Spruce up your patio or garden with these gorgeous DIY plans for birdhouses that you can build and paint at home. Our free plans have a contemporary look and feel. They range from minimalist to mid-century modern birdhouses perfect for decor purposes or as seasonal homes for your feathered friends.
While modern birdhouses can be challenging to DIY as they require angled cuts and precise construction, we’ve included easy-to-follow instructions for each of our six designs. With good planning, patience, and a miter saw, you’ll have those angles conquered in no time.
Attaching these colorful, painted birdhouses to a fence or tree might take a bit of creativity, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered on that front too. Along with in-depth, step-by-step diagrams on how to build these unique pieces, we’ll also look at the hardware you might need to secure them to a support structure. Additionally, for your convenience, we did our best to design plans that require the least number of cuts possible.
Building a Modern Birdhouse
Before we dive in, we’ve compiled some overarching tips to ensure your birdhouse build is successful. As mentioned, to achieve a modern appearance, you need to build a very clean assembly. Clean means there should be no visible nail or screw heads, and your wood or lumber should be sanded. The best way to achieve this look is to use finishing nails and a nail set when you start your construction phase.
Finishing nails are long nails with small heads and a small depression in the nail head. You need to hammer them down until their heads are flush with the wood’s surface and there are no jagged bits sticking out. Once secured, you can use a nail set (or nail punch) to indent them into the wood.
Apply wood putty to cover the nail heads for a smooth finish. When the wood putty is dry, you can sand your birdhouse to get rid of the excess. Then, it’s ready to be painted.
TIP: Pre-hammer nails when assembling to prevent your parts from slipping out of place.
TIP: Sanding your entire birdhouse to give it a smooth finish makes for easier, cleaner painting – depending on lumber quality.
All plans are designed to use 1 “x8” lumber (actual dimensions 3/4” x 7-1/2”), pressure-treated for outdoor use. You should be able to obtain this size lumber from a home improvement store easily. Most (if not all) of our plans can be made from one 6- or 8-feet board.
Lumber for Modern Birdhouses: 1 in. x 8 in. x 8 ft. Pressure-Treated Board. For exact cut dimensions, please look under each plan. All the entrance holes are 1.5″ in diameter and can be drilled using a spade bit.
I recommend these 15 gauge finishing nails or similar 1.5″ long nails. The nails I picked have a nail set dimple for easy countersinking.
What size nail set should you use to countersink these?
I believe the correct nail set should be a 1/32″ for finishing nails. On each finishing nail’s head, you’ll notice an indentation that is used to drive your nails further into your wood. If you’re unsure, bring your finishing nail to a home improvement store and ask for a matching nail punch set.
Titebond Original Wood Glue will do just fine.
Painting your DIY creations will finish them off and make them pop. I recommend you check out this link to save money. You can buy an outdoor paint set of multiple colors, giving you loads of different options.
6 MODERN BIRDHOUSE PLANS
1. Rectangular Birdhouse with Triangular Roof Plan
1.1 Assembly Diagram
To build this striking modern birdhouse, neatly cut each piece per the specifications below (using a miter saw) and sand them to a smooth finish if necessary.
Start your assembly by joining the floor of your birdhouse to its side walls with a nail in each corner of the base.
Pre-sinking your nails will make it easy to secure the pieces and prevent them from bending. A clamp may also come in handy.
Once your walls are up, attach the righthand roof piece with two more nails.
The left roof piece comes next, with its edges resting on both the wall and the righthand roof cut, securing the entire structure. Attach it first to the wall and then, lining it up neatly, to the adjacent roof cut.
The back of your birdhouse should nestle into the space between the birdhouse’s roof and its base perfectly. Attach the back both to the roof and the walls with finishing nails. It will carry most of the structure’s weight, so it should be well-secured.
Now, you can paint your almost-complete birdhouse in a color of your choice.
Once painted, all that is left to do is attach your front piece. Set this a few millimeters back to give your birdhouse depth and a modern aesthetic. Given that it fits so snugly, you may not even need to nail it in – which will allow you to remove the front part for cleaning between seasons.
1.2 Cut-to Dimensions
1.3 Cuts Detail
A few cuts in this design are at a 45-degree angle, so get your protractor ready. Precise angles will make it easier to line up your various parts so that they fit together snugly and securely.
2. Triangular Birdhouse Plan
While this beautiful A-frame birdhouse comprises only five parts, it can be challenging to put together due to its irregular shapes.
I recommend using clamps to hold the different parts of this triangular plan together while hammering in your nails. Pre-sinking them before joining your various parts also makes a world of difference.
Wood glue is also an option, but be mindful and use it in addition to nails.
2.1 Assembly Diagram
Begin your A-frame birdhouse assembly by joining the base to the back wall. To secure these two pieces, two to three finishing nails (pre-sunk) should suffice.
Next, attach your front section to the base, also with two to three nails.
With your base built, it’s time to join your roof sides at their top. The pieces should align perfectly, with the lefthand piece fitting neatly over the right. When your roof is complete, you can secure it over the “house” part of your structure. Once in place, secure the roof to the front and rear parts of the birdhouse.
You can choose to paint each piece separately in the color of your choice before assembling the birdhouse. However, you may need to go in afterward with wood putty to cover the nails and sand and touch up the paint.
2.2 Cut-to Dimensions
2.3 Cuts Detail
This design makes use of triangles, squares, and rectangles. The triangles are measured at 30-degree angles, with their bases matching the sides of the square base cut.
The roof pieces should also have one end respectively cut at a 30-degree angle to ensure they fit together perfectly, with one overlaying the other.
3. Ultra Modern Birdhouse Plan
3.1 Assembly Diagram
This gorgeous modern design is blissfully straightforward to assemble.
Your first step is to join the base piece (at each lower corner) to your left wall, making sure to keep it straight and neat.
Following this, attach your back cut to the base structure, along the bottom and the side of the base and left wall cuts. Repeat this process for the front or entrance piece.
For your roof, start by joining the top and side cuts separately. If you like, you can paint the roof at this juncture too. Then, all that is left to do is attach your roof to the rest of the birdhouse.
The righthand wall protrudes by 2 inches, giving this design a chic, contemporary feel.
3.2 Cut-to Dimensions
This design requires no angled cuts, so you could easily DIY this birdhouse at home with a regular saw and a spade drill bit for the entrance hole.
4. Birdhouse with Slanted Roof Plan
4.1 Assembly Diagram
This birdhouse is a fun twist on our first design, but instead of a gabled roof, it incorporates a slanted roof.
Start by joining your bottom piece to your back wall. Once secured, you can nail in your left and right walls, taking care to make sure the angles line up smoothly.
After this, place the roof piece on top of your structure and fasten it to all three assembled walls.
You can paint your structure at this point before inserting the front piece, which should be set slightly inward. It should fit snugly.
4.2 Cut-to Dimensions
4.3 Cuts Detail
With this design, I’ve also cut the edges of my various pieces at 30-degree angles to ensure all the joints line up.
5. Square Modern Birdhouse Plan
5.1 Assembly Diagram
This is another great, modern painted birdhouse that doesn’t include any challenging angles but still looks elegant and neat.
Start by joining your base to your left wall. Then, attach your roof piece to your right wall.
With these two pieces assembled, your next step is to attach your back wall and your front wall to the base, respectively.
At this stage, I recommend painting your roof and your “house” parts separately to make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies.
You may need to overpaint the nails once your structure is complete. However, that is a minor task.
Once dry, you can attach your roof to the rest of the birdhouse. Lay it on its side (there will be an overlap from the roof) to make it easier for yourself.
Pre-sinking your nails is always advisable.
5.2 Cuts-to Dimensions
This mid-century modern design is constructed purely of squares and rectangles. But given that, saw them as neatly and precisely as possible to embrace its sharp angles fully.
6. Angled Roof Birdhouse Plan
6.1 Assembly Diagram
Lovely, dramatic angles make this fun birdhouse plan an instant eye-catcher.
Start your assembly by building your base structure. First, join the base to the right wall. Then, add your front and rear pieces with the help of glue to keep everything in place.
Next, build your roof by lining up the angled edges of the top and left wall pieces.
Paint your two separate parts before joining the roof to the base structure.
Standing your birdhouse on the edge of a worktable for this step is helpful, as both the roof and the left wall overhang the rest of the assembly.
6.2 Cut-to Dimensions
This design comprises only six parts, using sharp 60-degree angles to line everything up.
Hanging Your Birdhouse
Once you’ve completed your birdhouse, all that is left to do is hang it in the perfect spot, be this an exterior wall, a patio, or even a tree.
Fortunately, these structures are relatively light, so I recommend using a metal keyhole bracket.
Attach the bracket to the back of your birdhouse. It looks neat and won’t negate the design. Then, all you need to do is drive a screw into the spot of your choice and slide the structure into position.
If you want to mount your birdhouse to a tree, you may need to attach a small piece of wood siding to the tree itself. This will give you a level surface onto which you can attach your birdhouse.
Painting Your Birdhouse
Painting these modern birdhouse plans is one of the best parts of building them.
I like combining bright-colored pieces and natural, treated wood (as in the pictures above). However, you can also create intricate designs by painting stripes in different colors with the help of masking tape.
A Note on Sanding
Depending on lumber quality, it’s always a good idea to sand your cuts. This prevents rough edges and gives each design a neat, finished appearance.