My DIY bird feeders give me so much pleasure. From my deck, or even from inside the house, I get an intimate view of hummingbirds hovering and perching, their wings beating a fast rhythm. I have a front-row seat for the antics of nuthatches as they hang head first to get their food. I watch grosbeaks eating at feeders with open trays, hoping to hear their sweetly melodic song. Chickadees, goldfinches, and various sparrows are frequent guests. Colourful warblers that stop during their migrations delight my family and me.
The trick to attracting birds to your garden is to give them what they need: food, shelter, and water. Shelter comes from the natural habitat surrounding my garden. Birdbaths, dripping water, a natural stream, and puddles provide the water.
Birds have distinct preferences for the food they eat and how they get that food. By mounting different styles of DIY bird feeders in my garden I attract a fine variety of birds.
I like making my own DIY bird feeders. It’s a great family project, working together with kids and learning about the birds. Feeders can be as simple as pinecones rolled in peanut butter or as elaborate as multi-story purple martin houses. Here are my easy favourites.
Soda Bottle DIY Bird Feeder
Fun and easy, using common household objects.
- Draw a small circle on one side of a 20-ounce soda bottle, about 4 inches from the bottom. The circle should be just big enough for the end of a wooden mixing spoon to fit through it.
- Cut out the circle with a craft knife.
- Opposite the first hole cut a slightly larger hole, big enough for the big end of the spoon to rest in.
- Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 about 2 inches lower, with these holes at a 90-degree angle from the first ones.
- Insert one spoon into each set of holes.
- Fill the bottle with birdseed.
- Make a hanger from floral wire and fasten it to the top of the bottle.
- Screw the cap back on the bottle and hang your feeder from a tree.
Popsicle Stick Feeder
Simple enough for pre-schoolers to make with just a little help.
- Line up 12 Popsicle sticks and glue 2 more sticks across them.
- Turn this over and make a second row of sticks going in the opposite directions.
- Make one row of Popsicle sticks around the base, gluing the sticks down as you work.
- Glue a tongue depressor across this row, the ends of the depressor sticking out on both sides.
- Make six more rows of alternating Popsicle sticks.
- After the glue dries, it’s time to paint and decorate the feeders, using outdoor paint and glitter glue sticks.
- Once the decorating is done, string a length of hemp around feeder, hang it outside, and fill it halfway with birdseed.
Teacup DIY Bird Feeder
Add charm to your garden with this pretty feeder.
- Start with a cup and saucer. I look in thrift shops for inexpensive ones with floral designs.
- Glue the cup to the saucer with waterproof glue.
- After the glue is dry, turn it so the bottom of the saucer faces up. Glue 1 bail with the loop or hole in the centre of the saucer. Glue 3 bails equidistant around the edge of the saucer.
- Cut 4 lengths of chain: 1 short length to dangle under the saucer for decoration, 3 same size pieces the length you want the feeder to hand, and 1 2-inch piece.
- Use pliers to attach the chains to the bails. Attach the short length to the bail in the centre of the saucer. Attach one of 3 pieces to each of the bails around the edge of the saucer. Use the 2-inch piece to connect the ends of the 3 pieces.
- Attach an S-hook to the end of the 2-inch piece.
- Fill the cup with seed and hang your lovely DIY bird feeder in the garden.
Tin Can DIY Bird Feeders
Easy and adorable feeders children can make.
- Collect tin cans from soups, beans, and dried fruit. Clean them out.
- Paint cans inside and out. You can spray paint them or use a brush.
- Decorate the outsides: stripes, dots, whatever comes to mind.
- Tie a colourful ribbon around each can. The ribbon should be the length you want each feeder to hang. I think it looks especially lovely to hang them at different heights.
- Insert a dowel into each can with the end sticking out about 3 or 4 inches.
- Add the birdseed and hang the feeders.
Making DIY bird feeders and watching the birds is one way we appreciate nature in all her glorious bounty. Follow us on the DIY board on Pinterest for more family-friendly nature projects.
Tutorials and Pictures Credits:
Featured Image: Meagan
Soda Bottle Bird Feeder: Happy Canadian Home
Popsicle Stick Bird Feeder: Tonya Staab
Teacup Bird Feeder: My So Called Crafty Life
Tin Can Bird Feeder: Plum Adorable