Making homemade bird feeders for your backyard is a fun way for you and your kids to get to know which birds are native to your area, and a great way to help out your feathered friends when their food sources are scarce in winter-time.
Every winter, here in my daycare, we make homemade bird feeders to scatter among our trees and gardens. We like to keep things on the simple side here, so we always use common household materials to make our feeders.
You may also like 50+ Nature Crafts for Kids.
The hooligans always love the process, and they get so excited when they discover birds and squirrels nibbling away at the feeders they made with their very own hands.
Here are 32 easy and beautiful bird feeder crafts to inspire you and your kids. Some of these bird feeders are our own, and others, I’ve gathered from around the internet.
If you’re looking to make a bird feeder for your backyard, I hope you’ll find an idea or two that you like here!
32 Homemade Bird Feeders To Make For Your Backyard:
Pine cone bird feeders are so easy to make. Bonus: collecting the pinecones is an activity in itself! – Red Ted Art
Look no further than your pantry cupboard to make this edible cone bird feeder. – Dereila Nature Inn
Bread bird feeders are great for using up stale end of a loaf or crusts that no-one eats. – CBC Parents
I love the natural look of these hanging gourd feeders by Kitchen Counter Chronicles.
You can turn a paper plate into a bird feeder in a jiffy! This one is great for fine motor skills, and doesn’t require any special tools to make it!
Tea party for the birds! This thrift shop cup and saucer feeder looks so whimsical on a stake in the garden. – Dear Lizzy
Second-hand bowls and vases work too! A glass bird feeder would look beautiful sparkling in the sun. – Day 2 Day Super Mom
Angle it just right, and you can hang this teacup bird feeder from a branch in your yard. – Budget Savvy Diva
Use mesh produce bags to make simple suet feeders for your neighbourhood birds. – David Suzuki
Our Cheerio bird feeders are so easy to make and help little ones develop their fine-motor skills too. – Happy Hooligans
Bagel bird feeders are simple enough for even the youngest tots to make. – Mama Papa Bubba
Lego-maniacs and bird-lovers unite! Check out this amazing Lego feeder over at Fun Crafts Kids.
When we make fresh-squeezed juice, we use our leftovers to make orange cup bird feeders to stake in the garden.
With a little paint and ribbon, you can transform your recyclables into a colourful set of tin-can bird feeders. – Plum Adorable (website no longer available)
A fruit and grain bird feeder is a great way to use up fruit that’s past its prime. The birds devoured this one quickly! – CBC Parents
These fruit and cheerio bird feeders are a great way to use up stale cereal and fruit that’s past its best. Making these feeders helps little ones strengthen their fine-motor skills and they can practice counting and patterning as well.
For this cardboard bird feeder, you need look no further than your recycle bin. Grab a cardboard box and some paint and this simple colourful feeder with your kids today.
These easy rainbow ice bird feeders are stunning! Check out all the colours that Twig and Toadstool made!
Use up the last of your pantry scraps to make a gorgeous ice wreath bird feeder. – Hands On: As We Grow
The hooligans loved threading these simple cheerio and blueberry feeders!
Put your recyclables to good use! This juice carton “owl” bird feeder is too darn cute! – Red Ted Art
This simple plastic jug bird feeder kept our birds and squirrels happy all through the winter last year.
Make this adorable upcycled bird feeder with a couple of containers and some fabric scraps. – Embracing Life’s Journey (website no longer available)
Here’s another super way to use up your orange rinds! Hang citrus bird feeders around the yard. – Mama Papa Bubba
These little paint tin feeders look so pretty and inviting hanging all together. – Mom Endeavours
Feed a whole flock of birds with this twig and toilet roll bird feeder. It’s like a birdy buffet! – Summer Project Ideas
For the well-travelled bird: these road map bird houses are more for decorative purposes, but they’re so cute, I couldn’t resist sharing. – Crafts by Amanda
We used snow as a base for our corn kernel and chestnut feeder. The blue jays and squirrels LOVED it!
Here’s another simple cardboard roll bird feeder. I love the splash of colour that the ribbon lends to the project. – Momtastic
“Messy Fingers Science” says it took less than two minutes for the cardinals to find her spoons and soda bottle bird feeder!
Cookie cutters!! What a fun way for the family to make a bunch of shaped bird feeders for the yard. – Juggling with Kids
I’m in love with this bundt pan bird seed wreath by Infarrantly Creative. The rustic bow is rustic and classy at the same time.
Make a bird or butterfly feeder out of a glass jar. These would look lovely suspended at different heights around the garden or patio. – Melissa Camera Wilkins
Here’s a simple way to turn an inexpensive grapevine ornament into a bird feeder. Judging by the photos, this suet recipe is a big hit with woodpeckers and other small birds. – The Garden Roof Coop
And last but definitely not least: Get a close-up view of your neighbourhood birds with a simple and inexpensive suction cup bird feeder!
Happy building and happy birding!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
Hi, I think you should remove the “stale bread bird feeder” as birds must never, ever be given bread to eat. They eat it, they feel full, they get no goodness or energy from the bread, they die. 🙁
Bread – any kind – is a big no no for all birds.
Hi Angela, I felt I should respond as I’m not sure your comment is entirely correct. I’m not sure what your background is – if you’re a biologist or an ornithologist, but if you are, please correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve always understood that bread, in moderation, is fine for birds. Birds cannot however, exist solely on bread, as it doesn’t offer enough nutritional value. A little here and there shouldn’t be a problem, which would be the case if you were to make the bread feeder that you see in the post. Before responding, I did a little googling. Here are three links that I found, but again, please correct me and provide sources if you have information that conflicts with these articles. Thank you so much.
http://birding.about.com/od/birdfeeders/a/feedingducksbread.htm, http://thehappyscientist.com/blog/feeding-bread-birds, , http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/feeding_birds.html
I agree… no bread, and absolutely no white bread, or moldy bread products. Using them WILL kill birds. Another no-no is dried rice. It will expand in the birds stomach, and cause death.
Do not use SALTED peanut butter. Birds (with the exception of sea birds) cannot excrete salt from their bodies, and may eventually die of dehydration.
Rice expanding and killing birds is an Urban Legend/Myth. Google is your friend.
I was going to do the bird feeder with the cookie cutters how long before hand can I mix the ingredients together before they seat up
I’m not sure, Amy, but if you click on the link you’re referring to, you’ll be taken to that blog post, Amy, and from there, you could ask that blogger. I haven’t made the cookie cutter ones myself, although they look awesome!
These all look fantastic. My grandparents and parents used to be bird watchers, and passed it along to me. I think I will be making the painted can feeders with my two small children soon! It’s too cold to play outside right now, and I can hang these from the trees and the kids and I can watch the birds eat from the living room windows:) Thanks for all of the great ideas!
Aw, lovely idea, Ashley! My Nan was an avid bird watcher, and my parents are too, so it runs in the genes here as well. 🙂
Awesome ideas and crafts for parents and kids to do together.
fun animal receipes
what great ideas! Thanks
Our local lake has swansand the information blurb about them states that their main diet consists of bread, along with vegetation etc from the lake. So I am sure that other birds will welcome bread as part of their balanced diet.
We have Hovis seedy bread here in England,that is wholemeal with seven or more seeds added to the dough. Not only is it yummy the birds love it too.
Margaret H. Devine
I have thought about doing several of the bird feeders using peanut buter but it disappears too fast at my house for any bird to get any.
A really good one you don’t show is an old nylon panty hose filled with sunflower chips or other small seeds. each leg of the hose will make 3 feeders, the small birds take the deed right through the hose
I was ready to try this one as it sounded good for drainage to avoid moldy seed but then it struck me that the birds might also be getting nylon caught in their beaks.
I am passsing these on to the activities person at my Mom’s nursing home. Many are simple and can be done by those even with arthritic hands.
Linda, I LOVE it when people pass these on to nursing homes, or when I hear from someone saying they do my crafts with their elderly friends and patients. That just warms my heart so much because my Nana was one of the most important people in my life, and I adored the people who crafted with her in the nursing home in her final years. Bless you. Thanks for making my day. xx
I never knew that birdwatching with my curious children would be so much fun. Now my grandchildren enjoy the birds too!
The mesh bags (those little green net bags) should not be used for feeding birds and should be removed from suet food balls if they are bought with these on. Birds can become entangled in them.
Hi happyhooligans, please take notice of Debbie’s point as its not appropriate to recommend the net bags as bird feeders. “Use mesh produce bags to make simple suet feeders for your neighbourhood birds. – David Suzuki”
Please never use ordinary peanut butter, the salt content is too high for birds. There is a salt free peanut butter for birds called Flutter Butter.
Thanks for the tip, Sue!
Love these feeders… must try a few.
However, why in the world would you call your daycare kids Hooligans?
hooliganism − unruly, destructive, aggressive and bullying behaviour.
So funny you should ask that question, Virginia. You might enjoy this post that I wrote, regarding the name of my blog, not long after I started blogging. The outpouring of support that I received in favour of my blog’s name was incredible, and even still, years later, I receive comments (online and in person) almost daily saying what a fun name it is. Here’s the post I wrote way back when… Enjoy. 🙂 https://happyhooligans.ca/should-i-change-our-name/
My son absolutely loves birds so I have been looking for decorative bird feeders for sale that would fit with our backyard decor. He also loves Legos so I know that he would love to build his own for the birds! I will have to keep an eye out for some of the materials to build these. Thank you for sharing them and giving me some awesome ideas!
Thanks for sharing Jackie, awesome ideas! The lego one is very funny 🙂
My daughter and I look through this list and she is now BEGGING me to do most of them. Very neat ideas and thank you for the list. Looks like my weekends in spring are now spoken for!
That’s GREAT to hear, Jim! Have fun with them!
Love all of these ideas and certainly name “Hooligans”! My mom (now passed) called us this with a huge smile and a plate of cookies–so much love. The bread & seed is a great idea, you are correct in links you posted. Thanks for
your blog doing a great job for all of us “hooligans”!
Aw, your message warms my heart, Helen. What a beautiful image it conjurs up. Thanks for stopping by today. x
You’re absolutely right. And birdhouses shouldn’t have perches, as only predators use them to get the chicks. The more open and accessible, the more at risk the babies are.
Try feeding your robins, bluebirds, Brown Thrashers and pretty much all other bird feeder birds, this recipe….. in a mixer – 4 cups cracked sunflower seed, 4 cups yellow corn meal, 1/2 of a 40 oz peanut butter jar or 20 oz. (heated in the microwave makes it easy to pour), heat vegetable shortening and pour in enough to make either one big ball or about 12 baseball size balls to feed bluebirds as well as almost all other birds. Even a couple of robins eat multiple times a day. Because of the peanut butter and vegetable shortening, the ball is somewhat waterproof and lasts about a week. No waste! You might start out by crumbling a little bit and leave the ball. Once they get used to it, they gobble it up. I feed the ball year round. American robins, Bluebirds, catbirds, thrashers, Eastern Towhee’s, yellow-bellied sapsucker, mocking birds, rose-breasted grossbeaks, cardinals, blue jays, titmice, chickadees, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, mourning doves are just some of the many different birds that eat the bird ball on a regular basis.
Wow! Thanks for all the info, Richard!
I have Checked all the 32 Homemade Bird Feeders. But I Liked Only 5 of them and Now i am Going to Make it For my Birds
Hi, These are all great.
Thanks for all the great ideas! Maybe you should remove the last one though, as I have heard from friends that work with birds that there are major issues with birds dying from striking windows – and I’ve seen quite a few birds crash into them. Having a bird feeder right on the window might unfortunately cause some injuries.
Thank you i like all of this so good thanks again
Thanks was so good and lovely
Thanks for all the great ideas
Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. The samples are made with creativity and are something I look forward to creating one day.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful and creative post