15 Ways To Make A DIY Bird Feeder - House Digest (2023)

15 Ways To Make A DIY Bird Feeder - House Digest (1)

ANATOLY Foto/Shutterstock

ByRyan Hayward/May 16, 2022 4:25 pm EST

Birdwatching can be a delightful pastime. Spending your days listening to the sound of cheerfully chirping birds and watching these adorable creatures could be both relaxing and mood-lifting. According toThe Spruce, other positive benefits of having these feathery friends around your yard are that they can eatpestsin your garden, munch on your weeds, and help to pollinate flowers. There is also a solid educational value as you discover the types of local wildlife in your backyard.

When it comes toattractingdifferent birds to your home, there's nothing more appealing than a homemade bird feeder. These types of do-it-yourself projects can range from simple feeders made from items found around the house to more complex projects that may take a little more time and elbow grease. However, creating a reliable bird feeder doesn't have to be complicated or expensive; it can be a generational project completed with a small budget. Although there is no shortage of bird feeders available online or in large retail stores, it can be pricey as some models cost upwards of $100, as perThe New York Times Wirecutter. When it comes to simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and sheer fun, making a bird feeder from scratch can be a rewarding experience.

1. Make a birdseed ornament

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Medvedeva Oxana/Shutterstock

Try this easy recipe for birdseed ornaments for a simple and inexpensive project that can be fun for the whole family to make. Combine a mixture containing birdseed, corn syrup, flour, water, and gelatin — or agar-agar powder if you're vegan — then pack it into either a cookie cutter or any desired shape, according to a recipe onBirds & Blooms. Once the mixture has had time to dry, you can run a piece of string or ribbon through your ornament, then let it hang on the nearest tree. Then sit back and let the birds enjoy themselves.

2. Wooden tray bird feeder

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Klimek Pavol/Shutterstock

If you have some spare wood lying around the house, why not repurpose it to make a bird feeder? Start by measuring a square piece of wood, 12 inches by 12 inches long, with a notch in one of the corners. Next, take some small lengths of wood and glue them to create a border. Finally, take your feeder to a thin trunked tree so that the notch rests against the bark. Then nail the final bordering wood to attach the tray-like bird feeder to the tree. Fill with birdseed, and you are all done.

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3. Orange rind bird feeder

Make use of those leftover orange peels by turning them into bird feeders. It is effortless and affordable; cut an orange in half, scoop out the fleshy insides, and have them as a snack. Then, pack one-half of the orange with a mixture of birdseed and a little bit of honey or corn syrup to bind them together. Take two wooden skewers and stick them through the orange about an inch below the surface in an "x" formation. Use some string to attach to each end of the skewer, then hang from a tree branch.

4. Clay tray bird feeder

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Whether you have an old ashtray lying around or want to make good use of those grade school pinch-pot skills, a simple clay tray would provide the ideal bird feeder. If using an old ashtray, clean it thoroughly before packing it with birdseed. To make a pinch-pot, purchase a small amount of potter clay, wet your hands slightly, and work the clay until it resembles a round, shallow tray, as perThe Pottery Wheel. Let the clay dry, place the birdseed, then set it in the perfect birdwatching spot.

5. Reused plastic bottle bird feeder

15 Ways To Make A DIY Bird Feeder - House Digest (6)

Kristine Rad/Shutterstock

Do you need an effortless way to indulge in birdwatching while reusing those recyclables? Then why not make a bird feeder out of your used plastic bottles? No matter the size, take your used plastic bottle and rinse it thoroughly. Once the bottle is dry, use a utility knife to carefully cut out a rectangular hole roughly halfway up the bottle. You want to allow enough space for the bird to get their head in. Then, pour birdseed into the top with a funnel, cap the bottle, attach a string, and hang it from a tree branch.

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6. Coconut shell bird feeder

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Coconut shells can be very durable and would make for a beautiful bird feeder with a bit of modification. To make a hole into the side of the coconut shell, use either a hole saw drill bit or a Dremel if you have one available. Once you have created the opening, pack in some loose birdseed or makeBirds & Blooms' birdseed ornament and place it into the coconut shell. Then attach a piece of twine or string to the coconut shell and drape it over the nearest tree branch.

7. Mesh bowl bird feeder

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Some of the simplest, most cost-effective bird feeders can be made using materials around the home. If you have a collection of wire mesh storage containers that are just lying around and not getting much use, you might be able to use them creatively to feed your local birds. Take the mesh bowl or container and affix it to a coat hanger using a string or wire to attach it to a railing within view of your window. Then pop in your birdseed of choice.

8. Tree stump bird feeder

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For an effective bird feeder that will only cost you the price of the birdseed, take a look around your backyard for a tree stump. If you find one, carve out a minor groove into the top of the stump and place some birdseed in it. If you don't have a stump handy, take a walk around your neighborhood, and you might be surprised by what nature provides. Using a piece from a recently felled tree or even a smaller log might do the trick. The look will be natural, and the birds will enjoy it.

9. Pinecone and peanut butter bird feeder

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Julie Style/Shutterstock

For a fun activity with elements of a scavenger hunt and arts and crafts, try making a pinecone and peanut butter bird feeder. Take a walk around your neighborhood or through the local forest and see if you can scrounge up some fallen pine cones. Once you bring them home, use a knife to spread peanut butter all over the pinecone. Then roll it in a bowl of birdseed, and wrap a string around it so you can hang your creation from a tree. Another simple, cheap project that can be fun for the family.

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10. Vintage cup and saucer feeder

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If you happen to have a teacup and saucer that you are willing to sacrifice for the good of bird-kind, feel free to use that. However, you could also visit a thrift store for a low-cost option to find a quirky cup. When you're ready, super glue the bottom of the cup to the saucer so that the handle faces up, then attach some twine to the handle so you can hang it from a branch.If you are crafty, give this bird feeder project a go!

11. Milk carton bird feeder

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Kylosova Maria/Shutterstock

Another easy project that uses your recycled goods is to create a bird feeder using an old milk carton. Take the milk carton, rinse it out, and leave it to dry. Cut a rectangular slot about 2 to 3 inches above the base when it's ready. Then place some birdseed inside the carton, being careful not to overfill it. Punch a hole into the top lip of the container and pass some string through. You could paint or decorate the outside of the carton to fit your aesthetic; then, you are ready to hang it.

12. Lard bird feeder

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Orest lyzhechka/Shutterstock

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According to the Bird Feeder Expert, lard bird feeders may sound a little wild, but the energy in this fatty concoction can be beneficial for birds. Take some room temperature lard or suet to make this feeder and mix in some birdseed. Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, roll them into balls around a piece of string, place them onto a plate or cooking sheet, then let them cool in your refrigerator. When the balls have had time to set, you are ready to hang them up for the birds.

13. Paper roll bird feeder

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Adam Kipris/Shutterstock

You can make a paper roll bird feeder the same way as a pinecone and peanut butter feeder. Simply grab the middle of a finished roll of toilet paper or paper towel, and punch a hole into the side. Pass a string from the top through the side to act as a hanger. Then spread some sticky peanut butter all over the outside surface of the roll, and sprinkle some birdseed so that it sticks to the peanut butter. Now you have created the perfect, affordable bird feeder.

14. Wire mesh cylindrical feeder

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Roger Utting/Shutterstock

Here's a bird feeder project if you don't know what to do with that leftover wire mesh or chicken wire. First, put on some bulky work gloves and carefully trim the wire to the desired length. Then roll that wire around a plastic or wooden round base. Take some screws and attach the wire to the bottom. Next, pour birdseed into the top and fill the cylinder. Then use a thin wire or twine to run through the top and attach it to a tree branch.

15. Classic wooden bird feeder

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If you want that classic bird feeder look and don't mind putting in the extra time and money, this could be the project you're seeking. With plenty of easy-to-follow templates available at AllCrafts, you need to provide the wood, glue, nails, saw, time, and patience to follow through and create your bird feeder. Even though these feeders may cost you a little more than the previous projects, you could still build a suitable bird feeder for less than you would expect.


How do you make a quick bird feeder? ›

Skewer an empty plastic bottle with two wooden spoons and fill with birdseed for this super easy feeder. You'll need a utility blade like an X-Acto knife to cut the holes for the spoons. Be sure to cut larger holes by the mouths of the spoons so birdseed can spill out.

How do you build a perfect birdhouse? ›

  1. Build a house for a specific bird. ...
  2. Use the proper materials. ...
  3. Build a box that will stay dry and warm. ...
  4. Provide ventilation. ...
  5. Do NOT add perches. ...
  6. Be sure young birds will be able to leave the nest. ...
  7. Provide woodpeckers, waterfowl, and owls with nest material. ...
  8. Place the box carefully.

What is the easiest homemade bird feeder? ›

Empty plastic soda bottles or gallon milk jug containers also make good DIY winter bird feeders. Tie some twine or string around the bottle, add perches—tree twigs, pencils, dowels, chopsticks, or wooden spoons—and insert birdseed into the receptacle and you're good to go.

How to make a cheap bird bath? ›

All you need is a tomato cage, wire cutters, outdoor-friendly paint and a terra cotta planter saucer. Simply cut the tomato cage to the desired height, and then place the terra cotta saucer into the top of the cage. You can prime, paint and seal the bird bath, if you wish, or stick with a more natural look.

What is the best material to make a bird feeder? ›

Cedar wood is the best type of wood to use for a bird feeder. For this project, you'll be able to get all the materials, including cedar wood, vinyl-covered wire, a soda bottle, and copper top, from the home center and grocery store.

How do you make a pre K bird feeder? ›

Pinecone bird feeder instructions
  1. Tie 6-8 inches of string to the tip of each pine cone.
  2. Melt your peanut butter and butter together until runny. ...
  3. Dip your pinecones in the mixture until they are completely covered.
  4. Roll the pinecones thoroughly in birdseed.
  5. Hang in nearby trees and bushes.
Feb 17, 2020

How do you make a mesh bird feeder? ›

  1. STEP 1) Measure the Mesh. First, measure a 30cm high and 40cm long piece of mesh.
  2. STEP 2) Cut the Mesh. ...
  3. STEP 3) Make a Tube. ...
  4. STEP 4) Make Holes on the Bottom Plant Saucer. ...
  5. STEP 5) Tie the Wire Mesh to the Base. ...
  6. STEP 6) Place the Threaded Rod. ...
  7. STEP 7) Make a Hole on the Top Saucer. ...
  8. STEP 8) Fill the Feeder.
Jan 31, 2023

How do you make a bird feeder with fat? ›

Bring the lard up to room temperature. Clean the pine cone(s) and tie a long piece of twine around the bottom of each one. Gradually mix the lard with the birdseed until it all sticks together. Push the fat ball mix between the pine cone scales to create a big, tasty fat ball.

How do you make a bird feeder out of a toilet roll? ›

Roll the toilet paper roll on a plate filled with birdseed. If desired, string a loop of hemp twine through the toilet paper roll. Hang the toilet paper roll bird feeder on a bush, or slide it onto a branch. Your toilet paper roll bird feeder is complete!

How do you make a bird seed ball? ›

  1. Mix 1/2 cup fine powdered clay with 1/2 cup of compost.
  2. Add 1/3 cup of water and stir. ...
  3. Flatten a spoonful of the dough on your palm and add a pinch of native seed mix.
  4. Pinch closed and roll into a ball.
Apr 8, 2016

How to make a sparrow house? ›

Creating a sparrow street
  1. Find a suitable place for your nest box. ...
  2. Make sure you have the right wood. ...
  3. Measure and cut your wood according to the diagram. ...
  4. Nail all the pieces, except the roof, together. ...
  5. Attach the roof. ...
  6. Put your box up. ...
  7. What to look for.

What color birdhouse attracts birds the most? ›

Birds like to live in birdhouses that are camouflaged-colored: grey, green, brown. While attractive to humans, colorful birdhouses can cause lethal harm to birds inhabiting them. Avoid painting the inside of a birdhouse or around the lip of the entrance hole.

What is the best position for a birdhouse? ›

Choosing the location

Unless there are trees or buildings which shade the box during the day, face the box between north and east, thus avoiding strong sunlight and the wettest winds. Make sure that the birds have a clear flight path to the nest without any clutter directly in front of the entrance.

How do I keep my birdhouse from rotting? ›

By far, the easiest way to protect your bird house from the weather is by applying a spray clear coat. Polyurethane spray clear coat can be found at any hardware store.

What do birds want in a birdhouse? ›

Birds' needs are straightforward: food, water and shelter. Bird feeders and birdbaths help provide the first two. Birdhouses cater to a different clientele than backyard feeders. They provide shelter to cavity-nesting species, which for the most part eat insects and berries instead of seed.

What is the least messy bird feeder? ›

Use tray feeders or trays attached below certain feeders to keep debris from falling to the ground. Round trays are perfect to attach to seed tube feeders and rectangular trays suit hopper feeders best. And bigger is better because there's more area to catch falling seeds.

What bird feeders don't leave a mess? ›

Shelled nuts, sunflower hearts and suet are all options that create less mess.” Look for feeders that have trays on the bottom to capture any debris. You can also consider installing a seed hoop.

Are bird baths OK? ›

Bird baths are an excellent way to provide birds with the water; however, bird baths can also pose a health risk to birds if not properly maintained. Many of the same diseases that can be transmitted by dirty feeders can also be transmitted by dirty water sources.

What type of bird bath attracts the most birds? ›

Water Movement: Moving water will attract more birds than stagnant water in a simple basin. A birdbath that includes a dripper, mister, water spray, bubbler, or fountain is a better choice to attract a wide range of bird species.

What is the best shape for a bird feeder? ›

The tube shape allows the most flexibility for the type of feed, while also attracting the widest variety of birds to a single feeder.

What liquid do you put in a bird feeder? ›

Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water) until the sugar is dissolved. Do not add red dye. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside. Extra sugar water can be stored in a refrigerator.

What is the best bird feeder for winter? ›

Tube feeders are a smart choice for winter weather feeding since the seed is fully enclosed in the tube and protected from elements. To maximize your bird viewing, look for a tube feeder that has a lot of perches and even-feed baffles that keep a constant seed level at all seed ports.

Can birds eat Cheerios? ›

Birds can eat Cheerios and often love to do so. But that does not mean that they are the healthiest choice for birds (or even for us!). Their high sugar content and salt content mean that they are not the best option if you are looking for foods to share with the birds.

How do you make a peanut butter bird feeder? ›

  1. A cardboard tube spread thickly with peanut butter.
  2. A tube covered in peanut butter is rolled in bird seed.
  3. String is pushed through the cardboard tube.
  4. A finished peanut butter bird feeder.

How do you make a bluebird feeder? ›

Making a feeder for bluebirds out of a plastic bottle is simple enough. Just make sure to cut multiple holes in a large plastic container. Having a twist-off cap makes it easy enough to add insects, like meal worms, into your feeder. While the holes will be for the birds, the lid can be used for cleaning.

What is the best wood for a bird feeder? ›

Cedar wood is the best type of wood to use for a bird feeder. For this project, you'll be able to get all the materials, including cedar wood, vinyl-covered wire, a soda bottle, and copper top, from the home center and grocery store.

Is making bird houses profitable? ›

How much profit can a Birdhouse Business make? Some companies earn substantial profits selling birdhouses, but they tend to be larger corporations that get their products in big box stores. While you may eventually grow that big, it's probably wise to have modest expectations. Most birdhouse businesses are side gigs.

What is the difference between a birdhouse and a bird feeder? ›

Birds' needs are straightforward: food, water and shelter. Bird feeders and birdbaths help provide the first two. Birdhouses cater to a different clientele than backyard feeders. They provide shelter to cavity-nesting species, which for the most part eat insects and berries instead of seed.

How do you make a sturdy bird feeder? ›

A water or milk jug winter bird feeder is easy to make and inexpensive. Rinse out the jug, cut open the sides, cut or drill holes for a thin dowel or chopstick perch, add the birdseed and hang it in a tree.

What is the best material to put under a bird feeder? ›

Add a 3-4-inch layer of mulch below the feeders, then turn the mulch to bury debris where it can decompose out of sight. Replace the mulch seasonally to dispose of remaining debris. Allow feeders to remain empty for a day or two to encourage ground-feeding birds to pick up spilled seed and be their own cleanup crew.

What is the best material to hang a bird feeder? ›

The cord to hold a feeder could be jute twine, rope, chain, or similar material, but should not be elastic or springy, which could create excessive movement when birds use the feeder.

What natural wood is safe for birds? ›

Common bird-safe wood for perches and toys: Balsa. Poplar. Ash.

What makes the best bird house? ›

The best bird houses are made with quality materials like untreated wood (order of preference: cedar, pine or cypress or non- pressure treated plywood for larger houses) or recycled material like the products made from recycled milk jugs.

Do birds like swinging bird houses? ›

Some birds don't mind a bit of swinging, though other species will avoid less stable houses. To be safe, research the mounting mechanism your backyard birds prefer before putting up the house.

What birds do not use birdhouses? ›

Many backyard birds will not use a birdhouse or nest box, including popular species like cardinals, orioles and goldfinches.

Should you put anything in a birdhouse? ›

Do you put anything in a birdhouse? There is no need to put anything in a birdhouse, and in fact you should empty it out after it has been vacated. 'Once a nest box has been used, it's essential that the old nest is removed.

What bird fills a birdhouse with sticks? ›

The nest of a house wren is composed almost entirely of small twigs and sticks that completely or nearly so fill the nest box.


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