Make a Birdhouse Planter

Emmaline Harvey
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Duration: 2 hours


Give your feathered friends a cozy house and garden of their own with this unique DIY birdhouse planter.


Click through the above slideshow using the arrow on the right.

Step 1

Use wood screws to attach the two 1 x 4-inch boards length-wise to the three 2 x 4-inch boards of equal length, as shown.

Ask a Home Depot associate to cut your lumber to the desired lengths. Use pressure treated wood to prevent your planter from rotting over time, or fit a plastic liner into the bottom of the planter to protect untreated wood.

Special thanks to Home Depot associate Jim Huggins for building this project!

Step 2

Center the two short 2 x 4-inch boards flat on top of the three longer 2 x 4-inch boards and screw them in.

If you have not done so already, purchase a birdhouse with a 6 x 6-inch base and a back opening. The base of this birdhouse will need to align with these two elevated center boards.

Remember: Use a birdhouse that opens from the back instead of the bottom so that you can easily clean out your visitors’ nest once they’ve flown the coop!

Step 3

Complete the planter’s frame by screwing the final two 1 x 4-inch boards along the sides.

If you want to paint or stain your planter (for aesthetic reasons only, as it’s not necessary to stain pressure treated wood to prevent rotting), do so now before drilling drainage holes.

Step 4

Drill several drainage holes through the base. We drilled four in each of the three base 2 x 4 boards. You do not need drainage holes on the elevated base as that is where the birdhouse will sit. Remember that water will also drain through the cracks between the boards.

If you opt to drill large drainage holes, place a sheet of fine mesh on the bottom of your planter to help keep the soil from draining out with the water.

Step 5

Apply wood glue to the elevated 2 x 4s following the glue’s instructions, and match up with the base of the birdhouse. For additional stability, we recommend nailing each corner of the birdhouse base into the lumber. Allow to dry.

Step 6

Add potting soil in the planter around the birdhouse. You only need to fill about halfway up the edge. Remember to spread soil in the narrow spaces in front of and behind the birdhouse.

Step 7

Add as many flowers as you can fit. For this project, we filled the entire planter using about 1 1/2 pallets of pansies. If you find that the pansies come with roots too tall for the planter, lightly shake out excess soil and gently tear off the bottom half of the root mass to help them fit. Don’t worry; this won’t harm your plants.

Use potting soil to fill in any spaces between the flowers and to make them level with the top of the planter’s edge. Use enough soil to secure the plants in place but don’t pack so tightly that watering will be difficult.

Step 8

Find a home for your planter that the birds will enjoy. You’ll probably have some luck with house wrens if you perch your project along your back porch. Just keep it elevated enough that other wildlife such as foxes, snakes or raccoons won’t be able to access the birdhouse.

To display the planter more prominently, mount it on a post in your yard surrounded by plenty of open air and space. A tall tree stump works as well. Just secure the planter to the top of the stump with screws before you fill the planter with soil and flowers. Pick a location that gets enough sun for your pansies to thrive.

Step 9

Water thoroughly to allow your plants to set in their new home, then water regularly with the rest of your outdoor plants. 

When the temperatures warm up and birds start looking for a place to nest, encourage them to find their new home by placing nesting materials in trees around the birdhouse. Use a suet holder to hold yarn, string, and even loose hair pulled from a hairbrush that birds can easily access to gain supplies for their nest. Learn more about welcoming birds to your garden here.



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