Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

Well it’s officially summer and if you’re anything like us, you have no less than 472 warm-weather-dependent house restoration projects on your list. So what should you do first? Forget all those and spend a week meticulously crafting a tiny replica birdhouse of your 1965 ranch home, of course.

Not to Put Too Fine a Point On It

Clearly, the optimal way to begin this type of project is to grab the original blueprints for your custom built, time-capsule ranch home that have been sitting on your hall closet shelf for the past 52 years and use those as a guide. What’s that? You don’t have the original blueprints to your midcentury home? Oh my. Perhaps you should take a moment and think about some of the life choices you’ve made…


Say I’m the Only Bee in Your Bonnet

One of the things that we seem to have a LOT of here at the Retro Ranch are scraps. Scraps of everything– wood, metal, flooring, carpeting, furniture– you name it, we’ve got a piece of it lying around somewhere, so we can trip over it. This constant clutter drives David absolutely crazy, so this birdhouse building project was a great way to do something for free (which, as we all know, never happens when you own a home) and get rid of some of these leftovers without piling them into a landfill. It was almost like we were killing two birds with– uh, well yeah, you get it.

Bluebird of Friendliness

At some point David decided that the interior paint colors needed to also reflect ours as well. So out came the leftover teal paint from our kitchen. And apparently birds also require unique, one-of-a-kind artwork on their walls so when they come home from a hard day of hopping around on the telephone wire, they can enjoy some soothing visual stimulation.

I’d Be Fired if That Were My Job

David’s focus on the accuracy of the birdhouse exterior far surpassed my expectations. And by this I mean his attention to detail can only be described as, well, clinically insane. I would’ve lost interest after about two hours (which, lets face it, I pretty much did) but he is a man on a mission when it comes to building things. And once he discovered that he could creatively rid his garage of more unwanted scraps, he went all out. The mini-Retro Ranch had our shutters, siding, doors, roman brick facade, porch posts, brick planter, bench, chimney, and a roof covered with asphalt-looking shingles made from stairwell tread tape. And to top it all off, it was floating on a swell little midcentury cloud. Just like I was when I saw it completed.

I’m a Little Glowing Friend

I was beyond ecstatic when David affixed our new little feathered friends’ ranch home to an unused hanging plant post in our side yard. It was legitimately one of the cutest things I had ever seen. And I don’t generally like cute things, unless they are furry and four-legged. Or feathery and two-legged (ahem).

And if you’re not intimately familiar with the exterior of our house (read: you haven’t spent dozens of hours painting the siding with a brush during the hottest days in Oregon history) you can’t fully appreciate the adorable elegance and charm of this mini-Retro Ranch until you see the incredible comparison below.

And yes, the bottom photo is our actual house. You’re welcome.


Filibuster Vigilantly

Now that the Retro Ranch has a mini-counterpart built for our little friends of the avian variety, we can finally go back to our retro-restoration house projects.

Or… maybe… instead… we could just continue to build adorable, retro-themed birdhouses out of scrap materials, effectively utilizing all of our scraps AND procrastination tactics. Yeah! That’s exactly what we’ll do!

Because what Sparrows wouldn’t adore moving into this little 1957 Shasta travel trailer for the summer? I mean, it even comes with the propane tank.


Or perhaps a rustic, A-frame cabin in the woods for Chickadees who want to just get away from it all? Yep. I think it’s time to add this one to our listings on Airbnb’ird.


So if you are looking for a very effective way to avoid house projects this summer, we’ve got you covered: Grab everything in your garage and make a birdhouse (or several) out of it. I can’t promise they’ll be as amazing as these, but at least it guarantees that you won’t be scraping off wallpaper or peeling up old linoleum. For a little while, at least.

You’re welcome. Again.

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