how to make a willow bird house

Learn the art of basic willow weaving and give your local birds a tasty treat with our beginner’s project.

Willow stems are harvested in winter after the leaves have fallen. You’ll need to harvest both thick and thin stems. The thicker stems will be the framework of the bird feeder, and the thinner, more flexible stems will be used for weaving.

If you buy dry willow stems, you will need to soak the willow in water for a couple of days to give it the flexibility you need to work it. Green willow does not need soaking.

If you don’t have willow, you can use any bendy material: dogwood, grapevine, lilac, wisteria, Virginia creeper, potato vine, etc.

YOU NEED: fresh cut willow stems (or other bendy stems) scrap wood electric drill with 10mm bit wood glue pencil string or bottle cap plant saucer

Step 1 Cut 9 x 550mm lengths of willow approximately 7mm in diameter, however you can use any number and make them any size, just make sure it is an uneven number.

Step 2 Cut a piece of scrap wood about 180mm x 180mm. Draw a circle onto the wood then drill 9 x 10mm holes around the circle at an equal distance apart.

Step 3 Insert the bottom of the sticks into the holes. This will be the top end of the bird feeder.

Step 4 Insert a plant pot saucer in between the upright willow supports, as shown. Then pull together the top of the sticks and hold them together with a bottle cap, or you can use string.

Step 5 Using thinner pieces of willow, weave three ‘bands’, weaving in and out of the framework and tucking in the ends as you go. Continue weaving until you are satisfied with the look. When weaving around the saucer (the middle band), do not make the band too high or the birds will not be able to reach in for the food. Remove the cap and weave around the top end.

Step 6 Cut a thicker piece of willow about 450mm long and weave the two ends in between the woven band at the top of the feeder. This should be secure enough, but if not, secure with wire or use wood glue.

You can use any pliable material, such as dogwood, grapevine, lilac, wisteria, Virginia creeper, potato vine, etc., in place of willow.

Step 1: Cut nine 550mm long pieces of willow that are about 7 mm in diameter. You can make them any size or any number, but they must be uneven.

When the leaves fall in the winter, willow stems are harvested. You’ll need to harvest both thick and thin stems. The thinner, more flexible stems will be used for weaving, and the thicker stems will serve as the bird feeder’s framework.

Step 2: Cut a scrap piece of wood to measure 180 x 180 mm. Draw a circle on the wood, then drill holes around it that are 9 by 10 mm apart.

WHAT YOU NEED: freshly cut willow stems (or other pliable stems); leftover wood; an electric drill bit (10 mm); wood glue; pencil string; or a plant saucer made of bottle caps.

You’ll need to add a new weaver if your current one runs out. The simplest method to accomplish this is to place a news weaver (designated B) in between the two old weavers’ final twists. Cut off the remaining portion of the old weaver (labeled A) and continue weaving with the new weaver.

8. Aim to evenly space and bend the outer stakes to the side a little. Continue weaving rounds until your base is wide enough. My base measured 16 cm in diameter, or roughly 6.3 in.

1. Select three fresh weavers and place them in the base to the left of three successive stakes.

All you need to do now to finish your birdhouse is to shorten the stakes a little!

4. Do the same thing with weaver number 3. Then start again with weaver number 2. It is always the same pattern. Select the weaver on the left, bend it over the next two stakes, then back out in front of one stake and behind another. Contiune on with your waling for about 2 rows. (Or until you reach the end of your weavers. The wale’s characteristic drawstring pattern is visible.


What wood is best for bird houses?

The best wood bird houses are typically made from cedar or pine due to their natural resistance to decay. When you choose the right wood for your birdhouse, it’s crucial to avoid treated wood, which can have harmful chemicals. Instead, opt for natural, untreated woods that are safe for birds.