Who doesn’t love a spring craft that includes DIY paper birdhouses? I know the calendar says it’s spring, but I can’t wait until the leaves are budding on the trees. I’m smitten for early spring flowers, birds, green grass and the first really warm sunny day. My absolute favorite spring activity is listening to the birds in the morning and watching the sun peer through the window when I wake.
While we all wait for it to actually feel like spring, we can still do some paper crafting. This project is sure to help you through the winter blues and cheer you up as you think about springtime.
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I thought the perfect craft to usher in the longer days and warmer weather would be some paper birdhouses. These would be fun for kids and adults alike to cut out and assemble. You can use supplies you have on hand, like cereal boxes, card-stock and patterned paper.
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the patterns, but you could print the PDF’s and cut them with scissors or a craft knife. Let me show you how it’s done.
OPTIONAL HELPFUL SUPPLIES
- EMPTY CEREAL BOX (OPTIONAL)
- SELF-HEALING MAT
- SILHOUETTE CAMEO
- SILHOUETTE CUTTING MAT
- GLUE GUN
DOWNLOAD THE BIRDHOUSE TEMPLATES
To download the paper birdhouse templates and receive instant access to my free library, just subscribe at the top sidebar or at the bottom of this post. You will be sent a welcome email with the password to the library. Go to the library page and enter the password, then download any of the designs you would like. This file is available as a PDF, SVG, and Silhouette Cut File.
CUT OUT THE BIRDHOUSE TEMPLATES
Each paper birdhouse is made from one sheet of patterned card-stock and one sheet of plain or neutral card-stock. The main part of the birdhouse is made from patterned card-stock. The roof and the base of the birdhouse are made from neutral colored card-stock and/or cereal boxes. There are two files to complete each building – the building file and the roof/base file. There are two sizes for the birdhouses, small and large.
CUTTING THE TEMPLATES WITH SCISSORS
If you are using scissors to cut out your birdhouses, download the PDF files. Then print them on your home printer. I found that using a 67 lb. to 80 lb. paper weight/thickness works best in my printer. When you use paper thicker than a 80 lb cover, the printer has a tendency to jam.
Most packs of patterned paper come in a 12 X 12.5 size. I use my paper trimmer and cut them down to 8.5 X 11 and then load them into the printer. The Recollections paper seems to feed through my printer without any problems. If you are looking for plain white card-stock, this 8.5 X 11 and this 12 X 12 work fine in my printer.
For this project, I used Recollections, Bouquet Basics 12 X 12 paper pad. I purchased it at Michael’s craft store. While researching for this project, my favorite patterns from Amazon are IDULL Scrapbook Paper Pack, this Stamperia pad, this Stamperia pad and levylisa. You’ll want to read your printer manual to see what paper weight your printer will accept.
Load your paper in the printer. Then print the pattern on the paper and cut it out with scissors.
CUTTING THE TEMPLATES WITH A SILHOUETTE CAMEO OR CRICUT
If using an electronic cutting machine, you’ll want to download the SVG or Silhouette file. Open your cutting machine’s software and open the SVG file in the software.
Place your patterned paper on a cutting mat and load it into your machine. If your cutting mat is brand new, you’ll want to place it on a piece of fabric and pull it away to make it slightly less sticky. Otherwise the mat may rip your paper when you pull it up.
Start by cutting the Birdhouse 1 file. If you are using the same paper, the cut settings for the Silhouette Cameo are material – cardstock plain, blade 3, force 20, speed 4, passes 1. Do a test cut, if everything looks good, send the project to cut. After weeding it, your project will look like the image below.
Next, cut out the birdhouse roof and base file. I used plain cardstock for this step to offset the pattern. You can use the same cut settings as above for this.
Another option is to add more dimension by using a cereal box for the roof and base. To do this, open up an empty cereal box and cut it into manageable sheets. Cereal boxes are thinner than chipboard, but thicker than card-stock, so they can be cut with the ratchet blade. Place the sheet on a strong grip mat. I rolled it with a Brayer to make sure it sticks well to the mat.
After a lot of trial and error, I figured out the best settings for this. I used my old ratchet blade with the adapter in Tool 1. I’m pretty sure that older versions of the Silhouette Cameo will be able to make this cut, too.
The cut settings are Material – cardstock textured heavy, Blade – 7, Force 3, Speed – 3, Passes – 1. Send your project to cut, but don’t unload it from the machine. Then change your ratchet blade to 10, Force – 25, Speed – 3, Passes – 1. Again, send your project to cut, but don’t unload it when done. The last cut is Blade -10, Force – 33, Speed – 3, Passes – 2. When it’s done cutting, lift the bottom of the cardboard to make sure it’s cut through. Then unload the project from your machine.
Here is a picture of it after the extra material is removed.
I then cut the roof and base from plain card-stock and used adhesive to cover the cereal box print.
ASSEMBLE THE BIRDHOUSES
At this point you will have the two sides to your birdhouse, the roof and the base cut out.
Fold the tabs along all the score lines. Then attach the center tabs together using a tape runner, glue stick or glue gun.
Fold along the other two score lines, so your birdhouse begins to take shape.
Add adhesive to the two end tabs and then close the box. For a tight corner, run your thumb and index finger along the seam.
Add adhesive to the four tabs on the roof of the birdhouse. Center the house on the card-stock roof and press the tabs in place. I ran a pencil eraser along the tab to make sure it had a good bond. Then flip the birdhouse over and press the tabs on the other side in place.
Add adhesive to the bottom four tabs on the birdhouse and press the base to the tabs.
ASSEMBLE THE PERCH AND SIGN
When you cut out your roof and base, you will have noticed the extra rectangles for the bird perch and sign. I glued several of the rectangles together to give them a 3D effect.
Here they are on standing on edge.
Using a sanding block, I smoothed the rough edges.
Then print out the PDF word files and attach them to the sign. If you have a cameo, you can use the SVG files to sketch the sign with your sketch pens.
JOIN THE COMMUNITY
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FOLLOW ALONG ON PINTEREST
Do you like learning budget friendly ways to spruce up your home? Follow me on PINTEREST. Did you know that you can hover over the images below, click on the red Pinterest circle and save it to your SPRING or DIY CRAFTS BOARD on Pinterest? It’s so helpful to Pin It now and save it for later, when your ready to start your project.
I hope you enjoy making these DIY paper birdhouses with your family.