From Bank to Birdhouse: A Log Cabin for the Birds

From Bank to Birdhouse: A Log Cabin for the Birds

It’s been a while since I created a bird project for our yard…so I decided to combine this year’s “Cabin” theme with an outdoors project. Since we always have nesting wrens and chickadees at our house, I wanted to make them a new, alternative abode.

Now- I could have constructed a miniature cabin from scratch. But oh my goodness, that sounded like a lot of work! So instead, I decided to repurpose a 1970s-era souvenir bank- the kind that used to be found at every national park gift shop across the USA. Did you have one when you were younger?

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank to be repurposed into DIY cabin style birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Remember these?

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank to be repurposed into DIY cabin style birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

I definitely remember seeing these while on vacation!

Remember those? I do…vaguely…and since the dimensions are nearly perfect for a DIY wren house, I figured it might just be the cutest bank-turned-birdhouse ever. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

First step- I needed to fill in the bank’s coin slot! So, I used some quasi-color-matched wood putty and a wooden coffee stirrer to carefully seal up the slot.

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank to be repurposed into DIY cabin style birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Just gotta seal this up…

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank to be repurposed into DIY cabin style birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

There we go!

I went ahead and applied some putty to the seam where the two roof sections met, and let it dry/cure overnight. Then, using a hole cutting bit, we created a 1⅛” hole (ideal for the smallest birds, like my wrens and chickadees). My small, child-sized fingers could then sand down the inner edge until it was smooth.

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank to be repurposed into DIY cabin style birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Starting to look like a birdhouse!

Next, I added two small eye screws under each gable (for hanging purposes). Putting the eye screws here (as opposed to one on each roof section) will help balance the house better and the area is less likely to get wet from weather.

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank to be repurposed into DIY cabin style birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

One on this side…

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank to be repurposed into DIY cabin style birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

…and one on the other side.

As a precaution, we drilled two small holes in the bottom…on either side of the coin access! This will help with air flow to prevent mold & mildew from building up inside.

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank to be repurposed into DIY cabin style birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Always a good idea!

Once all the drilling was complete, I gave the entire bird house a healthy coat of sealant and let it dry overnight. Then, I strung some wire between the two eye screws and it was ready to hang outside!

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank repurposed and upcycled into DIY rustic mountain cabin birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Is that not the cutest???

Ta-da!! Isn’t it just the cutest? And in case you were curious, wrens prefer birdhouses that do NOT have a perch outside the entrance, which is why I didn’t add one to the project.

Vintage log cabin souvenir bank repurposed and upcycled into DIY cabin style birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

I’m in love!

I can’t wait to bring it to the mountain cabin and hang it outside!

Craft on!

S

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PIN ME!Vintage log cabin souvenir bank repurposed and upcycled into DIY rustic mountain cabin birdhouse by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Comments

  1. Mary Ann says:

    I’ve never seen one of these. Cute idea. In reference to your perch comment, an old neighbor of mine told me that bird houses should not have perches because it gives the squirrels somewhere to sit while they chew a larger hole to get into the birdhouse. I don’t know if it is true, but I have seen chewed birdhouse holes, so it makes sense to me.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says:

      Thank you, Mary Ann!

    • We have an Adobe triple opening bird house. Last spring one of our mama squirrels had a litter and one of the babies decided rather than live in the hollow tree after it was weaned it would live with the birds. It took the penthouse apartment, lol. It chewed the round hole to a nice size oval and enlarges it now and then as it gets too fat! Yep we have 13 resident squirrels, one groundhog, and feed hundreds of birds! That and we currently are feeding 7 neighbor cats.

      We have a log cabin bird house too.

  2. I love this idea and the way these look. Minimal work too. Woo hoo!

  3. So cute! It’s a perfect recycle for a log cabin bank. I bet the birds will love it!

  4. Don’t forget to drill a small hole under the hole and place a dowel for a perch. The birds like to sit on the perch.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says:

      Nope, if you read through my post, you’ll see that I purposefully did not do that because wrens and chickadee houses are not supposed to have perches.

  5. Great recycling idea for something that would otherwise sit in a closet unseen. Do let us know if a family moves in this spring!

  6. Being a Canadian, I’ve never seen one of these. It’s like they were meant to be birdhouses – love this idea!

  7. Very Cute and Creative too!

  8. I never saw banks like that one! Cute idea!!

  9. Love it! Hey Sadie just wanna say that you truly are an Upcycling queen!

  10. Great use for that bank. Now, I’ll be on the lookout! Thanks for sharing it with us at Funtastic Friday, Sarah! Pinned

  11. This is so super cute! Thanks for sharing at The Creative Circle!

  12. Naomi S. says:

    That is very cute! It occurred to me while reading your tutorial that you could make one out of Lincoln Logs. You’d have to use some mortar between the logs, but I think it would be worth a try and if it worked pretty cute.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says:

      It’s funny, Naomi, because that was my original plan! Find some vintage Lincoln logs to build one…but then I found the bank and it was WAYYY easier. 😉

      • Naomi S. says:

        Yeah, the Lincoln Logs would be pretty labor intensive! Mortar…what was I thinking?? I might try it someday, anyway!

  13. Ah, that is adorable. I am slowly replacing 20-year old birdhouses. This is certainly a fun one, will the birds go in it with the finish–I find mine seem to only like houses once they get stinky and old. LOL, thanks for the idea, Sandi

  14. acraftymix says:

    Great idea Sarah, I can’t wait to see some pics of all your little feathered friends enjoying their new log cabin.

  15. Precious. What a great idea. I bet it looks darling in your yard.

  16. Very cool! Thank you for sharing! : )

  17. Love it. I’ve never seen a log cabin bank but I will be on the lookout for one. Thanks for sharing your adorable bird house at Vintage Charm.

  18. Hello Sadie. Sorry it has been so long since I have been by, just life happening. So glad I was able to make a stop today and see what is going on. I do not remember the banks, yet, I think what you have done with it is a fantastic idea! Plus, you did a marvelous job, it is so perfectly stained. It shines like gold. I have asked my husband if we could make one along the same line for the hundred or so birds that visit our yard every spring through fall. Thank you again for sharing such a brilliant and spectacular project! I am always impressed with what you do, I hope that I can start stopping by once again! Have a great day!

  19. I love it! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  20. Such a cute idea! I hope some lucky birds make this their home! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

  21. This upcycle makes great birdhouse. A cabin in the wood theme very quaint for a birdhouse and this one looks like it will last for lots of years.

  22. This is so adorable! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  23. How do you get into it to clean it prior to spring? We clean ours by taking out the old nest & replacing with clean sawdust each year. My husband made our current nestboxes so one side can be removed for cleaning.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says:

      Luckily, our local chickadees clean it out each season. Sometimes, their nest “fluff” has gotten stuck in the entrance hole, but then I can pluck it out for them- and there’s not a trace left! But we also have the larger “coin release” opening in the bottom, that has a rubber plug in it. 🙂

  24. I love this adorable bird house Sarah

  25. I may have to MAKE one of these instead of using the one I have which I could NEVER use…which is from the old Ponderosa Ranch in Nevada, where they filmed the old TV series “Ponderosa”!! It’s exactly like this one but just says PONDEROSA RANCH on it! The ranch was destroyed, razed, about a year or two after I was fortunate to visit there!
    My husband wants a hobby and used to do some woodworking, so I’ll ask him to make me a new one!

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