Bird House: How to Build a Wren House

Updated: Jun. 24, 2019

Birds will flock to it!

wren housesFamily Handyman
Build an attractive birdhouse that will last for a lifetime, yet only takes a few minutes to build. All you need to create a welcoming home for wrens and other small birds is a short piece of plastic fence post.

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An hour or less

Building the wren house

Wren House Photo 1: Prepare the wren house

Cut 10-in. lengths with a hacksaw or miter saw. Then drill the ventilation and entrance holes. Sand off the sharp edges on the entrance hole with 60-grit sandpaper.

Wren House Photo 2: Add the bottom

Cut a 3/4-in.-thick, 3-1/8-in. square bottom from wood. Predrill and then screw it into place with two No. 8 stainless 3/4-in. pan head screws on opposite sides.

Wren House Photo 3: Attach the cap

Drill a 1/4-in. hole for the eye hook and thread on the nut and washer for the top. Stick it through the top and use a needle-nose pliers to hold the bottom nut while you twist the hook tight. Glue on the cap.

Attract wrens and other songbirds to your yard with this durable birdhouse made from a plastic fence post. Wrens will nest in almost anything, but other birds have specific requirements for the entrance diameter and house cavity. If you’re trying to attract a particular type of bird to your yard, do a little research before you start building this rather small hangout. (Search online for “birdhouse sizes.”)

Buy a 4 x 4-in. fence post and cap kit (sold at home centers). One 6-ft. post is enough for six birdhouses. But the post comes with just one cap, so you’ll have to buy caps for all but the first birdhouse.

Cut the house cavity to length and drill the ventilation and entrance holes (Photo 1). Then cut the wood bottom and attach it (Photo 2). Fit the bottom loosely to allow for ventilation. To clean out the house each year, just remove the screws and release the bottom. Our birdhouse doesn’t include a perch. Perches are cute, but they allow predators easier access to eggs and babies.

Attach the eye hook to the top (Photo 3), then glue the top to the body with a few dabs of polyurethane glue. If you want to paint the birdhouse, use spray paint formulated for plastic, but don’t paint the inside of the house.

Hang the houses in partially shaded spots with the entrances facing away from prevailing winds and out of jumping range of cats and squirrels.

Required Tools for this wren house project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Clamps
  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Hole saw kit
  • Miter saw
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • One-handed bar clamps
  • Safety glasses

Required Materials for this wren house project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • 3/4-in. stainless steel pan head screws
  • 3/4-in. x 3 1/8-in. square wood
  • 60 grit sandpaper
  • Additional caps
  • Eye hook
  • Nuts and washers
  • Plastic fence post and cap kit
  • Polyurethane glue