Google Sketchup

The first thing to do is download the software from the Google SketchUp website. There is a pro version of the software, but a free version is available for download. The free version was used for this tutorial.
Get Google SketchUp here.

This is an easy tutorial on Google Sketchup. The program can be used to design classroom layouts, or for woodworking projects like this tutorial. Now, when thinking about woodworking projects, which one stands out the most in your mind?

A Birdhouse, yes, you were right.

Now, if only we could have plans made in order to build one. Oh, I'm sorry, did you say that Google Sketchup could be used...

...what a great idea!

Let's Start!

I've chosen to use plans for a Bluebird house that were originally drawn by John E. Wylie for The Missouri Department of Conservation. They are great plans, well drawn, and even gave biological information on Bluebirds. Here's the link if you would like to print them out.

Here is a picture of the birdhouse drawing.

We will start drawing now.


This is the welcome screen when you open Google SketchUp. This might seem counter-intuitive, but you must click start in order to...start.


This is the second part of the Welcome Screen. It is where you choose your template. Templates will hold certain characteristics
about the future drawing you are going to create. The top one is for feet and inches, which are what Wylie's blueprint calls for, so pick that one.


This screen shows you some of the tools used in SketchUp. Push / Pull is used to extrude objects to make them larger or smaller in depth. Move is used to move objects in the workspace. Rotate will rotate objects in the workspace. Offset will offset a surface from another surface. Offset could have been used to build this project, but I chose to click and drag. It seemed easier to me. You should choose tools that you are comfortable working with.


The lady that is included in the start screen is for size reference. This would be helpful in building a house plan, but rather giant when creating a birdhouse. Another tool that is used a lot is Highlight. Just click to highlight an object. I clicked and pressed the delete key to get her out of the way.


One thing before I forget. If you are ever lost your drawing and for some reason cannot find it in the window, there is a button called Zoom Extents.

We will start building the birdhouse on the next page. Click Here to Continue.