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How to make a scrap metal birdhouse

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Do you have some unique pieces of scrap metal laying around your yard that you can't bear to chuck in the trailer next time you visit the scrap metal recyclers, like Raw Metal Corp? Why not make a sweet little scrap metal birdhouse for your backyard! Here is a quick guide for how to whip a unique birdhouse up using scraps of metal.

Gather your materials

Scour your yard, garage, junk pile or even the kitchen for old pieces of scrap metal suitable for creating a magical birdhouse. Look for unique pieces, such as an old gas can with a dynamic logo, numberplates, watering cans, candlestick holders, handles, taps, cooking pot lids, even old trophies, hard hats or an old metal space heater would do the trick. Nuts and bolts can be affixed with solder to add decoration and whimsy to your finished piece.

If you don't have a good supply of scrap metal laying around your home, or you're looking for a really unique piece, check out your local markets, op shops, garage sales and scrap metal merchants for one-of-a-kind pieces.

Make a plan

Now that you have a pile of scrap metal that you're ready to turn into an artistic home for your local birdlife, it's a good idea to make a plan for how you want it to look like. You can sketch it out on a piece of paper or using a drawing app on your tablet or smart phone. However you do it, a visual diagram, no matter how basic or artistically-challenged it is, will help guide your construction process.

The basic elements you'll want to include is a roof, an area for the birds to perch, and somewhere to either hang or mount your birdhouse. A kettle handle is great for attaching a rope and hanging in a tree, and a large saucepan lid can double as both a roof and a handle for hanging. Ensure you include an entrance hole large enough to accommodate your local bird species, preferably with a little verandah to protect the inside of the birdhouse from rain and leaf litter.

Get constructing

Now that you have your plan, you can get down to the business of constructing your artful, recycled birdhouse! Your tools and method will depend on the materials and your design. Wear safety goggles and thick workman's gloves when doing any metal work, no matter how small. If drilling through metal, follow this guide to ensure you do so safely. Alternatively, you can use a glue or epoxy designed specifically for metal applications. Speak to your friendly craft or hardware store assistant for the right glue for your metal type and design.

If you are inexperienced at working with metal or construction of any sort, call on a more experienced friend or family member to help. Don't forget--safety first!

Sit back and enjoy the view

Be proud that you've used reclaimed or repurposed materials to create a new home for your local bird life. Pour yourself a beverage, sit back and enjoy the artistic metal sculpture you've created for your garden. Sprinkle some native birdseed in and around the birdhouse to invite the locals to move in, and in no time you'll hear the sweet song of you newest winged neighbours.