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Homemade Bird Feeders

You can easily and relatively inexpensively attract birds to your garden by making your own bird feeders. This is a guide about homemade bird feeders.


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14 found this helpful
June 12, 2009 Flag

Here is a bird/squirrel feeder hubby made for our yard. Although the design is not his own, he saw one in his customer's yard and came home, made it out of scrap wood (leftover from a boat he is working on), and a large pickle jar we had in the house.

We neglected to coat it with a clearcoat to protect it from the elements, but we'll make another and be sure to do so. It has already has repeat visits from a family of titmice, and squirrels, and one bumblebee who we had to let out due to him bumping into the glass *grin*.

By HICKCHIC3 from North Augusta, SC

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June 13, 20090 found this helpful

This is the Beverly Hills Mansion of bird feeders. What a wonderful (& useful) piece of artwork! I'd cut the holes a bit smaller so the squirrels & rats don't steal the birds food!

Sadly, we had to take our bird feeder down because it was attracting raccoons & this made us fear our cat would be their next meal!

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May 11, 2009 Flag

Please do not reuse the plastic onion/vegetable bags for the wild birds. I had used the bags for well over five years without a problem. It took one incident to change my mind about using these bags.


On a cold winter day, a bird had its' leg tangled in the netting and could not get loose. It was a horrible sight to see and hear. Luckily, I was home and able to cut the netting to release the bird. It was so stressful for the bird, and also for me. Fortunately, it happened in an area that I was able to reach. We had several bags filled with suet high on tree branches that my husband hung and it would have been impossible for me to reach.

If I was not home to free the bird, it would have died from the cold or exhaustion, and its' leg would have definitely been broken since it was twisting and turning to free itself.

I see this idea used very often and I hope everyone reconsiders using these netted bags to feed the birds. It only happened once to me and after that incident, I would not ever want to take that chance again.

Use the wired cages to feed the birds. I have purchased them in dollar discount stores at times, and at the end of season in clearance at a reasonable price. Even at the full price, it is well worth the purchase since they do last a very long time.

The plastic netted bags can be reused for other ideas. You can ball them up and use for a scrubby or use them when you shop for your produce. I like to use the larger bags for what I call "throw-away" rags. I save old worn out articles of clothing that I cut into various sizes. I hang it so it is easy to find. When anyone has a messy clean up, and the rags are too dirty/greasy to wash, they use the "rag bag" and throw the rags away.

By mkymlp from PA

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March 14, 20100 found this helpful

I am so glad I happened to see your note... I've just saved two net bags from onions..and was going to make something for the birds to eat. I'll think of another use now.. Thank you, I enjoy the birds and don't want to injure one.

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3 found this helpful
July 9, 2013

View from the side.

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A birdfeeder (or birdbath) can be made easily using a large glass lid, a wire clothes hanger, some string, and grape vines.


May 2, 2012

Cut your orange in half scoop out the edible part. Poke two holes in each side of the orange, use a piece a string and thread through the holes. Then put bird seed in it, and hang on a tree.

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November 14, 20042 found this helpful

This is how to make a bird feeder for absolutely no cost. First, I ask the butcher in my supermarket for suet. I've never been charged for this because they throw it away anyway. Then I tie the suet in an empty mesh onion bag and hang it from a tree.

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1 found this helpful
August 13, 2009

I have been able to make what seems to be squirrel proof suet cage covers that work beautifully from a clean 1 gallon bleach bottle, a metal wire coat hanger, and a twisty tie.

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0 found this helpful
December 21, 2007

Birch log with two red candles in drilled holes.

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This is not only a good gift idea for bird lovers (like me), but also for homebound/seniors that enjoy watching the birds.


June 7, 20050 found this helpful

Clean an empty 2 liter bottle. Replace the cap and cut a hole on the side close to the top. For a feeder, cut a hole on both sides of the bottle. Tie a shoe string around the neck of the bottle and tie on a sturdy branch. Fill the bottle with bird seed, or water for a bath.

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January 31, 20000 found this helpful

Photo of a hanging planter with a bird in it

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I remove the dead plants in the fall from my hanging plastic basket. I leave the soil in tact, and add seed over them. The birds love eating off my hanging basket while I watch. Sometimes 'mother' or 'father' stand guard while "family" eats away.



Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

2 found this helpful
April 18, 2011 Flag

My husband and I would like to sell our Swing Birdfeeders. We would like to sell them assembled and unassembled.
Does anyone know where we could sell them?

Thank you.

By Jackie from Salisbury, MD

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April 20, 20110 found this helpful

Flea markets are also a good idea. By the way, love your cute bird feeders! How much do you charge for them?

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April 21, 20110 found this helpful

You might like to look at the following website: People can buy and sell handmade and vintage items. It reaches people all over the world.

Another idea is craft fairs, whether local or nearby. They would require a fee and perhaps a percentage of your sales. Something you may want to check into.

Whatever you do good luck and have fun with it!

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May 10, 20131 found this helpful

Try It is free.

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0 found this helpful
January 20, 2016 Flag

I am trying to glue birdseed to Styrofoam balls, but regular old school glue is not working. The seeds keep falling off. Does anyone know of a tackier glue that would work? I sealed the Styrofoam with Mod Podge.

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January 21, 20160 found this helpful

Try Alene's tacky glue.

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January 24, 20160 found this helpful

I agree with Linda. Also, you might find that the Mod Podge is why the glue didn't stick. Try it on a scrap piece of unglued Styrofoam and it might work. Hope that helps.

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0 found this helpful
November 17, 2005 Flag
Q: I would like to put up a number of bird feeders this winter (got a fantastic deal on bird feed) and would like some ideas of building and making good feeders that are cheap and as "natural" looking as possible. Can you help?

Brenda from Beaverdam, Virginia

A: Brenda,

Different species of birds have different ways of feeding, just like they have different food preferences. To attract the widest variety of birds, you'll want hanging or platform feeders, a ground feeder and a feeder filled with suet.

I'm an advocate of using recycled items for bird feeders (like plastic milk jugs, pie tins and scrap lumber). An easy and inexpensive way to make the non-natural look natural is to use silicone glue to add bits of moss, lichen, bark, stones, twigs, etc., to the outside of the feeder.

Suet Feeders:

Drill 1" to 1 1/2" wide holes into a 6" to 8" long log that is 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Drill the holes completely through. If you want to add perches, drill smaller holes below the large holes to insert dowels. Secure the dowel perches with wood glue. Attach an eye hook to one end of the long for hanging and fill the large holes with suet.

For another easy suet feeder, fill a small onion sack or fruit sack with suit and hang.

Hanging Feeders:

Take a coffee can (with a lid) and using a bottle opener, punch three to four holes near the bottom of the can. Place the can on top of a saucer (like the type put under plant pots) and center both the can and saucer on top of a small block of wood. You're going to attach the saucer to the can by drilling a small hole through the center of the bottom of the can, and through the center of the saucer and screwing them into the block of wood. You can punch holes near the top of the can and attach a coat hanger to hang it from, or secure the can to a post. The lid will make it easy to fill and keep the birdseed from getting wet.

With scraps of wood and a small piece of window screen, you can make a simple ground feeder. Nail together a rectangle frame and staple screen across the frame for the bottom. Attach a 1-2 inch leg on each corner of the frame. This will keep the feeder slightly off the ground to let water drain out. This is really all you need for a ground feeder. To convert this to a hanging feeder, skip the legs and attach an eye hook to each corner so you can secure ropes or small chains for hanging. If you want to make a roof, drill holes in each corner and insert dowel rods (use wood glue). For a flat roof, simply attach a piece of plywood with nails to each dowel. For a pitched roof, attach two pieces of wood together with L-brackets. Drill shallow holes in the roof at the four corners to attach the roof to the dowels.

Other natural looking feeders that work well are hollow gourds and citrus halves, and pine cones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed.

By Ellen Brown

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November 6, 20050 found this helpful

personally I think the pine cone ones with peanut butter and seeds on the outside look quit natural. You could make a feeder out of a milk carten and spray paint it an earthy tone. Gourds also make realy nice bird house but you could probally make a feeder as well. a plastic flower pot saucers are cheap, come in good color tones and you could make it into a bird feeder. Just drill some holes in the rim then hang it from a tree with twine and fill the saucer with the bird seed. You can use spray painted sour cream containers the sam way.


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November 20, 20050 found this helpful

This is a warning against using onion or vegetable mesh bags to hold suet for feeding the wild birds. For many years, I used these bags without having any problems. One time a woodpecker had its' leg tangled in the mesh. It was screaming and yanking. It was terrible. I did manage to cut the mesh without injuring the poor fellow. The stress that we both went through was traumatic. I was happy that I was home, I couldn't image it being caught like that in the freezing cold and probably dying a terrible death. After that I used the suet cages or just sometimes hang a large piece on a post. So please do not use those mesh vegetable bags, it only takes one time.

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December 8, 20050 found this helpful

http://artery-s  m/1boxesetc.html

has patterns for making gazebo style bird feeders like the one in the picture.

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