Curbly Original
How To Make a DIY Modern Birdhouse

by Chris Gardner

In this post, you'll learn how to make a birdhouse two different ways ...

How to make a birdhouse - modern and MCM design plans

A few years ago, I made a mid-century inspired birdhouse, modeled after the iconic Case Study houses. I created it using my growing collection of woodworking tools, like a table saw and router table, cutting complex angles, and using joints like rabbets and dadoes. It was fun and challenging, and nearly three years outside later, it's still very strong and holding up wonderfully.

But, of course I know that most folks, even other creative-types and DIYsters, don't have access to all these tools. So, I wondered: is it possible to come up with a modern, handmade birdhouse that doesn't required bunches of power tools and knowledge of complex joinery?

Of course it is. So, here's a DIY mod birdhouse that requires only an electric drill and a few toolbox staples. The whole thing can be made for around $10 in materials, and in just an hour or two.  

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Curbly Original
IKEA Hack: DIY Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse

by Faith Provencher
IKEA Hack: DIY Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse
Photo: Faith Towers

In case you haven't noticed, we love making IKEA items even cooler. So when I decided I needed a birdhouse for our yard, it occurred to me that the wooden Knuff magazine file might be the perfect solution. Keep reading to check out the stylish, modern birdhouse that I came up with.   

 

IKEA Hack: DIY Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse
Photo: Faith Towers

The birds in your yard will be thrilled to move into this hip little haven! Here's what you'll need for this project....

Materials

 

  • IKEA Knuff Magazine File
  • Aluminum flashing (available in the gutter section of your home improvement store)
  • 1/4 inch dowel rod, cut to 3 inches
  • Acrylic paint 
  • Paintbrush
  • Washi or painters tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tin snips
  • Drill (The Skil Drill pictured is only $64.25)
  • 1/4 inch drill bit, 1 1/2 inch drill bit
  • Thin guage gauge(not pictured)
  • Sandpaper (not pictured)

IKEA Hack: DIY Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse

 

Step

IKEA Hack: DIY Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse

Begin by drilling a hole in the front of the Knuff file using a 1 1/2 inch drill bit. It should be somewhat centered on the bottom half of the file.

 

Step

IKEA Hack: DIY Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse

Next, sand the hole using a fine grit sandpaper so the birds don't catch their feathers on their door. Don't forget to sand the inside as well. Don't mind the wonky shape of the hole... I think I need to get a new drill bit!

Now drill a 1/4 inch hole about 1 1/2 inches below the large hole. This will eventually be the perch for the birds.

Step

IKEA Hack: Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse

Next, use washi tape or painters tape to section off a triangular section around the holes as shown above. Paint the triangular section the color of your choice. Let the paint dry and then carefully remove the tape.

 

Go crazy with the paint if you like... any color or shape will work!

Step

IKEA Hack: Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse

Now, drill four small holes on the back of the birdhouse. These will accommodate the wire which will be used to hang your birdhouse later on.

Step

IKEA Hack: Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse

Cut two pieces of wire that are long enough to fit around the tree or post that you'll be hanging the birdhouse on. Mine were each about 2 feet long. String one piece of wire through the top two holes so that it goes in one and back out the other, and string the other through the bottom two holes. 

Step

IKEA Hack: Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse

Next, put a very small dab of hot glue on the end of the dowel rod and insert it into the 1/4 inch hole that you drilled earlier, creating the perch.

Lastly you will attach the aluminum flashing. The Knuff comes with small holes on the front and back (now the sides of the birdhouse), so you'll want to cover those first (unless you want your house to have windows!). Cut two 2x2 inch squares of flashing for this purpose. Put a small line of hot glue down each side of one square and place it on the inside of the file to cover one of the small round holes. Be very careful, because the flashing will heat up. Do the same to the other small hole. 

Now cut a piece of flashing that is about 14x5 inches for the roof. Glue it to the top of the file as shown above. Again, be careful that you don't burn yourself as the flashing will warm up with the heat of the glue. And that's it! Now go attach it to a tree or post using the wire and a screw, and your birds will surely be nesting in no time!

 


Here are some pictures of the finished product....

 

IKEA Hack: DIY Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse
Photo: Faith Towers

You might also consider embellishing it in other ways, perhaps by staining it or even using paint pens to create a fun pattern. The sky's the limit!

IKEA Hack: DIY Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse
Photo: Faith Towers

 

IKEA Hack: DIY Knuff Magazine File Birdhouse
Photo: Faith Towers

 

Interested in seeing more IKEA hacks? Check out some other great ones right here.

 

 

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12 Stylish and Easy DIY Birdhouses and Feeders

by Capree K

12 Stylish and Easy DIY Birdhouses and Feeders

With spring in full force (and summer only a month away -- YAY!), it seems like every bird in the neighborhood is out and about and enjoying the sunshine. Give them something more to chirp about with one of these easy DIY birdhouses or feeders!     

 

1. DIY Upcycled Glass Bottle Bird Feeder

2. DIY Hanging Frame Bird Feeder

3. DIY Modern Bird Feeder

4. DIY Bird Seed Hanging Feeder

5. DIY Painted Gourd Birdhouse

6. DIY Re-Purposed Dinnerware Bird Feeder

7. Simple DIY Wood Birdhouse

8. DIY Modern Birdhouse

9. DIY Modern Globe Birdhouse or Feeder

10. DIY Wood Scrap Bird Feeder

11. DIY Mid-Century Modern Birdhouse

12. DIY Upcycled Bottle Bird Feeder

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Roundup: 10 Modern Birdhouses and Feeders!

by Capree K

Roundup: 10 Modern Birdhouses and Feeders!

One of my favorite things about spring is watching the world come alive, from new buds on the trees to a flurry of avian activity in our yard. Celebrate the season and gives all those birds something to really talk about with one of these unique houses or feeders!   

 

1. Birdy Birdhouse by Vladimir Jaccard

2. Hummingbird Feeder by J Schatz

3. Bird feeder by Joe Papendick

4. Birch Bird House by Tapio Anttila

5. Pip Pip Bird Feeder by Stina Sandwall

6. Sylvester Birdhouse by Suck UK

created at: 04/09/2012

7. Bird Feeder by Gainey Ceramics

8. Canopy Birdhouse by StudioLiscious

9. Scan Birdhouse by Pigeon Toe Ceramics

10. Tui Bird Feeder by Nuzilla

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Curbly Original
How To: Make a DIY Modern Bird Feeder

by Chris Gardner

How To: Make a DIY Modern Bird Feeder

If I were a pet owner...buddy, my guys would be living in style. Mod dog houses, pet beds, Eames dot collars, you name it. After all, they'd have to go in my house, which doesn't contain a lick of traditional nor country.

But, I'm not a pet owner. I have quite strong allergies to most any creature, and so, my only option is to share the modernism with the little guys who live outside my house. And since there's no way I'm doing anything kind to the squirrels and bunnies who snatch at my veggies, I'm looking to give some style to the birds.

So, I made a nice, low-slung mod bird feeder that echoes the long, low houses of Eichler-era California modernism, and you should too! Here's how:  

Materials and Tools:

  • 5" candle plate (available at the craft or home decor store)
  • 1/32" galvanized aluminum sheet, at least 7 x 4 3/4"
  • 10-24 hardware:
    • 2" eye bolt
    • threaded rod or long bolt (with the top cut off)
    • 3x nuts and washers
    • 1x locking nut
  • 1/4" hollow aluminum tube (hardware store or hobby shop)
  • Saw for cutting metal: hacksaw, coping saw, angle grinder, etc
  • Ruler, pencil, and masking tape
  • Electric drill and drill bits
  • Pliers
  • Two-part metal epoxy, such as JB Weld
  • Spray paint and primer
  • Clamps (recommended)

Please note: My design was inspired by the by Marcel Wanders' bird feeder for Droog Design. It's a beautiful piece of work, but at $100, beyond my budget. Mine cost around $9.00.

created at: 04/19/2011

1. Begin by taking off the little feet from the candle plate. Mine snapped off easily with a little twist of some locking pliers. Or, I guess you could leave them on, if you wanted your feeder to sit atop a flat surface. Then, drill a 3/16" hole in the center.

To find the center of the circle, check out this helpful guide from our eBook, Make It! Mid-Century Modern. Which, you will note, is on sale for a mere $5.00!

created at: 04/19/2011

created at: 04/19/2011

2. Cut the galvanized aluminum to it's final size of 4 1/2" x 7". I like using a hacksaw with a bi-metal blade to cut metal, but you could try tin snips, a rotary tool, or whatever you have. They even make metal blades for handheld jig saws.

Then, drill a 3/16" hole in the dead center of your roof. When drilling metal, go slowly and apply nice, steady pressure.

created at: 04/19/2011

3. Find a nice sturdy straight edge, like a table or a workbench, and use the edge to bend your roof to about a 50-degree angle, right down the center. Using scrap wood and clamps to provide even pressure is recommended if you have the tools, but if not, no worries. Aluminum is soft and easy to bend.

created at: 04/19/2011

4. So, as this point you have your base and roof, and they just need to be held together. Begin by threading a nut all the way up the eye bolt and placing it through the top. Then, add a nut to wedge the roof in place (don't go crazy with the tightening, you'll be epoxying it into place later), and figure out how far away you'd like the base to sit from the roof; mine was about 2 1/2". Cut your 1/4" tube to this length.

created at: 04/19/2011

5. Then, place the hollow tube onto the eyebolt in the roof, and thread the bolt or threaded rod through the circular base. Add a nut and washer, and thread as much rod (or long bolt) through until it meets the eyebolt in the roof. So, the ends of the eyebolt and the threaded rod will touch end-to-end, and the tube goes on the outside of those, like a sleeve, to cover up the threads. Add the thickness of you locking nut, and cut the threaded rod to that length. Then, attach the rod onto the base using a nut and washer on the top, and the locking nut to hold it in place. As my tube was 2 1/2", I cut the threaded rod to 2".

created at: 04/19/2011

6. Assemble everything for a dry fit. If it looks great, mixup some epoxy, and add to all of the fasteners. Put epoxy on the nuts on top and below the roof, and along the threads, and glue on the tube. Then, add epoxy to the nut and washer on top of the base.

So, you'll have two pieces:

  • The roof with the eyebolt on top, and the hollow tube hanging down
  • The base with the threaded rod sticking up

created at: 04/19/2011

7. Using clamps while the epoxy sets is a great idea if you have them. Which you should, cause they make every DIY project easier!

created at: 04/19/2011

8. When the epoxy has set, spray both parts with a spray primer, and then your colors of choice. When the paint has dried, mix up a bit more epoxy, and spread it along the threaded rod, and then slip it into the tube. Remove and excess with a damp towel, and allow to set.

Add some seed, and hang it up!

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Curbly Original
Curbly Video Podcast: Build Your Own Mid-Century Modern Birdhouse

by Chris Gardner

Anyone interested in design and architecture can appreciate the brilliant combination of modern materials and contemporary lifestyle patterns inhabitated in the classic mid-century modern ranch home. But rare is the lucky individual that'll every live in an Eichler or an iconic Case Study House. Heck, most of us will never even live in California.

Curbly Video Podcast: Build Your Own Mid-Century Modern Birdhouse

So bring some modernism to your house, whatever its era, by creating a home for your native...

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Make a Little Birdhouse (Lamp) in Your Soul....

by Lilybee

Ahhhh *nostalgic sigh*, They Might Be Giants.

Avians seem to be a theme with me this week. Inke Heiland, the dutch designer whose wallpaper birds I just posted about, is also the creator of this bird house lamp.

created on: 08/05/08

It's very cute and would look good in a small persons room or a hallway but $325 is a lot of money for 'quirky'. I figure it has to be DIY-able with say, a MYO Birdhouse Kit ($12.95) and the Hemma cord set ($3.99)  from Ikea.  Or...

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Mid-Century Birdhouses.

by Chris Gardner

You may never get to live in an actual Case Study house, but that doesn't mean you can't look at one every day. "At Modern Birdhouses..., they've released a series inspired by architects of the Case Study Houses Program--specifically J.R. Davidson, Richard Neutra, and Ralph Rapson. They're made of SmartWood oiled teak, with floating aluminum roofs in three signature modern silhouettes, and they ship preassembled, so you don't have to be as gifted...

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Modernist Bird Houses.

by Chris Gardner

Switched On Set states:

"Never mind some bread and nuts, if you really want to treat the birds in your garden, get them the ultimate in stylish living - scaled replicas of great architectural homes for birds.

That's what German design company Raumhochrosen is now offering. There's a range of homes including 60s gems like the  Gunter Wratzfeld's House Watzenegg in Dornbirn (1963) and Rudolf Wäger's Dice House in Götzis (1965) through to more...

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