Building a Better Birdhouse

One of the many birdhouses on Better Farm's property has been roofless for years. Long-since deserted by its many feathered guests, the structure has sat birdless far too long.

We decided the other day to do something about it, and began brainstorming what materials would work best for a replacement roof. Thatched hay? Sticks and mud? Glass? Tin? We liked the idea of reappropriating some of our aluminum recyclables, but figured we'd need a base to affix said cans to. Off to the wood shed we went, where we found scraps from the tongue-and-groove pine used for loft flooring back in May.

After scrounging up a few more materials found around the house, we were ready to get started. Directions on how to build your own birdhouse roof, along with photos, after the jump!

  • Tape measure
  • Hand saw
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Hammer and nails
  • Wood (we used leftover scraps from tongue-and-groove flooring in our lofts)
  • Emptied and cleaned aluminum cans
  • Scissors
  1. Cut the wood to fit. Hammer into place.
  2. Cut apart the aluminum cans, then cut them into a scalloped shape.
  3. Starting at the bottom of the roof, staple the cans to the wood in a row. Work your way up, staggering the cans so the scallops overlap nicely from row to row.
  4. After you've stapled the top row, take a few cans and cut them into rectangles. Staple the rectangles along the top crease of the roof so moisture doesn't leak in.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.