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Bug hotel

Let the bugs check in for a five-star experience in this upmarket hotel made from reclaimed materials.

You will need (for the building):

  • 50mm exterior screws, 50mm galvanised nails, 30mm galvanised nails
  • 150mm x 25mm timber cut to the following lengths:
    • 3 x 400mm (floors)
    • 2 x 290mm (roof)
    • 3 x 500mm (side walls and roof gable)
  • 100mm x 50mm timber cut to the following lengths:
    • 2 x 120mm (dividing walls)
  • 100mm x 15mm timber cut to the following lengths:
    • 5 x 445mm (back wall)
  • 25mm x 25mm x 150mm piece of timber (roof apex)
  • Exterior PVA glue
  • Hammer, paintbrush, pencil
  • Resene Lumbersider tinted to Resene Bluetooth
  • Resene Quick Dry
  • Ruler, saw, screwdriver

You will need (materials for decorating the rooms):

  • Bamboo canes cut to 150mm lengths,
  • Dried grass
  • Dried leaves
  • Lengths of tree bark,
  • Small offcuts of 25mm
    • x 25mm timber and 150mm
    • x 15mm timber,
  • Small terracotta pot and pieces of broken terracotta,
  • Small tree branches cut to 150mm lengths.

What we used: The wood used in the construction of this project was all untreated pine salvaged from old pallets and wooden crates.

Top tip: For safety reasons, it’s a good idea to clamp the wood when cutting with an electric saw. Always wear earmuffs and protective glasses when operating power tools.

To get the look: Mark painted the background shed wall with Resene Lumbersider tinted to Resene Soft Apple.

Here's another idea: To create a more rustic look, stain the hotel with Resene Waterborne Woodsman tinted to Resene Cedar.

As seen in kiwigardener

Step 1 Step one
Measure, mark and cut all the pieces of timber to the dimensions listed.
Step 2 Step two
Assemble two of the 500mm and two of the 400mm pieces of timber to form the outside of the hotel, as shown. Fix at each corner with PVA glue and 50mm nails
Step 3 Step three
Fit a 400mm piece of timber and a 120mm piece of timber to form the first floor and dividing wall, as shown. Again, fix with PVA glue and 50mm nails.
Step 4 Step four
In the same way, use a second 400mm piece of timber and 120mm piece of timber to form the top floor and dividing wall, as shown. Again, fix with PVA glue and 50mm nails.
Step 5 Step five
Measure, mark and cut a triangular gable from the remaining 500mm length of timber.
Step 6 Step six
Fix the gable and the two 290mm lengths of timber to form the roof of the hotel, as shown.
Step 7 Step seven
Turn the hotel face down and attach the 445mm lengths of timber to form the back wall, fixing with PVA glue and 30mm nails.
Step 8 Step eight
Stand the hotel the right way up and glue the remaining piece of timber along the apex of the roof, as shown. Allow glue to dry thoroughly.
Step 9 Step nine
Apply one coat of Resene Quick Dry to the entire hotel and allow to dry.
Step 10 Step ten
Apply two coats of Resene Bluetooth to the entire hotel, allowing two hours for each coat to dry.
Step 11 Step eleven
Fix the hotel to a wooden shed wall or fence using 50mm screws.
Step 12 Step twelve
Fill the middle floor with the pieces of cut bamboo, as shown.
Step 13 Step thirteen
Fill the attic with lengths of tree bark, as shown.
Step 14 Step fourteen
Place the terracotta pot and pieces of broken terracotta in the smallest room on the top floor, as shown.
Step 15 Step fifteen
Place the dried grass in the smallest room on the ground floor, as shown.
Step 16 Step sixteen
Fill the larger room on the ground floor with the pieces of cut branches, as shown.
Step 17 Step seventeen
Create a ‘stack’ in the last remaining room using offcuts of timber and loosely fill the gaps between with dried leaves, as shown.

Words & photos Mark Rayner

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