bird house diy for lazy people

Pre-dried gourd
If you want to make a birdhouse, but you're far too lazy to build one out of wood, don't worry! Dried gourd birdhouses are a great option for you as long as you do not think you can dry your own gourd. (Trust me, it will rot. It will be slow at first, so you might think it's going to work, but then one morning you will wake up to a rancid mess. Apparently, once gourds are cut off the vine, they don't dry well, so buy a pre-dried gourd. And if you share a bank account, tell your significant other that you ordered a gourd so that they don't think your e-bay account was hacked by a gourd-loving computer nerd.)


Anyway, here is what you need to make a simple gourd birdhouse:
1 dried gourd
Dust Mask
A drill & 1/4" and 1/2" bits
Sharp knife, mini saw or pumpkin carving kit
Sandpaper and/or metal file
Paint, stain or spray-paint of choice
Clear polyurethane
Homeless Birds

WARNING: Do not attempt to drill or carve a gourd without wearing a dust mask. The dust from a dried gourd often contains mold, but even on it's own can be very dangerous to breathe and trigger severe respiratory symptoms.

Once you have your dust mask secure, start by drilling a few holes in the bottom of the house for drainage. (You don't want the poor birds to have soggy little bird feet.)

Plumbing system for the bird gourdhouse
Next, using the same bit, drill 2 holes near the stem for hanging. (You can cut off the stem if you don't want it, but mine will be the stem of a painted flower) Mark off where you want the door and using your 1/2" bit, drill a hole in the front for the opening.

Being sure your dust mask is still secure, go ahead and dig out all the junk that's left inside the gourd. You may need tweezers or something to help you get most of it out; there is a surprising amount of gross dried gourd guts...
Garbage that is apparently still inside a dried gourd
Once that's done, you can either sand the edges of your round door smooth, or if you're feeling ambitious, use your baby saw to carve a different shape. (Just so you know, carving a dried gourd is NOT like carving a pumpkin.) It is a very tough and does not take kindly to making smooth cuts. A good grit sandpaper or metal file is a big help here.
Post-whittling, cleaned out and ready to paint
Now that your door is done and the inside is cleaned out, sand and clean the outside to prep for painting. Be sure to plug the door with some newspaper to keep paint from getting on the inside.
I primed my gourd with white Rustoleum spray paint + primer, then painted it and sprayed it with 3 coats of polyurethane.
gourd bird house
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Thread a wire, coat hanger or string through the 2 holes you made in the top to hang it from a secure branch. Now, patiently wait for a cute bird family to arrive and call it 'home!'
gourd birdhouse
New 1 bedroom loft FOR SALE with sweeping views and great location! Must see inside! :)



UPDATE: I'm not one to crush dreams, but I do like to be honest. It's mid February here in Pennsylvania and my little birdhouse is starting to look a bit more...natural.

7 months later, I'm thinking I should have brought it inside for the winter....

I know I should have brought it inside for the winter, but I like to look at it and I couldn't tell if it really had tenants or just passing vagrants. We've had some pretty rough weather, but I still really thought that it would hold up. I guess it will be getting a spring makeover soon! :)