Make an Insect Hotel From an Old Drawer

10 Materials
1 Hour

Here's how to turn an old drawer from a tatty chest of drawers and into an insect hotel for your garden.

If you don't have an old drawer, you can also find my free plans for an insect hotel made with scraps of wood.

Here's one of the drawers. It may look salvageable, but it was moldy, warped and in terrible condition.

So, I was asked for an ITV TV show to turn it int an insect hotel.

First, I cut it up at an angle, and in a way where I could use the excess sides as shelves.

Note, it's on an angle so the rain would run off.

After cutting the excess pieces to the same internal width, I gave my insect hotel roof.

I'm now clamping and screwing it together.

For any shelves, I used blocks of offcuts as a depth gauge, then screwed my next shelf in.

The repeated the same again for the next shelf.

I then drilled loads of holes in the offcuts for bees - around 6mm and cut and slotted in dowels, again drilled and secured them with a glue gun.

I also added pine cones, twigs and leaves before stapling them in to secure and keep predators, like birds out from having a feast.

And stapled on some offcut roof felt.

Here's how it looked.

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The Carpenter's Daughter
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 6 questions
  • Virginia Virginia on Oct 31, 2020

    Not a bee lover! We pay to have them removed! Just wondering why you would welcome them? Looks cute, so I must be missing something.

  • Lillyrose Lillyrose on Nov 10, 2020

    I understand the reason for building a home for bee's. Ones I have seen on here before have different sized holes in their critter homes. So what is the purpose of providing a home for other insects.

  • Hope Hope on Nov 01, 2021


    I've seen these DIY beneficial insect 'hotels' and I like how yours turned out. I received one from my mom as a gift 3 years ago and it's been in my garden ever since...sadly, no one uses it. :(

    Curious if any insects actually moved in and 'set up house' in yours..?

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5 of 8 comments
  • Pam Pam on Nov 17, 2020

    I will build them a hotel or a mansion! If they will quit trying to eat my shed. Wonder if I should put it nearby (ick) so they won’t miss it.

    • Ginger Ginger on Sep 13, 2021

      Honey bees (I am told) do NOT eat wood, but carpenter bees do. There are paints or finishes that will keep out carpenter bees. I hope we can increase the honey bee population as they are critical to our food supply.

  • P P on Oct 31, 2021

    in Southeast Louisiana, I am afraid such a wooden 'hotel' would be attracting Formosan termites and 'palmetto bugs' aka giant cockroaches!