Homemade Bird Feeders
Homemade bird feeders are easy to make and can be a fun project for kids and adults of a wide variety of ages. Enjoy putting together homemade bird food as well as feeders made from recycled objects, such as soda bottles, and readily available materials to create unique bird feeders that will serve your local wildlife community. As you can often use materials that you already have on hand or that you can easily acquire, this is a relatively inexpensive project that comes together quickly in a day or over a weekend.
There are so many great occasions to make feeders and to give homemade bird feeders as gifts.
Just a Few Possibilities
Sunday School Project
Preschool/Day Care Project
Art Class Project
Rainy Day Activity
How to: Homemade Bird Feeder
Bird Seed or Bird Food Feeders
You can mix and match many of these tutorial ideas. Put one recipe with a different type of container or mold.
Don't have a good tree to hang a feeder? Consider using a planter display or trellis.
Many people are familiar with the classic peanut butter filled pine cone bird feeder. There are a number of variations on this simple concept as well as other homemade bird food recipes that do not require a dedicated bird feeder. Alternatively, you can often offer this bird food in a simple, multiple purpose container that you already have on hand, such as the one pictured on the right, instead of having to make or purchase something new.
- Gelatin and bird seed. Did you know that you can mix gelatin and bird seed? This bird seed recipe is available in tons of different places online. You learn something new every day. The heart is really sweet, but of course you can use another cookie cutter shape, too. This gelatin bird seed post uses Mason jar lids and star shaped cookie cutters.
- Are you looking for even more shape ideas? Create a large wreath, Easter eggs, and bird seed trees with the gelatin recipe.
- Gelatin and bird seed take 2. This variation includes flour and corn syrup, which may give your bird seed a better shape.
- Ice cream cone. Cover an ice cream cone with peanut butter and bird seed. You can also apply the same concept to half a bagel.
- Orange half. Fill half of a hollowed out orange with bird seed to make a feeder.
- Paper cup mold and a mesh bag. Martha Stewart has a recipe for bird seed that you can pour into a paper cup and then place in a mesh bag to hang from a tree.
- Peanut butter and cornmeal. Mix peanut butter and cornmeal with bird seed for this feeder.
- Use a straw to create a string hanging hole. Take the brilliant tip from Little Wonders' Days of inserting a straw through the bird seed shape where you want to thread your string or other hanging material. Cut a single straw into smaller pieces for multiple bird seed shapes.
- Cereal. This blog post is not in English, but the concept is pretty self-explanatory. You can create a string of cereal to hang as a bird feeder.
- Bacon or beef fat suet. Combine bird seed with leftover meat fat and dried berries to create a unique bird suet. I love the idea of using mini baking molds to shape the bird seed.
- Decorative suet ball. Use a vine ball and some suet cakes to create a different type of beautiful suet bird feeder. This is a great gift option.
- Build an edible bird house. Take the gingerbread house concept and consider what birds would like to eat.
- Yogurt cup. An empty yogurt cup makes a great mold for a bird seed recipe.
How to Make Homemade Baby Bird Food
What can you use to hang a homemade bird feeder?
Just a Few Possibilities
More Bird Feeder Resources
- Amazing Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders
- Pepper Suet Can Keep Squirrels Out of Your Suet Bird Feeder
Pepper Suet for the Birdfeeder - Hot Pepper Suet is nature's way of naturally squirrel proofing your suet bird feeder.
- Creating a Backyard Bird Habitat is Easy
Creating a backyard habitat for birds is easy.May is Garden for Wildlife Month so why not take steps to create a backyard bird habitat.
Recycled or Repurposed Bird Feeders
Tip: If you make a hummingbird feeder, make sure that some part of it is red to attract the birds!
As part of the larger trend for creating art out of recycled or re-purposed objects, many people choose to use recycled items to construct bird feeders. You can fill these feeders with purchased or homemade bird seed. Consider the birds in your particular area and what will be best for them.
- Glass Light Globes. Turn old light globes into bird feeders.
- Juice Bottle. You'll need a drill and some basic hardware to make this bird feeder, but it is a pretty straightforward process. The author decorate her feeder with fabric and ric rac but of course you can customize your decorations any way you like or leave the feeder plain.
- Take the juice bottle one step further with a wooden platform for it. You can adjust this idea for different sized bottles as well.
- Milk Carton or Jug. Marissa has a great tutorial with a video and photos for making a bird feeder out of an old milk carton or jug. Her kids did a great job decorating their milk jug before they put it out for the birds. You can use a plastic carton like Marissa does, or a paper carton.
- Pumpkin. When you've finished with your Halloween pumpkin, cut it in half and turn it into a bird feeder. You can do this on a smaller scale with a medium or little pumpkin as well.
- Large Soda Bottle. A two liter soda (or pop for those of you who prefer) bottle easily transforms into a bird feeder. Check out this neat variation with a split soda bottle, too.
- Slinky. How inspired is this? You can turn an old slinky into a feeder! This is not a tutorial, but the concept is pretty self explanatory. The slinky is perfect for larger feed or other bird food, such as peanuts.
- Toilet paper or paper towel tube with peanut butter. Take a twist on the pine cone idea with an empty towel or toilet paper tube. Cover it with peanut butter and then roll it in bird seed. You can slide one of these rolls right on a tree branch or you can punch a hole in one end and attach a string to hang it. Check out this fun paper tube variation with stick branches for perches.
- Tupperware and Bottle Hummingbird Feeder. There are a number of hummingbird specific ideas out there. This one is easy to construct out of a small square Tupperware container and an empty Gatorade or similar sized plastic bottle.
- Vintage Tea Cup and Saucer. I had no idea that this idea was so popular until I started researching this topic, but apparently a lot of people like to turn vintage tea cups into bird feeders. Who knew? If you don't have already have a tea cup and saucer on hand that you want to use, keep an eye out at garage sales or thrift stores. I highly recommend taking the author's suggestion to use E6000 to ensure a sturdy feeder.
- Water bottle with wooden spoons. Take the plastic recycled bottle one step further with wooden spoons that serve as perches for the birds.
Inexpensive Homemade Feeders
There are a handful of tutorials out there for bird feeders that are not made of recycled or re-purposed materials but are still inexpensive and easy to put together.
- Decorative cardboard letter feeder. These decorative letters are cheap and readily available at most craft stores. "Decorate" your letter with peanut butter, bird seed, and Cheerios.
- Popsicle stick feeder. Do you remember making houses out of Popsicle sticks? You'll use the same stick building technique to make a feeder.
- Clay saucer and jute rope feeder. All you need to make this feeder is a clay pot saucer, a jute rope, and a grapevine wreath.
- Bamboo bird feeder. Construct a feeder out of a bamboo plate and bowl.
Homemade Bird Feeder
More recycled craft resources from the author.
- Ways to Reuse Empty Pill Bottles: Crafts, Ideas, and More
This article is about ways to reuse empty pill bottles. It includes basic ways to reuse and recycle them as well as craft projects with pill bottles. There are lots of photos, links, and other resources.
- How to Use Wine Corks: Crafts, Home Decor Projects, Garden Ideas, and More
This article is about uses for wine corks. It includes a wide variety of photos, tutorials, and other resources for crafts, home decor projects, garden ideas, and much more. There is something here for everyone.
- Junk Mail Crafts: How to Make Unique Projects With Recycled Paper
This article is about junk mail crafts. There are a wide variety of unique projects to make with recycled paper including stationery products, wall art, jewelry, and home décor. There are lots of photos and resources.
© 2012 Rose Clearfield
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