How to Build a Butterfly House

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How to Build a Butterfly House

Attracting butterflies to your garden starts with having the right plants, but if you want them to stick around, you also need to give them a place to hibernate and lay their eggs. This butterfly house does just that, and it’s easy to build.

Butterfly House Materials

What You’ll Need:
Untreated lumber: – a 1″ x 6″ x 8′ board and a 1″ x 10″ x 12″ board
Finishing nails (1-1/2″ long)
Circular saw (or a hand saw)
Jig saw
Drill and 1/2-inch drill bit
Tape measure
Framing square and/or speed square
A Pencil or marker)

What You Do:

Butterfly House Pieces
Pictured left to right. 1st row: roof panel, bottom block, roof block; 2nd row: left side, front panel, back panel, right side

Step 1: Measure and cut the lumber to size:

Out of the 1″ x 6″ x 8′ cut …

Left side – 5-1/2″W x 21-7/8″L* (*Note: Back edge is 21-7/8″L, and front edge is 16-3/8″L. This will give you a 45 degree roof pitch)

Right side – 5-1/2″W x 21-7/8″L* (*Note: Back edge is 21-7/8″L and front edge is 16-3/8″L. This will give you a 45 degree roof pitch)

Back panel – 5-1/2″W x 21-7/8″L (Cut the board to the proper length. Then, set the circular saw to 45 degrees, and bevel the top edge)

Front panel – 5-1/2″W x 17-1/8″L (Cut the board to the proper length. Then, set the circular saw to 45 degrees, and bevel the top edge)

Bottom block – 5-1/2″W x 4″L

Roof block – 5-1/2″W x 6-1/8″L (Cut the board to proper length; bevel the front edge at 45 degrees; then, flip it over; and bevel the back edge at 45 degrees.

Out of the 1″ x 10″ x 12″ cut …

Roof panel – 8-1/2″W x 11-1/4″L Cut the board to the proper size, and bevel the front and back edges, just as you did for the roof block.

Attach Sides to Back Panel

Step 2: Attach the sides to the back panel.

Attach the Bottom

Step 3: Attach the bottom.

Attach the Front Panel

Step 4: Attach the front panel.

Attach the Roof Block to the Roof Panel

Step 5: Center the roof block on the roof panel. Then, attach it with finishing nails, and set it aside.

Mark the Slot Locations

Step 6: Mark the butterfly slot locations. Eight in total.

Drill a Hole at the Top and Bottom of Each Slot

Step 7: Drill a hole at the top and bottom of each slot.

Finish Cutting the Slots with a Jigsaw

Step 8: Then, finish cutting the slots with a jigsaw.

Sand the Butterfly House

Step 9: Sand away any splinters.

Place Sticks and Bark in the Butterfly House

Step 10: Gather some small tree limbs and bark, and stick them inside the house. Then, set the roof into place (Do not attach the roof with nails; it’s supposed to be removable).

Butterfly House

Step 11: Find a sunny spot in your garden for your butterfly house, and wait for butterflies to move in.

For more information about how to attract butterflies to your garden, check out this article by the National Wildlife Federation.

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  1. Hi, Love your site. I would recommend screwing the top onto the butterfly house, because either strong winds, or raccoons and opossums will take that roof off for you. Would you put a date on the stuff you’re trying, so we know when to get back to you abour whether lime green balls worked better than red, etc? Thanks, Zan

    1. Hi Zan,

      You’re right, screws would be a good addition. If you look at the top of each post, you’ll see a date right under the title. So far the yellow tennis balls we used seem to be doing the trick. I was just looking at our apples last night, and I don’t see any damage on our apples. I’ll do another update later in the season to let everyone know if our experiment was a success 🙂

  2. Is cedar a good choice of lumber for this? I know it
    s costlier, but I have some and it’s very durable for outside stuff. (I make a lot of birdhouses and feeders from cedar).

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