DIY Bug House

5 Materials
1 Hour

An insect hotel, also known as a bug hotel or insect house, is a man-made structure created to provide shelter for insects. Most consist of several different sections that provide insects with nesting facilities offering shelter or refuge for many types of insects. I am going to show you how to make your own insect hotel made from a 1x6x10 piece of pine wood

Cut list and materials

  • Wood a 1×6 10ft long pine board works great.
  • Small wood screws or nails
  • Screwdriver
  • Craft wire
  • Miter saw.  I like this one. You need one that can cut 45 degree angles.
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Environmentally wood stain or paint.  I like this one. You could also keep it natural and not use any finish.

Fill the bug house with: pine cones, small twigs, broken garden pots, small block of wood.

Cut list:

If you purchase a 1×6 board that is 10 feet long that should be plenty of wood to make all the cuts, plus a little extra in case you screw up!

  • Cut three shelves 5 1/2 x 11
  • Cut two side pieces 5 1/2 x 10- cut the top at a 45 degree angle so that it fits in with the slanted roof.
  • Cut two back pieces 5 1/2 x 13 (cut the top at a 45 degree angle. The shorter side should be 10 inches)
  • Cut one roof pieces 5 1/2 x 7.5
  • Cut one roof piece 5 1/2 x 8
  • Cut one divide 5 1/2 x 5 cut the edge of the 5 inch side at a 45 degree angle on both sides so that it fits into underside peak of the roof.

Assemble the back and sides

  1. Sand the edges of each piece of wood for a smooth finish.
  2. Screw the base piece to the two back pieces, this holds the two back pieces in place.
  3. Next, screw the two side pieces to the back pieces using a screwdriver.

  1. Fix the roof by screwing the two pieces together to make a right angle. Place to the side.
  2. Make a T shape with the divide (and one shelf piece, attach with screws.
  3. Attach the roof and shelves using screws.
  4. Varnish to protect the wood if you like.
  5. Collect small twigs, pine cones for the inside filling.
  6. Using a small block of wood drill some holes in which become holes for bugs to hide.
  7. The bottom shelf is ideal for pine cones attach some chicken wire or thread some wire to hold them in place. Use screws to secure wire.

Stain or paint the house and hang!

You can stain the house or paint it with eco-friendly paint. You can also leave it plain. Add the sticks and filling and place it out for the bugs!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Benesse
    on Jun 27, 2020

    Which insects are you trying to attract (I know there are some beneficial ones for the garden) and how do you know which are going to actually make a home there?

    • Nancy
      on Jun 28, 2020

      Obvious answer is that the bug house is to try to attract more beneficial bugs (Who wants more problematic bugs?  ).

      Pollinator gardens have been using these little houses for solitary bees; not all bees are part of a hive.

      This link is one of many that gives info:

      I have been meaning to make a bug house and this project has inspired me to get moving on that. TY!

Join the conversation

  • Peggy Burnette
    on Jun 27, 2020

    Do you know about using only paper straws? Also you need to collect the bees in the fall and keep them in your garage in a bag. Lots more to do than just build a house for the insects. I do not mean to be mean or hurt your feelings, just wanted to let you know.

  • Cheryl
    on Jun 30, 2020

    I, too, wondered for what particular insects the house was designed. I am sure different insects would require different types of houses. But Wow! For not wanting to hurt someone's feelings, I don't know what else to expect after reading the first comment. "You" or "Your" was used five times in one short paragraph. Instead of directing every sentence as a focus on what that person has done wrong, why not add to the conversation, such as, "Paper straws can be a great addition. Bees can be collected in the fall and kept in a bag (mention what kind of bag) in the garage." As I understood this post, it was a tutorial on how an insect house can be made--not a tutorial on how to find and keep bees. My brother is a beekeeper. I know what those hives look like and the syrup he makes for them to get them going until the dandelions and, eventually, other flowers emerge. I would be interested to learn more about the insects that will be attracted to this post's insect house.

    • Anita
      on Jul 11, 2020

      I was thinking Mason Bees might like this, and maybe Ladybugs. I think it also depends on where it was put. Interesting idea. It got me thinking about checking into what beneficial insects would need to live in my garden. In any case this project is a novel idea.

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