DIY bird feeder: a fun weekend project to encourage wildlife

Find out how to make a DIY bird feeder using materials you already have at home and watch the birds feast all summer long

diy bird feeder: robin
(Image credit: Getty)

Thanks to our guide, you can now learn how to make a DIY bird feeder in two different ways using materials you already have at home. Both offer easy ways to encourage wildlife to visit your garden and make for a fun weekend project – especially if you have little ones. 

While there are lots of stylish bird feeders to buy online, these DIY ideas work out to be a lot more affordable without sacrificing on results. And one of them allows you to breathe new life into items that would otherwise go to waste.

Find out how to make a bird feeder, below. Then, discover more of our favourite garden ideas

How to make a DIY bird feeder with a plastic bottle

This is the simplest method for making a DIY bird feeder we've seen – it's by the educational organisation Eco Sapien and can be viewed as a step-by-step on YouTube. Here's everything you will need:

Method:

1. To build the bird feeder, make four holes in the plastic bottle, large enough to slide your sticks through – two at the bottom of the feeder, and two slightly higher up. Begin by pricking the surface of the bottle with the drawing pin; then insert the scissors and make the holes larger by twisting. 

2. Make the perches: push the sticks through the holes: you now have four perches ready. 

3. Make six more holes in the bottle: four holes just above the perches, wide enough for birds' beaks to fit through, which will be around eight millimetres. Push the scissors through, twist, then cut to the desired diameter. Then make two small holes at the top of the bottle, wide enough for the garden twine.

4. Thread a piece of garden twine through the top holes.

5. Pour in the bird feed. Close the lid. Now your bird feeder is ready to hang from a tree branch.

Note: please ensure that children are supervised at all times if you're taking this DIY project on together.

How to make a DIY fat ball bird feeder 

Another great option if you want to DIY a bird feeder is to make your own fat balls. Here's everything you will need:

  • Bird seed
  • Raisins
  • Peanuts 
  • Grated cheese
  • Suet or lard 
  • Yoghurt pots (or basically anything you can use as a mould)
  • String 
  • Scissors
  • Bowl 

Method: 

1. Using a sharp pencil, pop a hole in the centre of whatever you are using as a mould - the bottom of a plastic bottle, a yoghurt pot, have a look at what's in your recycling bin. Thread your string through the hole and tie a knot on the inside of the pot. 

2. Let the lard come to room temperature and cut into small pieces. Pop in your mixing bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix together with your hands. You can get the kids involved with this bit. 

3. Put the mix into your pots and then put them in the fridge to set – they should be fine to hang in an hour or so. Then just pop them in a tree and watch the birds come and enjoy your DIY bird feeder!

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