Houses for small animals are a great laser cutter project! See how I made a bunch of different DIY bird houses and feeders, plus a butterfly house and a squirrel feeder, on my xTool P2 machine. xTool sent me a P2 machine in exchange for a review, and this post is part of that review.
9 DIY butterfly, squirrel, & bird houses & feeders to make on an xTool P2
Hey everyone! Time for some more small animal houses 🙂 A few weeks ago I published a post about 5 Laser Cutter Hidey Houses I’ve Made with my xTool M1 machine. (Miss my M1 intro post? See my full xTool M1 Review post for more!)
And today I’m continuing on my journey of adding more cute animal habitats to the world by making 9 butterfly, squirrel, and bird houses and feeders. Specifically, I’m making 5 DIY bird houses and feeders and rounding out the post with 1 butterfly house and 1 squirrel feeder.
Some of these you can make on the xTool M1 machine, but some of them you cannot. And that’s because one requires cutting clear acrylic, which the M1 cannot do. Cue the xTool P2 machine.
The P2 also has a bigger project area of 600x308mm (compared to the M1’s 385x300mm project area) and a more powerful laser that works faster, meaning you can cut more pieces in once pass and get more done faster!
If you saw my xTool P2 review post, you might recognize one or two of the projects in this roundup. Specifically the DIY bird feeder bar. That’s because I couldn’t do this one on the M1 machine…it uses clear acrylic, and the M1 can’t cut that.
So let’s take a look at these projects, starting with the DIY bird houses and one bird feeder. Enjoy!
1. DIY cottage-style bird house with a picket fence yard
This adorable DIY cottage-style bird house with a picket fence yard was one of the first bird houses I made. The file went together really easily—I spray painted the fence and roof pieces before assembling everything and did a quick coat of outdoor stain on the rest of the bird house.
Many of the files in this post come in different sizes. But this one comes in 3mm only—however, I cut it out on 1/8″ basswood with no issues. (There is a slight difference in 3mm and 1/8″ thickness, but not enough to cause problems.) You can check out the file here!
2. Two-story DIY bird house with a porch and gate
If you want something with more room for tenants, check out this two-story bird house with a porch and gate. The top and bottom floors of the bird house are separated on the inside, meaning two families could move in if they’re good neighbors.
It also has a little “side porch” area with a fake gate that you glue on. Much like the first cottage-style bird house, I painted the roof and gate on this one black, staining the rest. When you buy this file, you’ll get files for 3mm, 1/8″, and 4mm. See the file here.
3. Simple one-hole bird house
The simple one-hole bird house is a great option if you’re looking for something more streamlined and smaller. These pieces went together very easily, and I painted and finished them to coordinate with the previous two bird houses.
When you get this file, you get design files for 3mm, 4mm, and 6mm. I made the 3mm post using 1/8″ basswood, and it fit like a glove. It’s very small, though. So if you’re wanting something bigger, definitely plan on making the 4mm or 6mm options.
4. Hobbit bird house
The hobbit bird house is something a little different, and it’s absolutely adorable! It has two entrances, but there is not a wall down the middle of the house. So, only room for one family. But even the 3mm version is roomy.
It’s a long and low design with 3mm and 4mm options. I also like how it has built-in holes/hooks you can run cord through to hang this instead of mounting it on a post. Read more about the hobbit bird house here.
5. Whimsical camper bird house
I loved the guinea pig camper house I made, and I love the version I made for birds, too! Check out the adorable scored details on this pretty little whimsical camper bird house.
This one is a lot like one of the camper guinea pig hidey houses I made—same designer, too. This one comes in many different sizes, and I cut mine out using the 1/8″ “average size” files. There are different sizes for each thickness, too.
6. Sweetheart bird house cottage
This adorable sweetheart bird house cottage has some simply but beautiful details on it. I like how gluing on window frames helps to create more interest, and the “siding” scoring lines also add some more dimension.
I decided to stain the main body of this one and paint the root and accent frames using a hunt green acrylic paint. Then I finished everything use a matte polycrylic aerosol spray. It’s really cute.
7. DIY “bird bar” bird feeder
This one isn’t a bird house, but I had to include it because it was so fun to make! It’s the “bird bar” bird feeder. This one definitely requires a P2 machine because only CO2 lasers can cut clear acrylic—and this one uses clear acrylic.
The design is such that you can lift the flap on the top, fill up the food dispenser area with corn and seeds, and then use the clear acrylic window to monitor how low the supply is getting. And the squirrels can sit up on the little barstools! Probably birds, too.
8. DIY butterfly house with a flap back
This is the only butterfly house laser file I could find that I really liked. There really aren’t that many online to choose from, so I was excited that this one was from a designer I’ve purchased a bunch of stuff from.
When you buy the file, you get a ton of different sizes to choose from. This includes 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, 1/8″, and 1/4″ thicknesses, all in different sizes. Each size also includes an option that opens on the back and one that doesn’t.
I made the 1/8″ version using baltic birch plywood, and I chose the kind you can open up from the back. It’s a little flap on the bottom of the back. How cute is this one?
9. Squirrel feeder picnic table
And this is the last project I made. I have seen people make picnic table squirrel feeders before, but never with a laser cutter. I thought this would be a perfect project for the P2, because I would want to use 1/4″ wood so the piece would have more weight to it.
This one cut beautifully, and I decided to glue a little terracotta pot on top of it and fill that with critter food. You could also keep the little hole in it, which the designer added so you could add a corn cob in a stake. That’s really cute, too…but I had plenty of wildlife food from the bird bar.