Birds are a really wonderful part of our garden community here at the Youth Garden Project. They’re a signal that spring is in the air!

Today, we’re going to make upcycled birdhouses so we can enjoy the sights and sounds of spring from home! These homemade birdhouses are easy to make AND make use of stuff you might otherwise just toss in the recycling!

This project uses empty milk cartons, but feel free to get creative and reuse other containers you might have around the house.

Before you get started, get your family together and take a moment to talk about birds. What kind of birds do you see around Moab? What kind of habitat do you think they like?

Upcycled Birdhouse

For this project, you will need:

1 Milk or juice carton (washed)

Scissors or box cutter (make sure parent or guardian is using these tools)

Hole punch


Yarn or twine


Acrylic paint


Other odds and ends for decoration: stickers, buttons, gems or more!

Step 1: Take the carton out and draw the shape you are going to cut out for the door! You can use a ruler for straight lines or trace around a cup or jar to get a perfect circle.

Step 2: Carefully cut out the door using scissors or with an adult’s help.

Step 3: Prep for painting! Adding a layer of white paint to the carton will make colors pop later.

Step 4: Stencil on designs and paint with bright colors.

Step 5: After paint dries, glue on your decorations. Get creative!

Step 6: Poke a hole just under the door with scissors, a box cutter, or a pen or pencil. Insert a stick or chopstick to make a perch for bird visitors.

Step 7: Punch holes in the top and thread yarn or twine through. This will make it easy to hang your birdhouse up.

Optional: Add a cup of birdseed inside the carton to make a DIY bird feeder!

Now that your birdhouse is done, place it outdoors and get ready to welcome some new avian neighbors! Did you make a Field Journal with us a few weeks ago? You can draw the birds that come to your birdhouse inside!

For more art and activities as well as updates on what’s going on down at the farm, check out our website at www.youthgardenproject.org