$1 Modern Cedar Birdhouse

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 06/04/2019 - 11:05
Starter Projects
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Free plans to build a modern birdhouse from a cedar fence picket! Make a DIY kit and gift it!

Also check out our traditional cedar birdhouse plans here.

modern cedar birdhouse plans
modern cedar birdhouse on tree
modern cedar birdhouse assembly guide

Want to share your love of DIY with your kiddos?  Building a birdhouse is a great starter project.

Here's how you can build a modern cedar birdhouse for just $1 using half of a cedar fence picket.

This plan is designed for a 5 1/2" wide x 1/2" thick fence picket, about $2 each.  Other materials like a 1x6 could be used, but because the wood is thicker, it may alter your outcome slightly.  Adjust accordingly if you use different materials.

Use a miter saw or circular saw to cut the cedar fence picket as noted in the cut list below.  Notice I trimmed the rough end off and there's also enough leftover for a second birdhouse.  Yep, all you need is half - so about $1 in materials.

Then I just nailed the front to the sides.  If you are having kiddos do the assembly, consider predrilling holes and having them attach with nails or screws.  Also recommended is wood glue designed for oily wood and exterior applications.

Next, it's time to add the top and bottom - the back side is still open.  Notice the back is a little bigger - this is just to add that "mod" feel to it.

Now we'll put the back on ....

Just line up the bottom and outside edges with the floor and roof ...

Drill a hole to hang the house on a tree

And then add a front door with a larger bit

Promise me next time you'll tell me that my front door is not perfectly centered.


Create a DIY Birdhouse Kit with Instructions

I thought this would make a fun gift to give as well -

Just tie up with a ribbon and print out this pattern and place on top.  

And print these instructions out and tuck inside ... the perfect $1 gift!



modern birdhouse dimensions from plans


Shopping List

1/2 of a cedar fence picket measuring 5 1/2" wide x 1/2" thick

1 1/4" nails or screws wood glue suitable for exterior applications and oily wood

Cut List

Cut from the cedar fence picket the following:

2 – 5 1/2” x 5 1/2”(top/bottom)

2 – 5 1/2” x 4 3/4” (sides)

1 – 5 1/2” x 5” (front)

1 – 5 1/2” x 8 1/2” (back)

Tape Measure
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Attach sides to front.

Step 2

Keep back edges flush and attach top and bottom to sides and front. Overhang is approximately 1/4" on front and sides, no overhang on back.

Step 3

Then attach back to main house and cut holes for front door and hanging.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


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