more DIY pallet wood projects here!

You will need…

  • Pallet or reclaimed wood
  • Hammer
  • Crowbar
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Handsaw
  • Electric drill
  • 3cm and 3.5cm-diameter hole-cutter drill bits
  • 4cm nails
  • Elmer’s non-toxic wood glue
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes

Step 1

Using a hammer and crowbar, carefully dismantle the pallet. Remove any nails by hammering their pointed ends. Sand the wood with a sander or sandpaper

How to make the blue birdhouse

Step 1

Cut four 7.5 x 15cm lengths of pallet wood for the horizontal front and the back walls. Drill a 3.5cm hole in the middle of one of the lengths. Sand the drilled hole with sandpaper.

step 2

Step 2

Cut two 7.5 x 15cm pieces of wood to form the side walls. Using a hammer and nails, attach the front and back walls to the side lengths. Cut two 7.5 x 11cm lengths of wood and nail them to form the bottom of the box.

step 3

Step 3

Cut two 7.5 x 15cm pieces of wood and nail them to the top of the box, creating a 4cm overlap over the front of the box. Paint the bird box with blue wood paint. Once dry, use a narrow paintbrush to add white stripes.

step 4

How to make the pink birdhouse

Step 1

Cut six 7.5 x 25cm lengths of wood. Four of these will form the sides and the other two the front and back of the birdbox. Cut two 7.5 x 11cm pieces of wood for the base of the birdbox. Cut two 7.5 x 19cm pieces of wood for the top, which will have a 6cm overhang once constructed. Using wood glue, attach the two bottom pieces together along their longer side. Leave to fully dry.

Step 2

Cut a hole in the top half of one of the side lengths of wood. Drill a 3cm hole for smaller birds, such as blue tits or even tree sparrows. Sand the edges of the drilled hole to make it smooth. Stand each of the six 25cm lengths on end in a rectangle and secure the bottom section to them with a hammer and nails.

step 6

Step 3

With the panel with the entrance hole facing you, align the two roof pieces to the left-hand side of the top of the box and attach with a hammer and nails to leave a 6cm asymmetrical overhang on the right-hand side. Paint the box with pink paint. Once dry, use a paintbrush to add spots with white paint.

step 7

How to make the green birdhouse

Step 1

Follow steps 2 and 3 of the blue birdbox to form the front, back, sides and base of the birdbox. Secure the walls and base together with a hammer and nails.

Step 2

Cut two 7.5 x 15cm lengths to form the front and back gable ends. Find the centre point of each length and pencil on a straight line to the opposite corners to form a triangle. Cut this out with a saw. Repeat on the other length. Nail these to the front and back of the house to form the gable ends.

step 9

Step 3

To form the roof, cut out three 7.5 x 15cm lengths and one 5 x 15cm length of wood. Secure these to the gable ends with a hammer and nails. The roof should overhang slightly. Paint with light green wood paint and leave to completely dry.

step 10

Project and step photos Luke Green

Main image Dave Caudery

Styling Tricia Ball and Beth Charlton Lucas