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Whare wētā

Budget garden DIY special from NZ Gardener magazine

Giving your garden a glow up doesn't have to break the bank. Pallets are readily available for free. Jacob Leaf shares an idea for using one to create a whare wētā.

How to make a weta house

You will need


  • 1 pallet stringer board
  • 1 75mm nail
  • 1 40mm screw
  • Wire for hanging


  • $0.70 excluding Resene products.

Primer & paint


Learn how to make a whare wētā for your garden:

How to make a weta house - step 1
Step one
On the stringer, cut two parallel 35-degree cuts 240mm apart. The angle cut at the top allows rainwater to run off; the bottom one prevents rainwater from hanging at the opening.

How to make a weta house - step 2
Step two
For the viewing door, make a cut 8-10mm in from the wide edge, cut three-quarters of the way down the piece of wood. Then cut the door piece off with a taper of 25 degrees (to keep the door locked in place when closed).

How to make a weta house - step 3
Step three
Drill a 14-16mm entrance hole in the bottom. Mark out the negative space in the wood, then use a drill, chisel and hammer to carve it out (but not too smooth as wētā needs something to attach itself to).

How to make a weta house - step 4
Step four
With the door in place, drill and attach a screw at the bottom left corner. For the door pin, drill a downward angled hole in the top right corner of the door through to the main body of the whare. Make it big enough to fit a nail.

Finally, make a hole through the top for looping wire or string so you can hang your whare wētā in a tree. Paint the top to stop moisture from getting into the grain of the wood.


Here are some other projects using pallets: Hanging herb planter | Hanging tool rack | Bird feeder |

Project by: Jacob Leaf

Download the PDF of this project  


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