I knew I wanted it to open on top, but I didn't want it to fold out all the way, like her dollhouses do. So I followed her basic construction method, but used a pentagon template (which I include at the end of the post) for the front and back panels.
I sewed the sides and base together into one piece, as she does (side, base, and another side piece sandwiched between two pieces of fabric). I hand stitched the front and back pieces on, matching up the side and bottom seams (I did not attach them to the roof). Then I made the two roof pieces independently (each with a handle on top and a hairband on each end for a button loop) and sewed them onto the tops of just the side pieces so the top would open like a purse.
Then I sewed on the buttons in front and back and added all the decorative details.
Lots of decorative details... OK, maybe I got a little carried away... :)
To make the birds I used Roman Socks free robin pattern. I made up the nest and eggs - the nest is a short crocheted "bucket" and the eggs were really simple rounds with a couple increases and then a couple decreases.
I love the sign on the front of their house. It makes me happy, :)
I can just picture my niece carrying this birdhouse around... I hope she likes it.
Here is the template I made for the front and back. If you print this out full size on a normal piece of paper, the dimensions will be correct. Just copy and paste the image onto your desktop, then print using the "fit to page" button. The dimensions for the rest of the plastic pieces are as follows...
1 base piece 3 1/2" x 6"
2 side pieces 4" x 6"
2 roof pieces 4" x 6"
You can probably make the construction a little simpler by sewing the roof pieces in with the sides and bottom (roof, side, base, side, roof), but then you won't have a little overhang on your roof. I cut the shingles from felt and sewed them on one row at a time using a long running stitch. The fence is also felt.
I also used template plastic instead of plastic canvas and hot glue instead of duct tape since that's what I had on hand. I actually didn't have to buy a single thing to make this project.
If you make one, I'd love to see it! Just post a link in the comments.
And again, a super huge thank you to UK lass in US for such an awesome tutorial and idea!