When called upon to conduct an ad hoc workshop on birdhouses built from recycled materials in Greeley, Colorado, I hit a local thrift store, spotted a jumble of used baskets (found at every thrift store and white elephant sale) and came up with the following simple project. Now let's see if the birds move in. There are two photos below of most of the houses, one to show the construction and one showing the birdhouse in situ amidst the trees.
One basket is turned upside-down and placed atop another. A strand of floral wire (wire wrapped with tape) is secured to one side of the base basket, up through the "roof" basket, back down through the "roof" basket, and then secured to the opposite side of the base basket. Each birdhouse requires two baskets and one strand of floral wire. The wire is long enough to also serve as a loop for hanging the birdhouse, and the "roof" basket can slide up the wire to allow access to the inside of the base basket for seasonal cleaning. Cedar chips form a starter bed inside the birdhouse.
Entry holes were cut using scissors and/or a box cutter. While perches made from junk might have looked cute, apparently perches are a no-no according to birding sites—they are used by predators to gain entry to the nest.
One workshop participant, Janean Cox, brought an old hat for possible use in birdhouse construction, which was happily married to a basket to become another type of birdhouse.
The hat concept inspired another, more weather-beaten version fashioned from an old gardening hat.
Workshop organization, location, and trees for housing the final products were provided by Judith Richter.