Spring is right around the corner, and with spring comes the birds looking for a home for their nests and future eggs. Birdhouses are a staple for many homes in suburbia and the country to welcome avian families who’ve been gone for much of the winter. Classic rectangular birdhouses are favorites in woodshop classes, but with a little extra creativity, you can create a one-of-a-kind birdhouse by upcycling and thinking out of the box. Below are some ideas for Birdhouse 2.0.

Kitchen items: Mugs, deep-dish bowls, teapots, cups, and pitchers can all be upcycled to make birdhouses. The best items are those with a handle for easy hanging with a carabiner clip or twine rope.

Recyclable Containers: Even “trash” items like empty cans or jugs provide small birds with plenty of space to fluff up a nest and lay her eggs. These items come free with your purchase of tomato soup or orange juice and are easily decorated with friends or children to make totally personalized birdhouses for your garden.

Clothes: If you have extra articles of clothing that have a hollowed out center like an old shoe, an old hat, or even handbags, birds would love to make a nest someplace cozy. Similarly, scarves left in heaps on trees would make excellent warm homes for birds.

False-bottom houses: in addition to building a cool birdhouse, you could make yourself an in-case-of-emergency hiding spot for your house keys or spare car keys. Much safer than the old “under the mat” trick, keeping your keys in a birdhouse will add an extra layer of protection.

“Edible” bird house: Take a regular rectangular birdhouse from your local craft store and “paste” the outside with homemade suet. All it takes is flour, water, corn syrup, gelatin, and whatever fruits and nuts you think your birds would enjoy. A little artistic flair can go a long way and can provide a very handy snack for the future inhabitants of this birdhouse.

Living Roof birdhouse: The same way that many office buildings in the US are adopting green roofs to offset their carbon footprint and recycle oxygen into the air, you can put a green roof on your birdhouse by planting a small garden of grasses and lox in the shallow flower bed on top of a birdhouse.
Clear-backed birdhouse: To keep an eye on the next building and egg hatching processes, install a clear back on a birdhouse and affix it to your window by means of a suction cup. That way, you can watch the whole process of the birds’ circle of life.