Upcycling a Kleenex Box Cover as a Wren Bird House

Upcycling a Kleenex Box Cover as a Wren Bird House

This Kleenex box cover was one of the last things I snapped up at a favorite thrift store before it closed. It was sturdy and well-made, but I didn’t have a project idea right away. After a while, though, I wondered if I could tweak it and use it as a wren bird house for the backyard.

Kleenex box cover or wood tissue box cover at a thrift store

Now, bear with me as I work through this upcycling idea. Imagine this wood tissue box cover turned 90 degrees…so that the bottom becomes the back. 

Tissue cover for upcycling idea as a wren bird house

Ok, maybe it’s hard to visualize now, but trust me. I think this Kleenex box cover will become an adorable bird house! I just need to add a few things to it.

This post contains affiliate links for  your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Turning a Kleenex Box Cover into a Bird House

First, I took the wood tissue box cover apart. Or, rather, I removed the plastic insert and the sliding bottom to give it a good cleaning.

Taking apart a kleenex box cover for repurposing projects

Then, I knew I needed to create a smaller bird house “entrance” hole. The existing oval-shaped hole for facial tissues was way too big for a wren house.

If you remember this project, I discussed the smallest recommended hole size (per Audubon) for wrens and chickadees (which always nest in our yard).

So, just like before, I used a hole cutting bit on a square of thin plywood to effectively reduce the existing hole size.

Wren house hole size for the birdhouse design

After it was cut and sanded down, I glued it to the inside of the tissue box cover, clamping it down overnight.

Upcycling a wood tissue box cover as a wren bird house

Because the back panel of the tissue box cover had a large finger hole (for sliding in and out easily), I also glue a strip of thin wood over it.

Wren nest box with a small entrance hole

Once the wood glue had dried, I could put the finishing touches on the wren bird house!

Finishing Touches on a Chickadee Bird House / Wren House

Next, I painted everything white and distressed ever so slightly before sealing with top coat (inside and out).

This was an important step since it’s going to be a bird house living outside!

Painting a wren bird house and sealing with topcoat

Now for a fun little embellishment that also serves an important function!

I didn’t want to seal the box cover “flap” closed for ease of cleaning out the wren bird house. But I needed to ensure that it wouldn’t open randomly once it was outside.

So, I used some picture frame turn buttons that can be turned to either keep it closed or allow it to open!

Picture frame turn buttons to keep the bird house door closed

With my drill, I simply screwed them into the frame of the Kleenex box cover, right next to the “door”.

Finishing a wren birdhouse from a kleenex box cover

Not shown but other steps- I glued the back panel (now bottom panel) in place. I also drilled a couple of small holes in the bottom for drainage and air flow (important for bird houses to keep mold/mildew from building up inside).

To finish up the wren bird house, I bent an old license plate in the center. Can you tell that it’ll be the roof for my wren bird house?

License plate craft on a wren bird house

Lastly, I secured it to the top of the bird house with washers and screws. Now the wren nest box was ready to hang outside!

Upcycling a Kleenex Box Cover as a Wren Bird House

And there it is! My wren bird house is hung and ready to be discovered by house wrens or chickadees.

Wren bird house by upcycling a Kleenex box cover

Can you tell I wanted to emulate a white farmhouse with a red tin roof? 

And guess what? IT WORKED! A house wren is currently building a nest inside.

House wren building a nest in a metal roof birdhouse

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for a wren bird house, then you may also be interested in getting your yard officially designated as Certified Wildlife Habitat!

How to Designate Your Yard as Certified Wildlife Habitat

Craft on!


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  1. Jeannie Wallace says

    Would you happen to have any advice on how to put together one of the birdhouses that attach to your window so you can watch them nest? I’m not sure about materials to upcycle and my daughter wants one so bad. She’s even been working with our other animals to earn it. Could sure use your expertise on this one. Thank you for sharing your excellent new birdhouse.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      The kind that attaches to the glass with suction cups? I actually don’t like those because I’ve had suction cup feeders fail and fall to the ground…which is ok if it’s a feeder, but I would be devastated it it was a house with a nest and eggs/chicks inside.

  2. Karen Benitez says


  3. d brossy says

    as always, another clever redo! charming birdhouse, most especially because of where it all started.

  4. Since I am nuts (!) about birds and other wildlife in my yard, this is absolutely my favorite. Now I will look for same type of box!! Thanks for the idea.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Is your yard Certified Wildlife Habitat?? I have a blog post on it, but sounds like you’d probably qualify!

  5. Charleen Adams says

    That is the most unique use for your tissue box. It turned out so well. Keep up the creative work., enjoy all your projects.

  6. It turned out so cute! The next time I am in the thrift store I am going to buy everything I see, because I know you will inspire me on how to repurpose it haha 🙂

  7. Such a great vision for a wooden tissue box and love the “red” license plate roof! As always, you amaze me with your creativity, Sarah 🙂

  8. Look at you go girl, this is just the sweetest birdhouse. I love your red and white color scheme, and I’m certain your feathered friends will too! I have never seen a tissue cover like that, so now. . . I must search, let the quest begin! LOL

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Kaycee!! Someone on the FB page said it was part of a canister set and not a tissue box…which is bewildering to me, but she swears up and down that it’s just missing the plexi behind the opening. What do I know? LOL

  9. Naomi Shelton says

    Sadie, what a great birdie house! Very inspired and cute. I hope it has tenants soon!

  10. What a perfect way to reuse a Kleenex box holder. I do need more birdhouses! Next trip to thrift store I will have to keep that in mind. Maybe I can come up with something cool to turn into a birdhouse.

  11. Do you have anymore suggestions if we don’t have a wooden tissue box to use if we made a house out of paint stirrers would that be strong enough for the wrens?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I’ve never built one from scratch or used paint sticks to build one. Most bird houses are made of wood thicker than paint sticks, though- I’d be worried that the stirrers wouldn’t be strong enough against wind and rain or provide the kind of insulation that stronger wood would provide.

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