DIY Homemade Bird Feeder Ideas That Look Amazing
My kids and I enjoy watching different varieties of birds visit our homemade feeders throughout the Spring and Summer. You may be wondering if there’s an easy way to make an enticing bird feeder for your garden this season. The following DIY bird feeders are simple, quick and can be made with materials you probably already have on hand (or can easily grab on your next trip to the grocery store!)
1. Gelatin Bird Feeder
These cookie-cutter bird feeders hang perfectly from a tree branch and can make such a special gift for Mother’s Day, teacher appreciation or even Christmas!
To make 3 to 4 bird feeders, you will need:
- 1 cup birdseed
- One unflavored gelatin packet
- 1/4 cup water
- Cookie cutters
- Parchment paper or foil
- A cookie sheet
- A straw
- Ribbon or twine, for hanging
Step 1: Prepare the gelatin: Mix 1/4 cup boiling water with one packet of gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let sit for about one minute.
Step 2: Slowly add the birdseed into your gelatin mixture, stirring frequently to coat the seeds. You should end up using between 3/4 of a cup to one full cup of birdseed. The consistency should be thick and not watery.
Step 3: Place your cookie cutters on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step 4: Spoon the mixture into the cookie cutters, pressing down to compact the seeds as much as possible. Fill to the top of the cookie cutter.
Step 5: Use a straw to make a hole at the top where the string or twine will go.
Step 6: Place the cookie sheet into the refrigerator overnight for the mixture to set.
Step 7: Once it has hardened, you will be able to pop the bird feeder “cookies” out; lace with ribbon or twine through the top hole and hang them in a tree, bush or window to enjoy!
2. Teacup Bird Feeder
For the classiest birds in the garden, here’s how to make a bird feeder using a fancy tea set. I suggest visiting an antique store or estate sale to find something beautifully unique to use to build a bird feeder. For this easy DIY, you will need:
- One teacup and a saucer
- Epoxy or permanent craft adhesive
- Ribbon or twine, for hanging
Step 1: Glue one side of the teacup to the saucer so that the cup’s handle is pointing upwards. (When suspended, the dish should be parallel to the ground, and the teacup should be on its side, as though it’s tipped over sideways). Secure in place until it’s dry.
Step 2: Tie a piece of ribbon or twine around the cup’s handle.
Step 3: Find a sturdy branch or hook to hang your teacup.
Step 4: Then, add enough birdseed into the tipped-over cup so that it appears to spill out onto the dish.
3. Paper Roll Bird Feeder
I love this version of bird feeder because it’s a resourceful way to reuse cardboard tubes. For this incredibly simple homemade bird feeder that doubles as a fun and sensory-friendly activity for kids, you will need:
- A cardboard tube (such as a used, clean paper towel or toilet paper roll)
- Peanut, almond or sunflower butter
- A butter knife or spoon, for spreading
- A shallow plate or tray
Step 1: Using a knife or spoon, spread the peanut butter on the outer surface of the paper roll.
Step 2: Pour a layer of birdseed onto a plate or tray.
Step 3: Lay the cardboard tube on the plate and roll it around until each side is covered with birdseed.
Step 4: Slide the tube onto a tree branch. All set!
4. Milk Carton Bird Feeder
If you’re feeling artistic, you can get out your paint set and upcycle a washed–out milk or juice carton into a one-of-a-kind work of garden art! To make a bird feeder out of a milk carton, you will need:
- One clean and dry empty milk or juice carton
- Utility knife or scissors
- Gesso or spray paint primer (optional)
- Acrylic paint
- Paint brushes
- Dowel or stick
- Waterproof sealant spray
- Twine or string
Step 1: If your container isn’t already clean and dry, wash out your carton and allow it to air dry.
Step 2: Prime the carton using gesso or a spray paint primer. Or use several coats of acrylic paint as an even base coat.
Step 3: Draw your openings onto the carton and cut them out with a utility knife or scissors. I like to cut out rectangles on opposite sides. Be sure to not cut too closely to the bottom so that you will have room for the bird seed.
Step 4: Use acrylic paint to decorate! Paint a pretty garden scene, an abstract design or a home-sweet-home that will attract birds as they pass by.
Step 5: Once the paint is dry, insert your dowel or stick below the opening and through both sides of the carton, creating a stable perch.
Step 6: Finish the bird feeder carton with a clear coat of waterproof sealant to protect it from the elements once you hang it outside.
Step 7: Fill the bottom of the carton with seed and hang outside.
Enjoy watching your feathered visitors!
5. Cereal lacing bird feeder
This minimalist, mess-free, bird feeder is also a fun fine-motor activity for kids. All you need are these three items:
- Plain Cheerios
- Pipe cleaners
- Ribbon or twine
Step 1: Lace Cheerios onto a pipe cleaner.
Step 2: Once filled, if desired, the pipe cleaner can be molded into a shape like a circle or heart. To make a more complex shape like a star you may need to use 2 pipe cleaners.
Step 3: Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together to close your shape and secure the cereal.
Step 4: (Optional) Loop 2 or more shapes together to create a chain!
Step 5: Tie ribbon or twine to the top of the bird feeder to hang it from a tree branch
Ample food, water and shelter — that’s all it takes to create your very own bird paradise. With a little luck, you’ll soon feel the excitement of spotting a new species in your yard or realizing that your bountiful feeder has become the new neighborhood hot spot. While your yard may naturally attract feathered friends, with a few thoughtful additions, you can easily increase their variety and numbers.