Crafts for Kids homemade yarn wrapped suet bird feeders

Published on June 18th, 2013 | by Julie Finn

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DIY Bird Feeders from Natural and Recycled Materials

homemade yarn wrapped suet bird feeders

These DIY bird feeders are fun to make with your kids and use natural or recycled materials to boot!

What’s more charming than feeding the birds?

Not a lot!

And who wants to buy a fancy, expensive bird feeder?

Not me!

To make it feeding the birds more fun, don’t fret yourself dropping the big bucks on pricey specialty bird feeders, not when there are so many great DIY bird feeders to build. From silverware to coconuts, cracked teacups to fallen tree limbs, you’ll find that a lot of natural or recycled pieces that you already have can be utilized to make sturdy, attractive, useful bird feeders. Check out the tutes below for some ideas.

yarn-wrapped suet cake bird feeder

Ditch the store-bought suet feeders by making your own temporary suet bird feeder out of stash yarn. For bonus points, also make your own homemade suet cakes!

orange peel bird feeder

Some birds LOVE oranges, and you can really lure them in with this simple bird feeder in an orange peel. Pop it in a likely spot, then collect it at the end of the day and dump the peel into the compost. Of course, any other hollowed-out fruit or veggie would work for this–pumpkins, apples, coconut shells, etc.

plate and bowl bird feeder

Use thrifted dishes with this clever plate and bowl bird feeder tutorial from Erin’s Creative Energy, instead of dishes bought especially for the project, as the tutorial calls for. You will even find that thrifted china is easier to drill through than brittle melamine. However, if you don’t have the right tools, try this teacup bird feeder instead–it uses super-strong glue instead of bolts.

gourd bird feeder

A gourd bird feeder is a project that starts with a gourd seed planted in your garden, but if you don’t have a green thumb, you can also buy fresh gourds from the farmer’s market and dry them yourself.

toilet paper roll and tree branch bird feeder

This recycled bird feeder mobile is much more attractive than the typical “roll a toilet paper roll in peanut butter and birdseed and tie a ribbon through it” preschool craft. Although Cheerios are fine for birds to eat (in moderation), I’d suggest sticking to the standard of peanut butter, rather than the corn syrup that the tutorial calls for. No living creature needs corn syrup in their bodies!

muffin tin bird feeder

A ratty old muffin tin is the base for this muffin tin bird feeder, although you can also substitute any other metalware that you need to find another use for.

stash wire bird feeder

Either your extra jewelry wire or floral wire could be used to make this wire bird feeder, the main advantage of which is that you can use it to offer pieces of fruit or other unusually-shaped treats to your birds, since the wire is so bendy.

tin can and wire hangers bird feeder

Two wire hangers + one tin can make a perfectly serviceable bird feeder, although I recommend a glue like E-6000 over the hot glue called for in the tutorial.

Notice that I did not include any bird feeders made from plastic bottles, although I know that they’re popular. I feel justifiably leery of putting plastic bottles out in the weather and then asking birds to eat from them as they decompose into their toxic parts. Yuck!


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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



One Response to DIY Bird Feeders from Natural and Recycled Materials

  1. Anita says:

    Thanks for sharing my bird feeder!
    Unfourtunately we can’t buy E-6000 in Slovenia. I wish we could.
    But hot glue worked just great for me. The feeder was outside whole long winter and it didn’t fall apart (:

    Stay good and keep up the good work!

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