How to Make a River Rock Birdhouse

by Diane Steinbach Google
Dress up a plain wooden birdhouse with natural river rocks.

Dress up a plain wooden birdhouse with natural river rocks.

Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

A river rock birdhouse has an organic, fanciful and simple look that delights viewers and birds alike. The ideal accent for a garden, this natural birdhouse is a creative project you can complete in a weekend. When you start with a hobby-shop wooden birdhouse and river rocks you collect yourself, you have almost all you need to begin this project.

Items you will need

  • Wooden birdhouse
  • Exterior paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Exterior spray sealant
  • River rocks
  • Pebbles
  • Soapy water
  • Bucket
  • Newspaper
  • Clear silicone adhesive like Liquid Nails
  • Spray shellac
  • Driftwood (optional)
Step 1

Paint the roof and bottom of the wood birdhouse you purchased from a hobby shop. Use an exterior paint to protect the roof and bottom edge or bottom of the birdhouse.

Step 2

Spray the painted roof of the birdhouse with an exterior clear spray sealant. This will help it resist fading and weather-related moisture damage.

Step 3

Wash your river rocks, removing dirt and debris. Allow to dry.

Step 4

Place the wood birdhouse on its side, on newspapers. You'll cover the three sides of the birdhouse with river rocks first, saving the front side with the hole for last.

Step 5

Apply a moderate coating of a waterproof, temperature-tolerant clear silicone adhesive like Liquid Nails Clear to the bottom half of one side of the house.

Step 6

Press stones, starting along the bottom edge, into the adhesive. Create a horizontal stone line when the house is sat upright. Repeat with stones, varying the size, shape and color of the stones as you work.

Step 7

Add more adhesive to the top half of the house and continue. Use smaller pebbles in gaps to cover the wood structure.

Step 8

Allow the adhesive to set up between 2 and 6 hours, then rotate the house and continue covering the next two sides in the same fashion.

Step 9

Begin the front of the birdhouse by circling the bird's entrance hole with rocks to add a decorative element. Continue following the circular pattern out towards the sides of the house by adding stones around the hole.

Step 10

Allow the project to set for 6 to 16 hours, depending on the silicone instructions.

Step 11

Spray the entire project with a clear, shiny shellac to brighten the river rocks and weatherproof the birdhouse.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use wet paper toweling to immediately wipe up any excess silicone.
  • Embed a piece of driftwood among the stones just under the entrance hole on the front of the birdhouse to serve as a perch.
  • Personalize a river rock birdhouse by creating a monogram over the birdhouse entrance in stones. Use the gift recipient's last name initial to personalize the front of the house.
  • Use sand as a grout if the spaces between rocks are too big. Apply more silicone between stones, then throw sand onto the house side and allow to sit for several hours before brushing off excess.
  • Cover the roof of the birdhouse with small decorative pebbles and fake snow for a festive holiday birdhouse gift.
  • Don't hang a river rock birdhouse from a cord, as it may not support the weight of the birdhouse. Place the birdhouse on a cut tree trunk or post.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images