Birds aren’t just beautiful creatures that bring life and vitality to your outdoor living space, they help you in your garden efforts by reducing pests. Some species even help pollinate. What’s more, many bird species are endangered and require our help and protection.
By building a DIY bird feeder, you’ll attract more of these winged beauties to your garden, and reward them for their hard work. Some of these handmade feeders provide a fantastic opportunity for kids to enjoy crafting whilst learning about conservation and nature.
Here are 34 of the best DIY bird feeders:
1. Acorn Feeder – a Fall-inspired project, this cute feeder uses a wooden bowl as an acorn cap (which is slippery so squirrels can’t hold onto it), and a mix of nuts and seeds as the actual acorn.
2. Vintage Tea Cup Feeder – watch the birds have a tea party with their very own vintage tea cup feeder. You can pick up these cups at thrift stores and yard sales for just 25 cents – making it a frugal but worthwhile project.
3. Colored Paint Can Feeders – upcycle old paint cans by spraying them in a variety of bright colors, adding a wooden dowel as a perch, filling them with bird seed, and hanging them on pretty ribbons from a tree.
4. Up Close and Personal Window Feeder – for those who like to see their favorite bird species up close without having to go outdoors, this window feeder is the perfect solution. Fashion scrap wood into a house shape, and attach suction cups to the back to adhere it to your kitchen or dining room window for a birds-eye view!
5. Lego Feeder – if your kids have outgrown their Lego set, have them play with it one last time – to make a colorful and fun feeder that’s both free and waterproof. Get creative and see what kind of inventive shapes you can make!
6. Hanging Gourd Feeder – for a biodegradable feeder, simply allow a gourd to dry out for several weeks or months. You’ll know it’s ready as it will feel light and you will hear the seeds rattling around inside. Then you just need to cut it in half, fill it with food, and hang it from a tree.
7. Odds ‘n’ Ends Feeder – household waste can always be upcycled, as this feeder project proves. It’s made with an old juice bottle (but you can use any plastic bottle you have). You’ll also need Mod Podge, varnish, glue, a drill, fabric scraps, ribbons, and a plastic try.
8. Log Feeder – this stunning yet simple feeder is made by hollowing out a log that you have lying around your backyard. The 7-minute video gives you step-by-step instructions on what you need to do.
9. Candy Jar Feeder – turn a decorative candy jar into a light-catching feeder in just a few steps. Other materials required include a cylinder vase, glass paint, glue, clear protective spray, wire, and some decorative beads. It’s sure to make a pretty feature in any garden.
10. Silverware Suet Feeder – give backyard birds a fine dining experience by serving up their suet in an elegant yet whimsical feeder made with old silverware and a wooden board.
11. Handmade Scrap Wood Feeder – odd pieces of wood leftover from home and garden renovations can be put to good use feeding your feathered friends. To make this professional looking feeder, in addition to scrap wood, you’ll need nails, a dowel, and two hinges.
12. Wall-Mounted Bottle Feeder – so good it looks store-bought, this wall-mounted feeder will keep birds safe from predators. Simply save an empty wine bottle and mount it into a wooden stand with a small ledge for the birds to perch on whilst eating.
13. Tuna Can Feeder – this DIY bird feeder is made from clean tuna cans (or other shallow cans), beads or buttons, and paint – meaning it costs less than $1 to make! Fill it with mealworms (or birdseed if you’re squeamish) before sitting back and watching the hummingbirds flock to your backyard.
14. Shoe Feeder – Old and worn out shoes make for brilliant ready-made bird feeders! Just attach them to a tree or fence, and fill with food.
15. Mason Jar Feeder – the humble mason jar has so many uses in the garden! What better way to use your spare one than by feeding these stunning creatures? Some twine and a small round chicken feeder are all you need to get crafting.
16. Cookie Cutter Feeder – get out your cookie cutters and turn your garden into a picnic stop for birds of all varieties. This recipe makes between two and four feeders, so feel free to double or triple your measurements to ensure no one goes hungry!
17. Milk Carton Feeder – the perfect craft for little ones, this sees empty milk cartons painted in a variety of colors before being fitted with a perch and hung from a tree. Older children may even enjoy adding a roof fashioned from popsicle sticks.
18. Fruit Feeder – fruit-eating birds like woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and bluebirds will enjoy this sweet feeder immensely – as will butterflies! Hang hooks made from heavy gauge copper wire at 6-inch intervals along a long tree branch. Bait the hooks with large chunks of ripe fruit such as oranges, mangoes, watermelon, papaya, and bananas.
19. Edible Wreath Feeder – in the winter months, a frozen feeder is ideal for those in colder climates. Spread some pantry staples – like seeds, unsalted raw peanuts, and uncooked oats – in a Bundt pan and fill with water. Freeze it outside, before removing from the pan and hanging from a tree. The birds will peck away at it, enjoying both hydration and nourishment.
20. Rainbow Ice Feeders – brighten up a snow-capped garden with this ingenious craft which freezes orbs and saucers of colored water (using balloons and bowls). Place them outdoors and top with bird seed. Blue jays and chickadees will soon be frolicking and feasting from them, adding life to your icy landscape.
21. Leftover Fruit and Grain Feeder – these feeders – which look like custom-made garden jewelry – are made by threading pipe cleaners or florist’s wire with grapes, blueberries, dried cranberries, and cereals before hanging outdoors with bright ribbon. As this craft requires concentration and challenges hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, it’s an excellent exercise for toddlers and preschoolers.
22. Ice Cream Cone Feeder – a simple project that involves an ice cream cone (which is not for the birds to eat) smothered with peanut butter and coated in assorted bird seeds.
23. Simple Mesh Bag Feeder – save the mesh bags that come with onions and lemons and fill them with balls of homemade suet.
24. Plate and Bowl Feeder – a matching bowl and saucer make for a bright, attractive, and functional garden ornament. You’ll also need a drill, bolt, washers, nuts, glue, and nerves of steel as you try not to chip the plate when drilling!
25. Wine Bottle Feeder – a stunning focal point in the garden or by the porch, this wine bottle and saucer is virtually an ‘all you can eat’ bird buffet as the seed keeps on coming as the birds dine.
26. Peanut Butter and Pine Cone Feeder – this simple feeder is a fantastic family project that can be made in ten minutes or less. Take an outdoor adventure to forage for large pine cones, and then fill them with peanut butter and birdseed, before hanging outside.
27. Flower Pot Pedestal Feeder – raise a decorative flower pot up on a pedestal to keep birds safe from harm while they snack.
28. Toilet Roll Feeders – for a quick and easy eco-friendly feeder, smear empty toilet rolls with peanut butter, roll in birdseed, and slide onto a branch.
29. Dried Apple Bird Feeder – dehydrate or dry some apple rings in the oven, brush with nut butter or vegetable shortening, and coat with seeds. Stack and string the rings onto a ribbon and hang outdoors.
30. Eco-Friendly Egg Carton Feeder – requiring minimal supplies, this project is the ideal way to use up your egg cartons, which are biodegradable to boot.
31. Popsicle Stick Feeder – a quick and easy project for little hands, simply stack and glue popsicle sticks into a box shape and hang from a tree.
32. Love Birds Valentine’s Day Feeder – fashion a seed mixture into heart shapes and secure with a pink or red ribbon. They make an ideal wedding favor or gift for bird lovers.
33. Milk Jug Feeder – a plastic milk jug is a great bird feeder, especially if you have a busy garden as it holds a lot of seed. Best of all, it can be made in mere minutes.
34. Water Feeder – don’t forget that our feathered friends don’t just need food, they need a source of fresh water to rehydrate, especially during long, hot summer days. This rustic hanging feeder provides a safe place to drink and bathe for birds, bees, and butterflies.