Winter is the perfect time to consider the feathered friend. Although many species of bird may have migrated, some do winter over in the UK. The ideal way to support this wildlife in your area is with a homemade bird feeder. Place your DIY bird feeder close to your favourite outdoor seat from your teak dining furniture, and you can sit mindfully and appreciate nature.
If this sounds appealing, then you could pop to the garden centre and buy something to attract birds to your garden. However, the costs can quickly add up, and much of this money will be wasted. Creating your DIY bird feeder can be fun and a whole load more effective.
This bird feeder is both attractive and functional. It is also super-easy to make. Take an orange and cut it in half. Scoop out the innards of one half and fill the bowl with seeds. It would be best if you then used string to create a simple macramé hammock, which can then be hung from a tree. It is a good idea to double up the line and make sure knots are tight, as the bird’s weight (and probably the odd squirrel’s) will be held up by a macramé hammock.
Using water, flour, corn syrup and Gelatine, you can mould birdseed into elaborate shapes. If you use biscuit cutters, you can cram in the birdseed and setting gel mix. Fill the shape to the edges and leave to set. You can then bore a hole into the top of the ornament and thread through some rope or twine.
These DIY birders make the best gifts to friends. Simple, practical and thoughtful to the planet too. If you feel creative, you can freestyle the shape without the mould. Alternatively, you can find yourself a pinecone and mash the birdseed and setting gel mix into the crevices.
This homemade bird feeder may take a little more time to make. You will need to create a frame to which the wine bottle will be attached. You can use a basic bracket to attach the bottle to the frame. It would help if you also had a tray that will fall below the open wine bottle, which you will turn upside down.
Build an L-shape frame out of any leftover wood. Place a tray on the shelf and bracket the wine bottle upside down against the upright. Before upturning the bottle into the bracket, fill it with birdseed. The feeder acts similar to the feeder in a hamster cage. As the birds peck the seeds from the tray, seeds will fall from the bottle replenishing supplies.
You may be aware that lard can be used to create balls of seeds. Suet is another rendered fat that will help the birds survive a long winter. If you take a block of lard some seed, dried fruit and peanuts, mould them together and push these into a mould – it is best to create a doughnut ring shape. When it is packed in – knock the shape out and create a ring of twine through the hole and hang it from a tree.
A fun bird holder can be made with some old cups and saucers that you never use. If you don’t have any, visit your local charity shop or thrift store, and you should be able to find them.
You will need some ceramic glue to attach the upturned cup to the saucer. The upturned cup will allow you to pour in more seed and create another perch for the birds. Then using string or twine, create a simple hammock to hang your new creation from a tree. If you are not sure how to make the simple hammock, you can buy a simple birdfeed hanger from your local garden centre.
If you want to build something that will deter squirrels, then you can easily shape a birdfeeder out of wood, some screws and a bit of string. Don’t worry about it being perfect – rustic makes the birdfeeder look more authentic. Create a box shape and a v-shaped roof – make sure there are some gaps for the birds to get in – perfect. You may want to weatherproof the wood a little too.
This one is a lot easier than it sounds. Upturn an old mason jar, once filled with seeds, over a basic chicken feeder. Then, hang the contraction using a smart rope design to hang it from your tree.
Want even more creative ideas for you home-made bird feeder? Our friends at Day Out With The Kids have 3 more easy bird feeder ideas you can try with your kids.
Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches – a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.