Making a DIY Birdhouse from a Vintage Bank that Looks Like a Log Cabin

Making a DIY Birdhouse from a Vintage Bank that Looks Like a Log Cabin

It’s been a while since I created a bird project for our yard…so I decided to combine this year’s Log Cabin theme with an outdoors project. Since we always have nesting wrens and chickadees at our house, I had a birdhouse idea that I just couldn’t shake.

Now- I could have constructed a miniature log cabin from scratch. But oh my goodness, that sounded like a lot of work! So instead, I decided to repurpose a  vintage 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?

Birdhouse idea using an upcycled vintage log cabin bank to make a DIY birdhouse

Remember those banks that looked like a log cabin? 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.

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Making a DIY Birdhouse that Looks Like a Log Cabin

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

There…much better – now my DIY birdhouse is no longer a log cabin with a leaky roof!

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.

Next, I added two small eye screws under each gable of my log cabin (for hanging purposes).

Putting the eye screws here (as opposed to one on each roof section) will help balance the house better and the under-gable area of my DIY birdhouse is less likely to get wet from weather.

Using the eye screws on a coin bank that has been upcycled into a DIY birdhouse for hanging outside

And then another eye screw for my DIY birdhouse on the back…

As a precaution, we drilled two small holes in the bottom of my DIY birdhouse…on either side of the coin access!

This will help with air flow through the log cabin to prevent mold and mildew from building up inside.

Using a drill to add drainage holes to the bottom of a wooden birdhouse for air circulation

DIY BirdHouse or Log Cabin Style Birdhouse Idea

Once all the ventilation drilling was complete, I gave the entire DIY birdhouse a healthy coat of sealant and let it dry overnight.

Then, I strung some wire between the two eye screws and my little log cabin birdhouse idea was ready to hang outside!

Ta-da!! Isn’t it just the cutest log cabin that you’ve ever seen?

And in case you were curious, wrens prefer a DIY birdhouse that does NOT have a perch outside the entrance. That’s why I didn’t add one to this rustic birdhouse.

How to make a DIY birdhouse or birdhouse idea by upcycling a vintage coin bank

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

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for birds, then you’ll love this suet feeder that was made from a thrifted store coffee mug!

How to make bird suet for a suet feeder in a ceramic coffee mug as a DIY bird feeder for the winter

Craft on!


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  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.

    • Jane Harkleroad says

      Maybe you can put some tin around the hole to keep the squirrels from making it larger?

  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:

    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’ve never seen a bank like that in NH/Maine; maybe it was a midwest thing? So cute; I never knew about not providing a perch; interesting info!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      When I researched them online, I saw them from all over the country- the Dakotas to Arizona to the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest.

  26. Where can I find the instructions for this bird house?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Did you read the blog post, Robin?? This is an upcycling post for something already made.

  27. Get ready for a bad pun! Well, isn’t this just for the ‘birdz’.

  28. 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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