How to Make Bird Feeders

Bird feeders are easy to make and will draw a variety of birds to your backyard.
Bird feeders are easy to make and will draw a variety of birds to your backyard.

There is no better way to cheer up your yard than with the sound of singing birds. One way to attract these wonderful creatures is to build a bird feeder. Fortunately, making them is easy -- with a few simple materials, and a little bit of patience, you can learn how to make bird feeders. Soon, birds will be singing to you all day long.

Whether you enjoy bird-watching or simply want to attract some feathered friends to your yard, you will surely find an effective and easy-to-make bird feeder in this article.


Follow the links below for instructions on how to make a variety of bird feeders:

Backyard Bird Rescue Bird Feeder

When winter blows into town, most birds fly out. Feed the few that remain with this bird feeder.

Bird Cafeteria Bird Feeder

Many people put out feeders full of seeds, but you can attract a wider variety of birds with this bird feeder.

Bird Condo Bird Feeder

Attract birds to your trees with this luxurious bird condominium.

Birdbath Bird Feeder

Bird feeders attract many birds to your yard, but water will attract even more -- learn how to do both with this bird feeder.

Bird Breakfast Bird Feeder

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for birds too. Get a bird's day started right with this feeder.

Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbirds are amazing and beautiful creatures. Attract them to your house with this feeder.

Milk Carton Meal Bird Feeder

Instead of throwing out that empty milk carton turn it into a feeder birds will love.

Twig Roof Bird Feeder

This rustic feeder will bring a variety of birds to your backyard.

Water Hole Bird Feeder

Help birds quench their thirst with this water feeder.

Early Bird Diner Bird Feeder

The early bird will certainly get a treat when you build this bird feeder.

Keep reading for a bird feeder that will help you turn your backyard into a haven for birds.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Birds get hungry, too -- and you can help feed them with this Backyard Bird Rescue Bird Feeder.

What You'll Need:

  • Disposable pie pans
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Birdseed
  • Sharp implement for punching holes

Step 1: Gather disposable pie pans, three equal-length pieces of string for each pan, and some birdseed to help keep birds' tiny tummies well fed.

Step 2: Have an adult help you punch holes in the outer edges of the pie pans. To place the holes correctly, imagine the pie pan is a clock face, and punch the holes at the four, eight, and twelve o'clock positions.

Step 3: Feed one end of a string through a hole from the top of the pan to the bottom, and tie a sturdy knot on the bottom side.

Step 4: Repeat with the other strings and holes. Now tie the ends of the strings together at the top of the pan. Repeat the process with the other pie pans.

Step 5: Fill the feeders with birdseed, and have an adult help you hang them from a high branch (safe from neighborhood cats).

Keep reading for more easy-to-make bird feeders.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Bird Cafeteria Bird Feeder
Bird Cafeteria Bird Feeder

Set out a feast for the birds and learn what they like best with the Bird Cafeteria Bird Feeder.

What You'll Need:

  • Bird feeders (purchased or homemade)
  • Thistle seeds
  • Cut-up fruit
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Dull knife
  • Whole coconut
  • Adult help
  • Drill
  • Cracked corn
  • Suet
  • Peanuts
  • String
  • Mesh bag

Try the following ways of offering foods and see what your birds like best:

  1. Offer various seeds. You can buy special feeders for fine thistle seed and for larger sunflower seeds. Offer thistle in the summer when goldfinches are around. Sunflower seeds can be out all year.
  2. Build or buy a table-style feeder on a post to offer peanuts and cut-up fruit (especially cherries).
  3. Pound a slender nail into a tree and stick half an apple on it, or wedge apple slices between tree branches.
  4. Cut an orange in half and hang the halves from a branch for orioles.
  5. Cut a coconut in half. Drill a hole near the edge and hang from a tree branch. Small, seed-eating birds like to peck at the meat, and larger, more aggressive birds cannot get to it easily.
  6. On a large flat rock, offer cracked corn to quail and doves.
  7. Use a flat window feeder to offer cut-up suet from the meat counter. Make sure the window is high enough that dogs, cats, and rats cannot reach. Don't offer suet in the warmer months; it spoils quickly.

The next bird feeder is sure to attract some high-flying tenants.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Build a high-class, high-rise Bird Condo Bird Feeder for your feathered friends outdoors.

What You'll Need:

  • Plastic 1/2-gallon milk or orange juice container with handle
  • Scissors
  • Craft stick or small dowel
  • Newspaper
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Wire coat hanger

Step 1: Wash the container thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Let dry.

Step 2: On the opposite side from the handle, about halfway down, cut a circular hole about two inches wide. Half an inch below the hole, poke the craft stick or small dowel about 1-1/2 inches into the container. This is the bird's perch.

Step 3: Spread out the newspaper, and stuff the sphagnum moss into the bottle until it comes up to the entry hole. (Birds like dryer lint, too.)

Step 4: Untwist the coat hanger, and wire the birdhouse, through the handle, to a tree limb not too close to the trunk. (You may need an adult's help to do this part.) Wire it tight enough so that the house doesn't sway too much in the wind. Wait for your bird friends to move in.

Help birds cool off with the bird feeder you'll learn about next.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Birdbath Bird Feeder
Birdbath Bird Feeder

Water is often in short supply in the wild. Give some feathered friends a hand by providing precious water with this Birdbath Bird Feeder.

What You'll Need:

  • Flat pan
  • Rock
  • PVC pipe (six inches wide)
  • Rope (1/4-inch thick)
  • Brick
  • Garbage can lid

For a simple birdbath:

Step 1: Lay a shallow pan of water on the ground.

Step 2: Put a rock in the pan to keep it from getting knocked over.

For a more permanent birdbath:

Step 1: With help from an adult, cut a four-foot length of six-inch diameter PVC pipe. Sink it about two feet into the ground.

Step 2: Cut a three-foot length of 1/4-inch rope. Tie one end of the rope to a heavy rock or brick. Tie the other end to the handle of a garbage can lid.

Step 3: Drop the rock or brick down the pipe. It should hang about halfway down. The weight of the hanging brick holds the garbage can lid in place upside-down.

Step 4: Fill the lid with water. To clean, simply lift the lid out and wash it.

The next bird feeder will help your feathered friends start the day right.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Bird Breakfast Bird Feeder
Bird Breakfast Bird Feeder

The breakfast in the Bird Breakfast Bird Feeder is strictly for the birds -- don't you taste it!

What You'll Need:

  • 2 cups biscuit baking mix
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Spatula
  • Baking sheet
  • Straw
  • Small saucepan
  • Pastry brush
  • Fork
  • Cooling rack
  • Ribbon

Step 1: Ask an adult to preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Add enough water (just a few tablespoons) to the baking mix to form a soft dough.

Step 2: Roll out the dough to 3/4-inch thickness, and cut it into shapes with the cookie cutters.

Step 3: Using a spatula, put the shapes on a baking sheet. Use the straw to punch a hole in the top of each cookie.

Step 4: Ask an adult to melt the margarine. Brush the melted margarine over the dough. Sprinkle the seeds onto the dough, and press them in firmly with a fork.

Step 5: Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove cookies with a spatula, and place them on a cooling rack.

Step 6: When the cookies are cool, thread brightly colored ribbon through the holes. Hang the bird snacks in a tree. Now wait for the birds to enjoy their breakfast.

(Note: If birds don't eat the biscuits right away, check after a few days to be sure the biscuits aren't moldy. If they are, remove them from the tree and make fresh ones.)

Continue reading to learn about a bird feeder that will draw hummingbirds to your yard.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbird Feeder

Whip up some special food for these special birds with this Hummingbird Feeder.

What You'll Need:

  • Plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Pot
  • Craft glue
  • Decorative flowers
  • String

Hummingbirds can hover, fly backwards, and even fly upside down. They flap their wings up to 78 times per second. All that flapping burns up the calories, so hummingbirds have to eat half their weight in food every day. Of course, some only weigh about one-tenth of an ounce.

It should come as no surprise that hummingbirds don't eat the same things as other birds. They need high-energy foods, and one of their favorite foods is nectar collected from red flowers. They also love sugar syrup.

Here's how to make a hummingbird feeder:

Step 1: Wash a large, clear plastic soda bottle and remove the label.

Step 2: About one-fourth of the way from the bottom of the bottle, cut a square hole that is about one inch on each side. Make a crease in the front of the bottle, just above the hole.

Step 3: With an adult's help, boil 1/2 cup of sugar and two cups of water to make a syrup. Let the syrup cool.

Step 4: Use your finger to cover the hole in the bottle, and pour in the syrup. Put the lid on the bottle.

Step 5: Glue red plastic flowers on the bottle, especially near the hole.

Step 6: Tie a string around the top of the bottle, and use it to hang the feeder.

Continue reading for more easy-to-make bird feeders.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Put those old milk cartons to good use with the Milk Carton Meal Bird Feeder.

What You'll Need:

  • Empty milk carton
  • Bird cakes
  • Hole puncher
  • String

If your yard is a little short on trees with bending branches, hang your bird cakes in special milk carton feeders.

Step 1: Make the bird cake recipe listed here.

Step 2: Instead of shaping the mixture into donuts, fill the bottom of a milk carton with the treat.

Step 3: Punch holes in the carton and run strings from corner to corner, tying them together where they meet at the top.

Step 4: Hang these treats from rain gutters or flagpoles to provide your birds a safe and delicious treat.

A few sticks are all you need to make the interesting bird feeder on the next page.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Be a friend to wildlife with this Twig Roof Bird Feeder. With its old-fashioned twig roof, it's fun to look at even before the wild birds visit for dinner.

What You'll Need:

  • Plastic bleach bottle, well cleaned
  • 18-inch length of cord
  • Lots of dry twigs, about as thick as a pencil
  • Kitchen sponge
  • Acrylic paint: green, white


  • Scrap paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Drill
  • Pruning shears
  • Felt pen
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Paper plate

Have an adult help you when using a drill, pruning shears, and a glue gun.

Step 1: Be sure that the bottle you use is perfectly clean. Have an adult drill a small hole in the center of the bottle cap.

Step 2: Poke the cord through the hole, and tie a knot in the end so it won't pull through. Screw the lid back on the bottle.

Step 3: Draw the window shape on scrap paper and cut it out. Hold this paper against the bottle about two inches up from the bottom. Trace around the window; then trace another window on the back of the bottle.

Step 4: Carefully poke the scissors through the middle of the traced shape, then cut out the window. Repeat for the other window.

Step 5: Select a long, sturdy twig for the perch. Have an adult use the pruning shears to cut it six inches longer than the bottle is wide.

Step 6: Snip two holes in the plastic bottle, centered under each window. The holes should be just big enough for the perch to poke through when you push real hard. It will help to have someone hold the bottle while you push the perch through.

Step 7: Cut two leaf shapes out of the sponge: a large leaf about two inches long and a smaller leaf about one inch long.

Step 8: Spread dark green paint on a plate. Dab the large sponge leaf in the paint, then onto the sides of the bottle. Stamp six or seven dark leaves on each side of the bottle, then let them dry.

Step 9: Mix some white paint into the green to lighten it. Use the smaller sponge leaf to stamp light green leaves around and on top of the dark leaves.

Step 10: Clip a twig to fit from the bottle cap out over the side of the bottle -- about five inches long. Hold it against the bottle and notice where the twig touches the plastic. Apply hot glue to the bottle at these points, then lay the twig in place.

Step 11: Work around the top of the bottle, gluing twigs next to the bottle cap. Then cut shorter twigs and glue them between the first ones, until your roof is filled with sloping twigs.

Step 12: Fill the bottom of the bottle with birdseed.

Provide some watering holes for birds with the bird feeder on the next page.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Water Hole Bird Feeder
Water Hole Bird Feeder

This Water Hole Bird Feeder will attract more wildlife to your backyard by offering water all year round.

What You'll Need:

  • Hose with nozzle
  • Water
  • Pie pan
  • Pea gravel,
  • Garbage can lid,
  • Small, rigid-sided plastic wading pool, shovel, newspaper
  • Flat river rocks

If you were a bird, could you find enough places in your neighborhood to drink? Do your local water sources dry up or freeze? Make life easier for wildlife with a human-made oasis. For a garden stream: Step 1: Put a fan-shaped nozzle on the end of a hose and lay the hose in a flower bed or garden that needs watering. Step 2: Turn the hose on to make a slow, gentle stream. Step 3: Let the water run across the garden. Birds will be attracted in the evening after a long, thirsty day.

For a pie-pan bird bath: Step 1: Set a large pie pan on level ground. Step 2: Pour a thin layer of fine gravel into the bottom and add a rock for birds to sit on and weigh the pan down.

Step 3: Pour in an inch of water.

For a garbage-can-lid bird bath:

Step 1: Excavate a shallow hole in the ground and set the lid in it.

Step 2: Sprinkle gravel in the bottom, add some rocks, and pour in an inch of water. During the winter, have an adult help you keep the water from icing over.

For a plastic wading-pool pond:

Step 1: Have an adult help dig a hole six inches wider and three inches deeper than the pool.

Step 2: Pour three inches of pea gravel in the bottom for drainage.

Step 3: Put an inch-thick layer of newspapers on the gravel to cushion the pond bottom.

Step 4: Set the wading pool in the hole. Add flat rocks on the bottom of the pool and rocks on one side to make a shallow bathing area.

Step 5: Fill the pool with water. Fill in around the outside of the pool with more gravel.

Step 6: Place rocks, small logs, and plants around the edge to make the pond attractive to wildlife.

The early bird catches the worm, and you can open your own early bird diner by following the bird feeder project on the next page.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

Trace the window pattern onto all four sides of the carton.
Trace the window pattern onto all four sides of the carton.

Hang a restaurant in a tree or outside a window for the neighborhood birds to enjoy -- you can call it the Early Bird Diner Bird Feeder.

What You'll Need:

  • 1 half-gallon cardboard milk carton
  • White spray paint
  • Acrylic paint: blue, red, black
  • Clear acrylic gloss spray
  • Yellow dimensional paint
  • White key tag


  • Craft glue
  • Paper clips
  • Paper punch
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Paintbrushes
  • Black fine-point marker

Step 1: Glue the top edges of the milk carton together, and clip them together with paper clips until the glue sets. Punch a hole in the center of the top edge. (Squeeze hard to punch through both layers.)

Step 2: Trace the window pattern onto all four sides of the carton. Ask a grown-up to use the craft knife to cut out the windows.

Step 3: In a well-ventilated area, spray-paint the carton white to make it easier to decorate. Let dry.

Step 4: Paint the top of the carton blue and the bottom red, leaving the columns between the windows white. When the paint has dried, use black paint and a small brush to paint stripes on the columns.

Step 5: Let dry, then finish with a coat of clear gloss spray. Let dry completely.

Step 6: With yellow dimensional paint, make dots around the top of each window and across the bottom of the windows and around the container. Let dry.

Step 7: Print the word "EAT" on the key tag. Slip the ring of the key tag through the hole in the top of the carton. Fill the bottom of the feeder with birdseed, and hang.

For more fun activities and bird-related crafts, check out:

About the Craft Designers

Bird Cafeteria Bird Feeder by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls

Milk Carton Meal Bird Feeder by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls

Water Hole Bird Feeder by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls

Early Bird Diner Bird Feeder by Sharon Broutzas, Rice Freeman-Zachery, Connie Matricardi, Susan Milord, Lynnette Schuepbach, Kim Solga, Florence Temko