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Helping Mother Nature
Making Bird Houses Out of Recycled Items
by jantje blokhuis-mulder

Step 4:
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Step 7:
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Step 10:
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Step 11:
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The house before the tree bark roof is added.
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The finished product.
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In order to make a twig home, you will need to do the following: 1. First, you will need to pick up a 2 foot length of cardboard construction tube that is 6 inches in diameter. Find this at any home improvement store.

2. You should also go for a walk and collect straight (or semi-straight) branches off all lengths. Be sure to collect fallen branches and not ones that are still attached to a tree! Vines work really well.

3. With a quarter inch drill, make twelve holes about 6 inches from the bottom of the cardboard tube.

4. Take 5 or 6 short straight pieces of tree twigs no longer than 7 inches and fit them into the drilled holes. This will make the base for the bottom of your birdhouse.

5. Glue all the twig pieces in place in the holes using hot glue.

6. Let the glue dry and then cut the excess off of the twigs.

7. Make a woven bed of twigs to lay in the bottom of the birdhouse (on top of the pieces of wood you just glued in place). By doing this, you are creating a base that the birds can build their nest on. Notice that any water will be able to drain through.

8. Now cut one side of the cardboard tube at a 45 degree angle. The angled end will be the top of the house.

9. Cut a small hole about 2" in diameter about halfway up the tube. This is where the birds will go in and out of the house.

10. Begin gluing sticks all around the tube using hot glue. Make the sticks different lengths for added interest. Don't worry if some of the pieces extend past the bottom of the tube. Try to make the sticks flush with the top.

11. Once you have glued the sticks to the cardboard so that no cardboard is showing, let the glue dry and then trim the tops of the branches so they are flush.

12. Now, find some tree bark, from a fallen log to be the roof of your birdhouse - DO NOT TAKE BARK OFF OF A LIVE TREE

13. Glue the bark on top of the tube. Try to use two smaller pieces at the side first.

14. Follow up by gluing one last piece of bark over the two side pieces of bark. This arrangement will act as a natural barrier to rain.

15. Once the glue for the roof has dried, drill a hole on either side of the birdhouse, about 4 inches down from the top.

16. Bend an old coat hanger and push the two ends through the holes you just drilled. This way you can hang your creation.

17. The finished product blends into nature beautifully.

There you have it. A wonderful natural looking birdhouse made for just a few dollars. You can hang your house from a tree or you can fasten it to a pole instead. Either way, your feathered friends will be happy to call this lovely birdhouse home.

Recommended Books:

The Great Birdhouse Book
by Mike Dillon, Jim Linna
Features instructions for building 28 creative birdhouses.

How to Build Birdhouses and Feeders
by Stephen Moss, Alan Bridgewater, Gill Bridgewater
These eleven birdhouse and feeder projects will enhance any garden and provide an ideal way to entice birds closer to the home.

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Text Jantje Blokhuis-Mulder

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