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Back to How To....    |   Building a Butterfly House

Where do butterflies go when it rains or is cold?  Some, like the monarch, migrate, but most find a hollow log or crevice to hide in.  Why not make it easier on the butterflies you attract to your garden and make them a place to hide during inclement weather?  This butterfly house uses one 5/8” X 4”X6’ cedar plank and one 5/8”X6”X6’ plank to build.

You will need to cut the following pieces:

2 sides 5/8”X4”X26”

Bottom 5/8” X 4” X 7”

Front 5/8” X 6” X 23 1/2 “

Upper back 5/8” X 6” X 4”

Lower back 5/8” X 6” X 21.5”

Roof 5/8” X 6” X 8”

You will need number 8 X 1 1/2 “ wood screws to assemble the pieces and one two inch hinge, preferably zinc, which won’t rust.

Cut the sides first.  Then cut a 45 degree miter on the top of each side.

Next, cut the front, top back, and back.  Bevel the front and the top back 45 degrees. 

Now take the front and set the other pieces aside.  You must cut slots in the front of the butterfly house for the butterflies to enter.  These slots need to be large enough for the butterflies but too small for birds or other predators.  They are cut to be 3” X 1/2”.  As you can see from the photograph, you go up three inches from the bottom of the front, then cut two slots side by side.  Next, go up one inch and cut one slot in the middle of the board.  Go up one inch and repeat the pattern one more time.  You should have 4.5 “ from the top of the last slot to the top of the board.

Assemble the sides and front of the box.  Make sure the front bevel slopes down when you do so.  Use three screws in each side.

Next, put the top back on the back of the butterfly house.  Make sure the bevel slopes down when you do so.

Attach the hinge to the middle of the bottom of the top back.  Then attach the other side of the hinge to the top of the lower back.  Drill pilot holes or your wood will split.

Next, put the roof on the top of the house.

Finally, attach the bottom of the house to the rest of the structure.  This is what the front looks like when it is finished.

Place a branch inside the butterfly house for the butterflies to perch on.  Mount the house about two feet high and enjoy the butterflies it attracts.

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Is space a problem for you?

Then you might want to consider growing your vegetables, fruit, citrus, or annual color in tubs, 1/2 wine barrels, window boxes or hanging baskets.

All make great areas to grow columnar fruit, citrus, beans, tomatoes, herbs, or even onions or lettuce.

Get creative! What can you think of that would grow well in a small space?

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