Sometimes a bird house comes into existence practically by itself. Or at least from the help of a woodpecker or two. When my husband had to cut down a dead section of a large tree, I didn’t allow it to go into the burn pile. This tree had several holes in it caused by woodpeckers. I figured that with just a little tweaking I could turn that tree trunk into a bird house!
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I’ve made small log birdhouses before with birch or pine logs. This would be a similar feat – just at a bigger scale. The tree that was cut was pretty close to our fire pit area. Since we sit out there quite a bit, I wanted to keep the tree trunk close. In fact, I had my husband just lean the cut section next to it’s other half. It’s a heavy tree and sits real secure like that.
This was definitely one of my easier projects. All I had to do was fashion a roof and then a perch for each of the six woodpecker holes. The result is a tree trunk bird house that is subtle but with a little touch of whimsy.
Tree Trunk Bird House Idea
The very first thing that my bird house needed was a roof to really make it look like a home. I had my husband do this part since I don’t trust myself handling a power saw – especially over my head. Luckily, my husband loves cutting wood and I love dictating.
I just had him make two angled cuts so that I had a point at the top of the trunk.
It’s a little hard to tell from this picture what the angled cuts look like. I didn’t want it to be the same size angle on each side. Because the holes on the tree are not straight up and down, I wanted the roof to be a little off kilter as well. So, one side has a shorter cut than the other. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost my close up picture of the cuts.
Making The Roof
Now that the cuts were made I could finish the rest on my own. Basically, this just meant coming up with roofing material and perches.
I’m amazed at how many times I can exactly what I need from our garage or my craft room stash. For the roof, I found a sheet of thin steel that was leftover from one of my husband’s welding projects. It was actually the perfect size to fit as a roof. I just needed to bend it at the point mark.
The steel sheet was thin enough to be able to bend but couldn’t be done strictly by hand. To get a nice clean bend, I laid the steel across a sawhorse and topped it with a 2×4. Then, I clamped the 2×4 down and used a hammer to make a nice crease.
At this point it was ready to install onto my bird house. All I did was coat the tree point with E6000 glue. I have had such good luck with this glue, both inside and outside, that I knew it would hold the roof in place. The trickiest part was keeping the metal in place while the glue dried.
I came up with a very non technical way to do this. Once again, I found what I needed in the garage. I used two trailer straps. By hooking the tops of the straps to the top of the roof, I could hold the roof somewhat in place. I only need to add some weight to the other ends of the straps. For this, I simply wrapped a brick around each of the other ends.
Creating The Perches
A bird house doesn’t look complete until it has one or more perches for a bird to land on. In my case, I needed six perches to go under the six holes. Luckily, I found just what I needed in my craft room. I have a collection of old cabinet knobs that ended up being the perfect whimsical solution. The variety of colors and textures that I had provided enough interest. I did paint a couple of my wooden knobs to give the perches more color.
A couple of the knobs already had holes going straight through them. The rest were wooden knobs that I could screw through easily, starting at the outer surface. All of the knobs were screwed directly into the tree. You can’t get easier than that!
Finished Tree Trunk Bird House
I placed a pot of flowers on top of the stump to add a little more color and definition.
I love the subtleness of the birdhouse in the woods. You almost have to look twice to realize that it is there.