How To Make Diy At Home – Who doesn’t love a spring craft that includes DIY paper birdhouses? I know the calendar says it’s spring, but I can’t wait until the leaves start to bud on the trees. I’m in love with early spring flowers, birds, green grass and the first really warm sunny day. My absolute favorite springtime activity is listening to the birds in the morning and watching the sun peek out the window when I wake up.
While we all hope it really feels like spring, we can still do some paper crafts. This project is sure to help you through the winter blues and cheer you up as you think about spring.
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I thought the perfect craft to usher in the longer days and warmer weather would be some paper birdhouses. They would be fun for kids and adults alike to cut and assemble. You can use supplies you have on hand, such as cereal boxes, poster board, and patterned paper.
You can use a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut cutting machine to cut out the patterns. Alternatively, you can print out the PDFs and cut them out with scissors or an exacto knife.
I designed these birdhouses to be cut on an electronic cutting machine (i.e. Silhouette Cameo or Cricut), but if you’re good with a craft knife, you can print the PDF templates and cut them by hand. Before starting this craft, you will need to cut the various parts for assembly.
To download your free SVG birdhouse templates, sign up in the top right sidebar or at the bottom of this post. I have also provided SVG, DXF, EPS, PNG and PDF versions of the files to accommodate all types of cutting machines.
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After a few moments, you will receive an email confirming your subscription (check your spam or promotions folder if you don’t see it). After confirming your registration, you will receive a “welcome email” with the password. Go to the library page and enter the password in the empty box located below the word “Password”. You can also access the library from the top menu bar at any time with your password.
Remember that the password is case sensitive and contains spaces. Also, make sure caps lock is turned off. If you have any issues, email me at laura@ and I’ll do my best to help. Once at the library, follow the instructions to download your free files.
Each paper birdhouse is made from one sheet of patterned cardstock and one sheet of plain or neutral cardstock. The main part of the birdhouse is made of patterned cardboard. The roof and base of the playhouse are made from neutral colored cardstock and/or cereal boxes. There are two files to complete each building – the construction file and the roof/base file. There are two sizes for birdhouses, small and large.
Open Silhouette Studio. Then choose File, Open and choose the BIRDHOUSE FILES you downloaded from the library to your computer. The files will be in the location where you previously downloaded them. If you are using the Designer Edition or Business Edition of Silhouette Studio, use the SVG files. If you have the basic edition (free version), you need to use the DXF files. They can open above the mat in the gray area of the software.
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In Page Setup, change the Cropping Mat to 12X12. Then change the media size to 8.5 X 11.
The pink lines on the birdhouses need to be changed to mark the lines. You will need to ungroup items before changing lines. You can ungroup them by right-clicking on them and choosing ungroup. Now click on the pink lines and click on the dropdown next to the solid black line in the top menu. Select the larger dashed version of the line so that it dots but doesn’t cut the entire line.
Now ungroup the word blocks. Go to the Send menu at the top. Click on the words and choose Sketch from the Action menu. Also, make sure Sketch is selected in Tool 1. The words will now appear in red. Make sure your tool is set to pen. All other lines on the page should be grayed out. If they aren’t, select them and choose No Sketch.
Load the paper onto a 12 X 12 cutting mat and load it into the machine. Then add your drawing pen to Tool 1 on your machine. Now go back to Silhouette Studio and click submit. Tip: If the sketch pen is dragging in the wrong places on the paper, lift the paper so it’s level and not sagging. That should get rid of that problem. DO NOT UNLOAD YOUR CARPET YET.
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When you’re done sketching, go back to your software. Select everything on the page. Now under Action choose cut. Then, in Tool 1, choose crop. Now select just the words and choose No Crop in Tool 1. At this point the words will be grayed out and all other items on the page will be red. Now change your cropping settings to the following:
Your rug with the sketched words should already be loaded in the machine from the previous step. Now press Send. After cutting, make sure the card stock is completely cut before unloading it. If it doesn’t cut it, send it a second time. Now unload your mat. Repeat these instructions for the other birdhouse, roof and base.
Cricut’s open design space. Click upload on the bottom left toolbar. Then click on upload image and then browse. Select the SVG version of Birdhouses that you previously downloaded from the library. If you have not completed the download step, please refer to the DOWNLOAD THE BIRD HOUSE TEMPLATES section above for instructions.
Click open and rename the file and add tags if you like. Then click save. Now select the file and choose Insert Images.
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Once the image is on your screen, click on it and drag it to the right, so you can see all the files. Now left click on the first image and right click on it to ungroup the items. Working on the red layer in the layers panel, click on the layer with the single black vertical line. Then, in the top left menu, under Operation, change the trim line to punctuation. The line will change from a solid line to a dashed line. Highlight all red layers and click Attach.
Now click on the central (bigger) blue birdhouse. Then right-click and choose ungroup. Working in the layers panel and blue layers, click on all the black lines and change them from cut to score under Operation in the top menu. To select all layers together, hold down the Shift key while selecting them. Now join the two middle birdhouses.
Ungroup the last two (smallest) squares. Make sure all black lines are changed to punctuation lines. Then select the two smaller houses and attach them.
Finally, select the words (but not the boxes around them) and change them from cut to pen in the Operation menu. Now drag the words and their boxes and join them.
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Now click on Make. You should have 4 separate mats in your viewport. If you see dashed lines on your own, you’ll need to go back to the canvas and attach them. Otherwise, if everything looks good in the preview, choose Continue. Now follow the on-screen instructions to load your tools, supplies and mats.
If you are using scissors to cut your birdhouses, download the PDF file. Then print them on your home printer. I have found that using a paper weight/thickness of 65lb to 80lb works best on my printer. When you use paper thicker than an 80lb cover, the printer tends to lock up.
Most patterned paper packs come in the 12 X 12.5 size. I use my paper trimmer and cut them to 8.5 X 11 and then load them into the printer. Recollections paper seems to run through my printer with no problems. If you’re looking for plain white cardstock, this 8.5 X 11 and this 12 X 12 works fine on my printer.
For this project, I used Recollections, Bouquet Basics 12 X 12 pad of paper. I bought it at Michael’s craft shop. While researching for this project, my favorite Amazon patterns are IDULL Scrapbook Paper Pack, this Stamperia Pad, this Stamperia Pad, and levylisa. You’ll want to read your printer manual to see what paper weight your printer accepts.
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Load paper into the printer. Then print the pattern on paper and cut it out with scissors.
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