A completed starling nest box is mounted on a tree. It has a red roof and the front of it has been painted light grey.
The DIY birdhouse is ready to house its first family of birds.

  • Difficulty
    medium
  • Cost
    50-100 £
  • Duration
    3 - 8 h

Do you want to hear the sound of birds singing and tweeting away in your garden? With your DIY birdhouse, you can easily attract birds to your garden. Shortly after you've hung your nest box, you'll get to see your first bird family living inside it.

You need
Utilities
  • work gloves
  • paint brush
  • face mask
  • ear protectors
  • safety glasses
  • tape measure
  • paint roller
  • screw clamps
  • pencil
  • triangle
  • pocket rule
Materials
  • 1 board, e.g. made of paulownia wood: 60 x 80 x 1.8 cm (L x W x H)
  • 1 board, e.g. made of poplar plywood: 42 x 29.7 x 0.4 cm (L x W x H)
  • 1 round wooden rod (diameter: 0.7–0.8 cm)
  • 1 round wooden rod: 1.2 cm
  • Floor covering
  • Grey and red 2-in-1 paint: around 175 ml
  • Wood glue
  • Tape
  • 4 screws, 3.5 x 20 mm (D x L)
  • 8 screws, 3.5 x 35 mm (D x L)
  • 2 screws, 4.5 x 55 mm (D x L)
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 8

Measure the wood

The dimensions for the front of the starling nest box are measured out and marked on a light-coloured wooden board using a steel square and a pencil.
Start by measuring out and marking the dimensions for the front of the birdhouse.
The dimensions for the base and sides of the starling nest box are also measured out and marked using a steel square and a pencil.
Afterwards, mark the dimensions of the base and the two side walls of the birdhouse.

You need: pocket rule, pencil, triangle, 1 wooden board, e.g. made of paulownia wood, 1 board, e.g. made of poplar plywood

Before you start making your birdhouse, first mark the dimensions on the wood. You'll need a tape measure, a set square and a pencil for this.

First, mark the dimensions for the front of the birdhouse. It will be made up of two pieces that are different shapes: a triangle and an upside-down trapezium. The nest box should be 22 cm at its widest point. Mark this width on the edge of your wooden board and then mark the centre point. Draw a vertical line up from this centre point with a maximum height of 30.2 cm. Mark a point 15.8 cm along the central vertical line. This is where the borehole for the perch will be drilled. And 20 cm along the vertical line, add another point to mark where a hole will be drilled to create the entrance to the birdhouse.

Mark another point 7.6 cm along the vertical line. Draw a horizontal line through this point using a set square, making sure the line extends 11 cm on either side of the point. The resulting line should be parallel to and the same length as the base line. Now mark out the top edges of the front of the nest box by drawing two straight lines connecting the ends of the horizontal central line to the top point (that is 30.02 cm above the base line). This creates a triangle.

Now mark two points on the base line that are each 8.5 cm away from the centre point. Connect these points with each end of the 22-cm-long central horizontal line you drew above them earlier to mark the two side edges of the trapezoid lower section of the nest box.

For the back wall, mark the same dimensions as the front of the birdhouse on a second piece of wood.

Now mark the dimensions for both side walls and the base of the birdhouse. This will make them easier to draw and will also mean they are easier to cut later on in the process. Draw a rectangle on a piece of wood with the following dimensions: 13.4 x 31.1 cm. Mark two points along the length of the rectangle that are each 8.1 cm away from the sides and draw two lines from these points that cut across the width of the rectangle. This will create two more rectangles, which will form the side walls of the nest box. Their heights are identical to the height of the rectangle that is created in the middle, which will serve as the base of the birdhouse.

Mark the following dimensions for the two roof boards on the poplar plywood board: 23 x 30 cm.

Now mark the following dimensions for the connecting strips on the plywood: 6 x 8 cm. Two connecting pieces are required.

Use a round wooden rod that's 1.2 cm in diameter and 23 cm in length as the ridge pole of the nest box, and one with a diameter of 0.7 cm and a length of 7 cm for the perch.

Step 2 8

Cut the individual pieces

A NanoBlade saw is placed on a wooden board that has been secured using screw clamps.
Cut the previously marked wooden parts carefully to the desired size.

You need: NanoBlade saw, screw clamps, safety glasses, ear protectors, work gloves

Once you have marked up all the dimensions, you can cut the wood. It's best to put on work gloves, ear defenders and safety goggles before you start cutting. To make sure the wood doesn't slip while you're cutting it, secure it against a workbench or a worktop using screw clamps. Start by cutting the front and back wall of the birdhouse, followed by the roof boards.

Then cut the side walls and the base of the birdhouse. Set the saw to a 15-degree angle. Now saw a bevel cut along the outer edge of one of the side walls. Then saw along the inner edge at the same angle. Turn the entire piece of wood 180 degrees to ensure the angle of the saw doesn't need to be changed and make two more cuts to separate the base of the birdhouse from the second side wall.

Tip
INSIDER TIP: ANTI-SPLINTER GUARD
Use an anti-splinter guard before you start using the NanoBlade saw. This prevents the wood from splintering and then needing to be fixed afterwards.
Step 3 8

Drill and cut holes

A hole is cut into the front of the starling nest box using a hole cutter. This will be the entrance and exit to the nest box.
Your birdhouse needs and an entrance and an exit.
A blind hole is cut into the front of the starling nest box for the rod which will serve as a perch.
The second hole is for the wooden rod which will serve as the perch for the birds.

You need: Cordless combi drill, Wood drill bit 5mm, HSS bi-metal holesaw 44mm, screw clamps, ear protectors, safety glasses

Use the hole cutter to cut a hole in the front of the birdhouse. The birds will use this as an entrance and exit. Next, drill a blind hole for the perch. Drill into the point you marked earlier underneath the large hole. Since the wooden rod should be inserted by around 1 cm, mark 1 cm on the wood drill bit with tape. Alternatively, you can use a drill bit stop.

Tip
HOLE CUTTER TIP
Drill around halfway through the wooden board. Then turn the board around and finish drilling the hole. This will ensure a clean and accurate cut.
Step 4 8

Sand down the wooden pieces

A wooden surface that is secured using screw clamps is sanded down using a multi-sander.
Polishing the wood will make it easier to varnish afterwards and will ensure it doesn't splinter as quickly.

You need: Multi-sander, Sanding sheets for multi-sander (180 grit), Sanding sponge, screw clamps, safety glasses, face mask, ear protectors

Smooth down the edges of the individual pieces of wood using an abrasive sponge or sanding paper. Sand down the surfaces using the multi-sander. Make sure you put on ear defenders, safety goggles and a face mask beforehand.

Step 5 8

Assemble the birdhouse

A cordless combi drill is used to screw a connecting strip into the two front sections so that they stay together.
Use a connecting strip to hold together the top and bottom pieces of the front of the birdhouse.
Two safety bolts are screwed through the triangular piece of wood into a connecting strip from the outside using a cordless combi drill.
Now two safety bolts are screwed through the triangular piece of wood into the connecting strip from the outside using a cordless combi drill.
A side wall that has been secured using screw clamps is attached to the bottom part of the front of the nest box using a cordless combi drill.
Now attach the side walls to the front of the birdhouse.
The side walls of a starling nest box are secured against the front and back wall using a cordless combi drill.
Your new birdhouse is starting to take shape.

You need: Cordless combi drill, screw clamps, safety glasses, ear protectors, 4 screws: 3.5 x 20 mm, 8 screws: 3.5 x 35 mm

Lay both front pieces (the trapezium and triangle) against each other. Place the connecting strip over the middle of the intersection where the two pieces meet. Insert two screws (3.5 x 20 mm) through the connecting strip into the bottom piece from the inside. Afterwards, screw two safety bolts (3.5 x 35 mm) from the outside through the triangle into the connecting strip. Do the same with the pieces for the back wall.

Now screw the side walls to the front and back wall of the birdhouse. To do so, hold one of the side walls against the bottom part of the front and mark the spots you want to drill. After you've drilled through these points, secure the pieces against each other once again. Use screw clamps to keep it stable so that it doesn't slip while you are drilling. Then screw the second side wall into the bottom part of the back wall. Afterwards, put both resulting L-shapes together. Finally, simply slide in the base, or screw it in if you prefer.

Step 6 8

Attach the roof, ridgepole and perch

Two roof pieces stuck together using tape have been placed on top of the starling nest box frame.
To ensure the roof of the starling nest box doesn't slip while you are securing it, stick both pieces of the roof together beforehand using tape.
Wood glue is applied to the sides of a starling nest box.
Then wood glue is applied to the edges of the gable.
A wooden rod is mounted onto the nest box using wood glue. This will be the ridge pole.
The first wooden rod serves as a ridgepole and is mounted on top of the nest box using wood glue.
A wooden rod is inserted into a blind hole using wood glue.
To make it easier for the birds to come and go, attach another wooden rod for them to use as a perch.

You need: Cordless combi drill, round wooden rod (diameter: 0.7–0.8 cm), round wooden rod (diameter: 1.2 cm), roof boards, tape, wood glue

Lay both roof boards side by side, joined together along the shorter edge. Leave a gap of 1.5 cm between them. Stick the boards together using tape to ensure that the gap remains. That will make it easier to attach the roof correctly. Apply wood glue to the top of the gable. Place the taped roof structure on the frame so that the roof is aligned with the back wall of the birdhouse. The roof should protrude by around 6 cm at the front of the nest box. Now press down firmly on the roof and leave it to dry. As soon as it has dried, apply a liberal amount of wood glue on the gable and place the round wooden rod between the two roof pieces. Press down on it firmly and spread any glue that oozes out. To secure the perch against the starling nest box, apply a little bit of wood glue to the blind hole and press the round wooden rod into it afterwards.

When everything is dry, remove the safety bolts that you inserted in step 5. This will enable you to detach the roof for mounting and cleaning.

Step 7 8

Paint the starling nest box

The front of the starling nest box is painted light grey using a paintbrush. Floor covering protects the ground from any paint blobs or splodges.
Now it's time to paint your birdhouse.
The roof of a starling nest box is painted using a paint roller and red paint.
Paint the roof red so that birds can be see it easily from a distance.

You need: paint brush, paint roller, 2-in-1 paint in red and light grey, floor covering, tape

Give the frame of your birdhouse coat of paint. In stark contrast to the rest of the birdhouse, the roof is painted in a bold red colour. You can use a paint roller for painting the large surfaces. A brush is better for the smaller edges and details. Take a thin strip of tape and stick it over the areas where the two colours meet. This will ensure a clean divide between the two colours. If you use 2-in-1 paint, your bird house won't just look great, it'll be weatherproof too.

Step 8 8

Mount the starling nest box on the tree

The bottom section of a starling nest box is mounted on a tree using an IXO with an angle screw adapter.
Find a suitable spot and mount the birdhouse on the tree.
A completed starling nest box with a red roof is mounted on a tree.
With this beautiful birdhouse, starlings will soon feel at home in your garden.

You need: Cordless screwdriver (IXO)

Remove the connecting screws on the back wall of the birdhouse. Then detach the roof from the rest of the nest box. Now drill from the inside through the connecting strip and the back wall into the tree using stainless steel screws (4.5 x 55 mm). The angle screw adapter will help you to insert screws into areas that are difficult to reach. Alternatively, you can also loosen or tighten screws that are difficult to reach using a manual offset screwdriver.

Once you've mounted the frame of the birdhouse, place the roof back on top of it. Now it's ready for some feathered friends.

Tip
MOUNTING THE NEST BOX WITHOUT A TREE
Are there no trees in your garden that are suitable for mounting the birdhouse on or do you want to avoid drilling holes into it? If so, you can hammer a post into the ground or mount the birdhouse on the wall of your house. Mount it at least three metres above the ground and ensure that it is protected from the wind.