Birds are a really wonderful part of our garden community at YGP and a signal that spring is in the air! Today, we’re going to make upcycled birdhouses so we can enjoy the sights and sounds of spring from home! These homemade birdhouses are easy to make AND make use of stuff you might otherwise just toss in the recycling!

We used empty milk cartons, but feel free to get creative and reuse other containers you might have around the house.

Before you get started, think about and discuss with each other:
What kind of birds live in our community?
What kinds of habitat do birds need?

For this project, you will need:

1 Milk or juice carton (washed)
Scissors or box cutter (make sure parent or guardian is using these tools)
Hole punch
Yarn or twine
Acrylic paint
Other craft odds and ends for decoration: stickers, buttons, gems, twigs, rocks, moss, seeds, etc!

Birdseed (for DIY bird feeder!)

Step 1: Draw the shape you are going to cut out for the door! You can use a ruler for straight lines or trace around a cup or jar to get a perfect circle.

Step 2: Carefully cut out the stenciled area using scissors or a box cutter.

Step 3: Prep for painting! Adding a base layer of white paint will make colors pop later.

Step 4: Stencil on designs and paint.

Step 5: After paint dries, glue on decorations. Get creative! If you can, you can look outside for some fun nature-y add ons like pebbles, seeds, moss, twigs, etc.

Step 6: Poke a hole just under the door with scissors, a box cutter, or a pen or pencil. Insert a twig, dowel, or chopstick to make a perch for bird visitors.

Step 7: Punch holes in the top and thread yarn or twine through. This will make it easy to hang your birdhouse up.

Optional: Add a cup of birdseed inside the carton to make a DIY bird feeder!

Now that your birdhouse is done, place it outdoors and get ready to welcome some new avian neighbors! Check out our Field Journal activity for inspiration on observing the activity in and around your birdhouse.

Check out these links to learn more about birds in the Moab area:

Discover Moab: Bird Watching Around Moab
Audubon Society: Important Bird Areas by State – Utah and Guide to North American Birds