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How to Make a Milk Carton Birdhouse

Here's a great reason to drink your milk: When you've emptied the carton, you can make this simple house for your feathered friends.


  • Step 1: Rinse out carton Rinse out the milk carton thoroughly and let it dry.
  • Step 2: Staple shut Close the carton and staple it shut. It will look like it did when your mom or dad bought it.
  • Step 3: Cover with tape Tear or cut pieces of masking tape that are two or three inches long and stick them all over the carton until you've covered it completely.
  • TIP: If you overlap the edges of the tape slightly, you'll cover the carton better.
  • Step 4: Rub shoe polish Dab some shoe polish onto the cloth and rub it all over the tape-covered carton. This will make the house look like it's made out of bark. Let the polish dry.
  • TIP: You can also decorate the birdhouse by gluing moss all over it, or excelsior, green stuff that looks a lot like moss that you can buy at a crafts store.
  • Step 5: Make door To make the door, have a grownup cut a circle that's an inch to an inch and a half in diameter about 4 inches above the bottom of the carton.
  • TIP: To make a perch inside the birdhouse, poke holes in opposite sides of the carton and stick a twig through it.
  • Step 6: Make holes Make a few holes in the bottom of the carton for drainage and two holes in the top so that the birds can breathe.
  • : Ask a grown-up to poke the holes, too. That screwdriver could be sharp.
  • Step 7: String & hang Poke a hole through the very top of the house, where the milk carton forms a peak, and string a piece of twine through it. Tie a knot in the twine, hang the house from a tree, and wait for your new neighbors to move in.
  • FACT: Wrens, tree swallows, and bluebirds prefer enclosed birdhouses like this one, while robins like open platforms for nesting.

You Will Need

  • An empty quart-size milk carton
  • A stapler
  • Masking tape
  • A soft cloth or rag
  • Brown shoe polish
  • Scissors or a small precision knife
  • A grown-up to help with cutting
  • A pointy screwdriver or something to poke holes in the carton
  • Twine
  • A twig or small branch (optional)

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