Project with the Kids #2: Bird Nesting Boxes

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Blog entry by darryl posted 10-27-2008 06:56 PM 5159 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: A Small Bench Part 2 of Project with the Kids series no next part

My two younger daughters, ages 7 and 4, are always interested in working with me in the shop. I thought it might be fun to make a couple of birdhouses with them. After looking around on the internet a little bit to learn what size and style to go with, I settled on a style called nesting boxes. From what I understand, a nesting box is design more for the actual birds needs rather than going with a traditional “house” type design that is typically made.
Click here for one of the websites I used in putting this project together.

Once I got my ideas all together, I started working on cutting the pieces needed to make a couple of nesting boxes. Having quite a bit of that baltic birch ply still available, that is what I used. I also figured the girls would want to paint the nesting boxes when they were done, so I wasn’t overly concerned on the longevity of the ply.

After I had all the pieces cut, I laid out and drilled the nail holes and the bird entrance. Considering that I got the wood for free and already had the nails, I really didn’t want to have to go out and by hinges for this project. I decided that it could be cool, and much more LumberJock like to have a French Cleat system to hold the house to the backing board. Then it was time to introduce the girls!

I had already walked myself through the assembly order, so it went fairly smoothly getting the girls to follow along. We attached the sides to the bottom and the houses side of the French Cleat. Then using the house as a guide, the girls attached the mating cleat to the backing board. The top was added next followed by the front.

The two bird nesting boxes I made with my daughters

A view of the French Cleat system used to access the nesting box for cleaning

The girls both seemed really happy with their houses. Now it’s time to paint and put them in the wild!

Here’s Violet holding her nesting box.

7 comments so far

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 5317 days

#1 posted 10-27-2008 07:31 PM

Great time with the kids and that cleat option is cool, I’ve used it with cabinets but never thought to use it with bird houses.. Very easy to clean..
I wonder though, could the overly agressive predator eventually knock/push the house off the cleat..only time will tell…

Great post. Thanks for sahring.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4596 days

#2 posted 10-27-2008 08:15 PM

Great idea you are a man after my own heart I have three Now,well grown up sons. They are all a delight to know, and words cannot express how much I love them, and I alwaays got involved when they wanted me too in their projects and they in mine I can see your a great father an inspiration to us all and Violet is a little princess see how she shines God Bless Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View WoodMosaics's profile


111 posts in 4543 days

#3 posted 10-27-2008 08:33 PM

Neat idea on the French Cleat, I wouldn’t have thought of that nor would I have known what to call it. If the front would get knocked off a simple nail slipped in a hole on backboard next to the top would stop that, and you could pull it out with your fingers, to clean it. I bet your girls liked that.

-- It’s not so much what we know that causes the trouble, it’s what we know that’s not so.

View oldskoolmodder's profile


802 posts in 4691 days

#4 posted 10-27-2008 09:04 PM

I too am a fan of the French Cleat system, but wouldn’t have thought to put it on a bird house. That’s a nice simple way to clean the box out at end of the season.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5337 days

#5 posted 10-27-2008 10:23 PM

Thanks for all the kind words. It was fun to make these for/with my girls. It’s neat to see them excited about making them, they are both very proud. I’m now trying to decide on what to do for a next project.

I’m thinking the cleat should work ok since the box would have to be lifted straight up about 3/4” to have it come off… but like RobS said, time will tell!!

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5337 days

#6 posted 10-27-2008 10:54 PM

Here’s a picture of Lila with her nesting box:

and the two girls together:

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5171 days

#7 posted 10-29-2008 04:09 PM

a wonderful project with two sweeties!!

love the french cleat idea.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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