March 02, 2008

Spider Houses

The Dangerous and Daring Blog for Boys and Girls has died from lack of interest. So, since I did post several things over there, I shall take my posts and repost them here. I hope that the other authors do the same at their places, should they so desire.

First up, how to build a Spider House.

People have houses. Dogs have houses. Birds have houses. Even butterflies and bats have houses. Let's learn how to build a spider house.

Why in the world would you build a spider house? Firstly, spiders are fascinating creatures and it's neat to be able to go outside and watch one doing its spider-thing in a frame that you built. Secondly, spiders eat a lot of pesky insects, including some that might be eating the plants in your vegetable or flower garden.

Materials Needed:

Thin wood such as grapestake. What you're looking for is wood about the size of what yardsticks are made out of, something about one to two inches wide and one-quarter inch or less thick. Grapestakes are cheap, come in bundles and are about six feet long. Perfect.

Wood glue. Waterproof or exterior is better, but even hot-melt glue will work.
String or twine
. You'll only need this if you want to hang your spider house instead of sticking it into the ground.


Before you begin, cut out four pieces of wood about 12 inches long. Next, cut out two pieces about 3 inches long. A hand saw works fine for this. Save the rest of the grapestake, you'll use it later.

1. Put two of the 12 inch pieces next to each other as shown below. Put a good spot of glue on each end, where the gray circles are on the diagram.


2. Take the other two 12 inch pieces and lay them across the glue spots as shown above, to make a square. Clamp the corners or place something heavy on them (make sure to clean up any glue that oozes out!) and let the glue dry.

3. Those two short pieces that you cut will be attached to the square frame so they make a little nook for the spider. This gives the spider protection from the rain and a place to hide when it feels threatened.

4. Time for more spots of glue. The spot shown is where you'll put the glue on each side (front and back) of the frame.


5. Glue the two short pieces to the frame as shown. The front one is sideways and the rear one is on the other side of the frame and runs in the same direction. This creates the little hidey-hole. Clamp or weight down and let dry.

Next, decide how you want to display your spider house. You can glue the remaining length of grapestake to the bottom corner and stick it in the ground in your garden, or you can tie some string or twine through one corner and hang it. Either way, there should be some protection from the wind and elements or spiders will find it unsuitable and look elsewhere to live. Like inside your house.


This makes a fairly large frame, and all of the measurements are flexible. Make smaller ones if you'd like, even popsicle sticks can be used (although you'd likely have smaller spiders take up residence there). If you build something bigger than about three feet square, I don't want to know what decides to live there.

After you place your spider houses, wait a couple of days and you'll see webs being built inside the frames.

Posted by Ted at March 2, 2008 10:45 AM
Category: Build It

I used to be cool with spiders in the house until I got bit by one on the nape. I had headaches and muscle problems in my neck for months afterward.

But it's cool to give 'em their own place!

I'm posting a series from the Handbook of 50 Pirates on my blog. I've thought it would be a fun thing for kids of all ages. I loved the other blog, but am glad you're keeping the faith.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at March 2, 2008 10:53 AM
Site Meter