Published on June 18th, 2013 | by Julie Finn1
DIY Bird Feeders from Natural and Recycled Materials
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?
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
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!