How to Build a Birdhouse Using PVC and a Cowboy Boot

There are several must do's to consider when building a birdhouse but this one is unique and easy.

My wife and I lived in Texas for a few years and during that time I learned several very interesting and possibly important things. First and foremost; grilling a steak IS NOT barbeque. In Texas it’s something else entirely. Secondly; where to get the best barbeque, since every town, no matter how small has at least three barbeque restaurants (I think it’s a law there, not sure). And third; how to make a very different and cute birdhouse from a cowboy boot.

If after reading this you decide this is the birdhouse for you then here are the things you will need.

  1. A cowboy boot to start. Actually the older the better. It should look well worn and the toe should turn slightly skyward.
  2. A piece of PVC pipe about a foot long.
  3. A small piece of metal (approximately 6”X6”). Galvanized is OK but un-galvanized is best because this will be your roof so you actually want it to rust. There isn’t a metal roof in Texas that isn’t rusty. It gives it some of its charm.
  4. A short piece of 1/2 inch wooden dowel. 3 inches long works well.
  5. A 24” piece of wire for the hanger. This should be galvanized so it doesn’t rust out and drop the birdhouse on the ground.
  6. A bandana (any color or pattern).

Tools you’ll need;

  1. A drill with a 1 to 1-1/2 inch spade type drill bit, a 1/2 inch drill bit and a 3/16 drill bit.
  2. A hand saw.
  3. A sharp knife (a razor knife works well)
  4. A hot glue gun
  5. A pair of pliers, needle nose works best.

Once you have everything together, the birdhouse can be finished in about an hour, which makes it a great project to do with kids.

First turn the boot upside down and shake it vigorously to make sure there are no scorpions hiding out. If it’s an authentic Texas cowboy boot then that is a distinct possibility. None…good. Mark a circle on the front of the boot about 2 inches above the arch of the boot that corresponds to the size of your large drill bit. Use the razor knife (with a new sharp blade) to cut out the circle in the leather. Put the PVC into the boot to cut against.

Make sure the PVC pipe is pushed down into the top of the boot as far as it will go. The top of the pipe should be below the top of the boot; if not mark it about two inches below the top of the boot and cut it at the mark.

Run a very heavy bead of hot glue around the opposite end of the pipe from the holes and push it into the boot and hold it against the bottom of the boot till the glue cools.

Drill a 3/16 inch hole through the leather and the PVC pipe about an inch down from the top of the pipe on either side (usually through the finger loops). Then using the large drill bit drill the PVC pipe through the hole cut through the leather earlier. Drill the final 1/2 inch hole through the leather and PVC pipe 1/2 to 1 inch below the larger hole.

Now mark a line down the middle of the piece of metal and put a 45 degree bend in it (make sure the mark is on the inside of the bend). Make sure the peak of the roof runs front to back on the boot.

Drill one more 3/16 inch hole through the metal on either side of the roof just outside the boot.

Insert the ends of the wire through the holes just drilled in the metal roof from the top and bend 1/2 inch hooks in the ends of the wire. Insert the hooks through the 3/16 inch holes in the boot and PVC and bend them closed as much as possible. Slide the roof down the wire and hot glue it to the top of the boot.

Glue the short piece of wooden dowel into the 1/2 inch hole on the front of the boot and hold it till the glue cools.

Finally tie the bandana around the boot just below the perch on the front of the boot. Make sure the knot is to the side.

Now hang it and enjoy it. The birds certainly will. It is important with any bird house to put it where it makes the birds feel safe. From the eave outside you living room or kitchen window is not the place. It should be hung in a tree where it would be difficult for predators or nest robbers to get to.

Lastly (and very important) whenever you show it off to your friends you have to say something like “Ain't one to brag but y’all gotta come look at the new birdhouse I made.”

Have fun with it.

I have seen simpler versions of this birdhouse made without the PVC, using just the boot, metal for the roof, wire and bandana, but the boot top has a tendency to collapse flat so the PVC works well.

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thestickman
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Posted on Jul 29, 2010