How to Build a DIY Bird Feeder House - TheDIYPlan (2024)

How to Build a DIY Bird Feeder House - TheDIYPlan (1)

One of the best ways to enjoy wildlife in your backyard is to watch birds at a feeder. People enjoy bird feeding as a soothing source of natural beauty and entertainment, just outside their windows. In a world overwhelmed with technology, bird feeding provides a nice escape to unwind from daily stressors. For this reason, I created easy to follow plans on how to build a DIY Bird Feeder House for your backyard. It is very relaxing to hear the joyful chirping of wild birds all year round.

You also might be interested in previous projects I’ve built such as DIY Chicken Coop or Incubator for eggs.

How to Build a DIY Bird Feeder House - TheDIYPlan (2)

Time to Complete

4 hours

Total Cost

$50

Skill Level

Intermediate

Download Printable Plans in PDF

$7.97

This PDF download includes Cut Diagrams, a List of Supplies, and 3D illustrations with detailed steps to build the project. Measurements are in imperial and not metric. Does NOT include SketchUp/CAD files.

The plans are embedded on the webpage for free, but if you would like to support the website, you can pay a small fee to purchase the printable PDFs.

Thank you for your support!

Bird Feeder House

Tools for this project

  • Tape Measure
  • Drill
  • Miter Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Nail Gun
  • Jig Saw
  • Sander
  • 1 3/4″ Hole Saw Bit
  • Pipe Clamps
  • Surebonder Staple Gun

Material List

  • 1x12x8′ (x1)
  • 14″x10″ Thermoplastic sheets (x2)
  • 8″x10″ Thermoplastic sheets (x2)
  • 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 2 1/2″ Pocket hole screws
  • 1 1/4″ Brad Nails
  • 1/2″ Staples
  • Door Shims
  • 1 1/4″ PVC pipe 5″ long
  • 1 1/4″ PVC coupling (x2)
  • Screw Eyes Hooks #10
  • Wood Glue
  • 2″ Wood Screws
  • 1 1/4″ PVC cap

Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.

Dimensions

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Step 1 – Cut Boards for the Roof

This bird feeder project doesn’t require much wood. You could build it from scrap pieces that you might have laying around or just buy one 1×12 board. All of the pieces for this project will fit on an 8 foot long 1×12.

Start by cutting the largest pieces first. Take 1×12 and cut two roof boards to 20″ in length using a miter saw. Then with a table saw, rip one side of the roof board to 30 degrees. Do this for both roof boards on the 20″ side. The ripped edges will be connected together, later on, to make the roof slope at 30 degrees.

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Step 2 – Cut Boards for the Tray

Again take a 1×12 board and cut two more pieces to 16″ in length. Then using a table saw rip two pieces to 7″ in width and four pieces to 1 1/2″ in width. So you’ll end up with two 16” x 7” boards and four 16″ x 1 1/2″ boards. Since the bottom tray is not squared, two of the 16″ x 1 1/2″ boards need to be trimmed to 15 1/2″ x 1 1/2″.

The 16″ x 7″ pieces will be used for the bottom of the tray, and the smaller pieces will be used for the sides of the tray.

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Step 3 – Trace Over the Templates and Cut Legs and Arch Pieces

Download the PDF and print out all sheets including 8 ½” x 11” templates. Cut these templates out with scissors. The PDF includes one template for the legs, one for the arches, and one for the thermoplastic sheets.

Take the remaining 1×12 board and place the leg template on the board and trace it with a pencil. You will need to trace the leg four times, see cut list for the best template orientation. Then take the arch template and trace over it two times.

Clamp the board to your workbench and using a jig saw cut out all the legs and arches.

Now that all of the wood pieces for this project are cut, use a random orbital sander to sand the boards.

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Step 4 – Cut Thermoplastic Sheets for the Seed Holder

The main reason for the bird feeder is to attract the birds to the feeder, and then watch them eat the seeds. To attract the birds, the compartment that holds the seeds needs to be transparent. When birds see the food they are more likely to fly to the feeder and eat the seeds.

So to make the compartment transparent, use thermoplastic sheets made by Plaskolite. You could buy these at Home Depot or on Amazon. For this project, you’ll need two 14″ x 10″ and two 8″ x 10″ thermoplastic sheets that are 0.050″ thick.

Take two 14″ x 10″ thermoplastic sheets and cut both of them to 10″ x 13″ using a miter saw. Thermoplastic is made from a plastic polymer material and could be easily cut with a blade that is usually used for wood.

Now take the template for the thermoplastic and trace it on the 8″ x 10″ sheet using a sharpie. Again cut it with a miter saw.

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Step 5 – Attach Thermoplastic Sheets to the Legs

Next, take a 1/8″ drill bit and drill pilot holes through the thermoplastic on the edges of the 10″ x 13″ sheets. The first pilot hole from the top should be at least 2″ down because the arch piece will be attached at that location. See picture.

It is important to pre-drill the pilot holes for each screw on the thermoplastic sheets, otherwise it will crack and you’ll waste the material (this happened to me).

Attach the thermoplastic sheet to the legs with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws. Make sure to drive in the screws slowly and don’t overdo it. Thermoplastic is fragile and will easily crack. You should have a 1/2″ gap at the bottom for the seeds to fall out on the tray. Repeat the process to connect the second set of legs.

Pocket hole screws work very well for this application because they have a pan head as oppose to regular countersink wood screws.

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Step 6 – Connect Both Leg Sets to Arches

Now both sets of legs need to be connected together with arches on the top. Take a 1/8″ drill bit and drill through the upper leg piece and the thermoplastic. Drilling a pilot hole will prevent the wood from splitting and thermoplastic from braking. Align the arch flush with the top of the leg and drive in a 2 1/2″ pocket hole screw. Repeat the process to connect both arches to the legs.

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Step 7 – Insert and Attach Side Thermoplastic Sheet

Next, take the side thermoplastic piece that you cut in step 4 and drill four pilot holes as shown in the picture. Then insert the sheet inside the seed holder and attach it to the arch with 1/2″ screws. Use a screwdriver to drive in these screws. Since these screws are short, you don’t want to overdo it with a drill and break the thermoplastic.

These side thermoplastic sheets are held only by four screws on the top. The rest of the sheet will be held by seeds in the compartment and by pocket hole screws on the legs. You could add a block at the bottom to hold the thermoplastic sheet in place but I didn’t think it was necessary.

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Step 8 – Drill Chimney Hole on the Roof Board

There are some bird feeders out there that have one side of the roof open to fill in the seed holder. But for this project, I decided to make a chimney from PVC pipe to use for filling up the seed compartment. The chimney pipe will have a cap to prevent rain from getting on the seeds.

Take a scrap 4×4 board and cut it at 30 degrees so that you could place it under the roof board. The scrap board will keep the roof board at the correct slope. Then take a 1 3/4 hole saw bit and drill a hole vertically down through the roof board. You could drill the chimney hole anywhere on the roof as long as it falls inside the seed compartment. Also, you don’t want to be too close to the ridge of the roof.

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Step 9 – Install Chimney PVC Pipe

To keep the PVC pipe from falling through the hole, it needs to be clamped and glued together with two couplings.

Take two 1 1/4″ couplings and cut them at 30 degrees with a miter saw. Then cut one 1 1/4″ PVC piece to 3″ in length and one piece to 2″ in length.

First, using PVC primer and glue, attach the upper coupling to a 3″ long pipe. Then insert the pipe into the hole of the roof and glue the bottom coupling. The 2″ long pipe will go on top for the cap.

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Step 10 – Cover Seed Holder with Roof Boards

Now the two roof boards need to be connected together. Apply wood glue on both of the roof boards at a 30-degree bevel cut. Then hold them together and nail the boards with 1 1/4″ brad nails.

Next, center the roof over the seed holder and trace around the legs and arch under the roof. Then remove the roof boards and drill pilot holes so that they land on the legs. Apply wood glue on the legs and arch and place the roof back on the seed holder at the pencil marks you made earlier. Secure the roof with screws through the pilot holes.

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Step 11 – Cover Roof with Shingles

To make the roof look like a house I decided to add shingles. I have few door shims laying around in my garage so that gave me an idea to use them as shingles. You could buy these shims in a package at Home Depot.

The door shingles are typically 8″ long, so cut them in half with a miter saw. Then start from the bottom of the roof and place the 4″ pieces side by side and staple them with 1/2″ staples. These shims are about 1/4″ thick on one side and very thin on the other. You will need to alternate thin and thick shims to make it look better.

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Step 12 – Attach Ridge Board on the Roof

You’ll need to cover the staples at the very top of the roof. Cut 1/4″ thick wood plank the length of the roof and nail on top of the roof ridge with 1 1/4″ brad nails.

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Step 13 – Attach the Bottom Tray to the Bird Feeder House

Before attaching the bottom tray, apply a coat of polyurethane to seal the wood. You could also stain the wood before polyurethane. Once the stain and poly dries out attach the bottom tray. Then screw in four screw eye hooks on the sides of the roof. These eye hooks will be used for a string to hang the bird feeder onto the tree. You are done with a DIY Bird Feeder House.

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Good Reasons to Have a Bird Feeder

Birds are magnificent. But building a bird-feeder can raise questions. Is it good to feed birds? Will a bird feeder help me in any way?

Bird-feeders can be controversial; however, if used responsibly, theywill benefit the birds.These feeders can provide birds with needed energy during the migration and give added nutrients in the spring.

If you give the birds good food and keep the feeders clean, you don’t need to worry about the birds spreading disease among each other.

Let’s go over several benefits of having a bird feeder in your backyard.

Do Bird Feeders Harm Birds?

Wondering if your bird feeder is causing harm to the birds is a valid question. Indeed, if you don’t take care to feed birds responsibly, you can cause harm.

Here are several ways to make sure your feeder is good for the birds:

  1. Feed birds good fresh food
  2. Beware of windows
  3. Consider birds predators

Birds Need Fresh Food

You don’t want your birds ingesting any moldy, rotten food. For this reason, consider how fast the birds are eating their food.

If you don’t have many birds in your area, consider building a smaller feeder, so less bird feed goes to waste. If you notice the birds didn’t finish their food,change out the seed once a weekto avoid harmful microbe build-up.

Finally, it’s best to feed your birds quality food. Most avid birders caution against giving wild birds table scraps and bread.

Set up Bird Feeder with Windows in Mind

We’ve all experienced hearing the thud of a bird striking the window. Sometimes the bird is okay—other times, they are not.

To be sure your bird is safe around windows, you should either place the bird feeder30 feet from your window or within 3 feet of the window.

You can also place netting over your windows to prevent the birds from forcefully impacting the glass.

Help Birds Out with Predators

Don’t place the bird feeder next to bushes or within pouncing distance of any neighborhood cats.

Just be mindful of the birds’ predators. You want to place the feeder away from anything a predator could use as cover but close enough to some bushes, so the bird has an escape route if needed.

Now that we’ve discussed some ways bird feeders canactually helpthe birds let’s go over some ways bird feeders will helpyou.

Ways Bird Feeders Benefit Your Home and Yard

Yes, bird feeders can benefit the birds, but they also help you out. It turns out our flying friends have more to offer than their sweet songs.

Here are several waysbird feeders can help our lives:

  1. Insect control
  2. Pollination
  3. Weed control
  4. Relaxation and entertainment

Let’s go over these wonderful reasons to have a bird feeder.

Birds Can Help Control Insects

Do you have too many mosquitos around your home? A bird feeder might help.

Especially in the summer, birds like to chow on the creepy crawlies around your home. If you would rather smile at birds than swat at bugs, a bird feeder might help.

Many gardeners will purposefullyattract birds to their areafor help with pest control. This is a win-win-win. You get to hear the birds’ beautiful songs, have your garden cleaned, and enjoy the company of flying friends.

Birds Can Help With Pollination

Attracting birds with a bird feeder can also help pollinate all the lovely flowers around your yard.

This is yet another great bonus of running a responsible bird feeder.

Birds Can Help With Weed Control

Birds like to eat seeds. As it happens, many weeds are so common because they produce a ton of seeds.

Having a bird feeder can attract more birds. These birds will then eat the weed-causing seeds, thus reducing weeds altogether.

Birds are Relaxing and Entertaining to Watch

Having a bird feeder allows you to enjoy one of nature’s miracles – birds!

The birds’ sweet song will gently wake you in the morning, and their beautifully colored feathers will relax you in the evening.

Also, bird watching can be a great hobby that gets you outside, gives you something fun to teach your kids, and allows you to learn new things every day.

How to Build a DIY Bird Feeder House - TheDIYPlan (2024)

FAQs

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.

What is the best design for a bird feeder? ›

A tube bird feeder features an elongated cylinder to hold the birdseed along with small openings and perches positioned along its length where birds can alight and access the seed. Many squirrel-resistant bird feeders exhibit a tube design, and these feeders offer the additional advantage of keeping the birdseed dry.

What is the simplest bird feeder? ›

1. Mason jar or tin can feeder. This simple bird feeder can be made with a mason jar, tin can or any jar from your recycling bin. Hang it with leather, twine or ribbon, and don't forget a perch for the birds to land on.

How do you waterproof a wooden bird feeder? ›

Apply multi-surface waterproofer with a spray to concrete birdbaths, terracotta pots, wooden bird houses and feeders, and paper maps. Let the treated surface dry for 48 hours and know they're sealed when the water beads on the surface.

What wood is not safe for birds? ›

UNSAFE
  • Box Elder Wood: UNSAFE.
  • Chinese Popcorn/Chinese Tallow: UNSAFE.
  • Hemlock: UNSAFE (see note below)
  • Sumac: UNSAFE (aka Rhus/Toxicodendron)
  • Black Locust has been cited as causing some toxic reactions with birds, though members of this species are also known as the Acacia, which is listed as safe.
May 18, 2020

How do you disinfect a wooden bird feeder? ›

The National Wildlife Health Center recommends cleaning bird baths and feeders with a solution of nine parts water to one part bleach. (If there is visible debris, scrub it off before soaking in the bleach solution.) Dry out the feeder before hanging it back up.

What natural wood is safe for birds? ›

WoodDensityBird Size Toy Application
Elm35-50Moderately soft wood that is excellent for small to larger bird toys.
Cactus (cholla)Very soft bird wood with cavities that make good small bird toys, bird perches
ManzanitaVery hardwood best for very large bird toys and
9 more rows

What materials can I use to make a bird feeder? ›

Make a recycled bird feeder
  • Plastic drinks bottles.
  • Yoghurt pots or milk cartons (make sure they're clean)
  • Wire or string.
  • Bird seed.
  • Scissors.

What materials can be used to make a bird feeder and why? ›

There are two main types of DIY bird feeders; biodegradable and non-biodegradable. Non-biodegradable ones can be made from items such as plastic bottles, glass bottles, tin cans, jars, cups and saucers or drink cartons. Biodegradable feeders can be made using fruit, peanut butter, lard and seeds.

What equipment do you need to make a bird feeder? ›

DIY Home Made Bird Feeders
  1. Apple Feeder. You will need: Seeds. String. ...
  2. Bird Cake. You will need: Seeds/Bird feed. Peanut Pieces. ...
  3. Recycled Feeder. You will need: Plastic drinks bottles. Yoghurt pots or milk cartons. ...
  4. Hoop Feeder. You will need: Apple. Cheese. ...
  5. Peanut Butter Feeder. You will need: Peanut butter.
Apr 30, 2020

How do you make an outdoor bird shelter? ›

Build a Brush Pile: Recycle dead branches to start a brush pile for your ground-dwelling birds, such as sparrows and towhees. It gives them hiding places and some protection from rain, snow, and wind. Start with thicker branches and put thinner ones over the top. Add your old Christmas tree if you have one.

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