Decorate a DIY Birdhouse with a Wood-Burning Pen

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Build your own birdhouse from scratch and use a wood burning pen to add a personal touch with a unique decorative design.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Step 1

Measure and cut the pine board into 5 pieces:

  • A: 10-in. piece for front
  • B: 10-in. piece for roof
  • C: 7¾-in. piece for back
  • D: 18-in. piece for sides
  • E: 4-in. piece for floor

Save the remaining scrap board for wood-burning practice.

Step 2

For sides (D and E), measure and mark 8 in. along the top and 10 in. along the bottom. Draw a line connecting the points. Cut along this diagonal to yield 2 pieces, each with an 8-in. and a 10-in. side.

Step 3

With spade bit or hole saw, drill entrance hole on the front (A), 2 to 2½ in. from a short side.

Step 4

Drill through each corner with a narrow bit on front side of A, then attach A to 10-in. sides of D with four 15/8-in. deck screws.

Step 5

Attach C (back) to center of the 8-in. sides of D with two 2-in. finishing nails. Pre-drill holes in C using a slightly smaller bit.

Step 7

Set the floor ¼ in. up from the bottom of the house, then attach it with four 2-in. finishing nails at the sides and back. (Do not nail the floor at the front, or you won’t be able to unscrew the birdhouse front for cleaning.)

Step 8

Attach B (roof) to top at sides with four 15/8-in. deck screws. Pre-drill holes in B with a narrow bit.

Step 9

Sand the exterior of the birdhouse smooth, including the entrance hole, with fine-grit sandpaper.

Step 10

Use carbon paper to trace a design onto the wood, or draw it freehand. Before you start burning the pattern onto the birdhouse, practice on a scrap piece of pinewood to determine the best heat setting and to get comfortable with the process. Because of the heat, carbon will build up on the metal pen tips. Keep a damp sponge or honing paper near the workspace to wipe off the tip. For the cleanest lines, go slowly and maintain consistent pressure. You can change the look of the burn by altering the pressure and the length of time the tip is on the wood.

Step 11

With burner pen at desired temperature, follow the pattern, being careful not to put too much pressure on the pen tip. When the pattern is finished, hang the birdhouse in your favorite backyard spot.

Originally Published: June 19, 2020

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