12 DIY Bird Feeders

I love watching the birds at my feeders. However, doing so comes with a price tag. Aside from the cost of suet and seed, the feeders themselves are expensive! But there are ways to cut costs when it comes to bird feeding, and you can have some fun with it as well by making your own bird feeders, often from recycled materials.

Something as simple as a plastic water  bottle can be made into a bird feeder, and a coffee cup hung from a tree branch is all that you need to serve up some suet.  Making your own feeder is also a  fun family activity.

If you have any of the following around, you can make a bird feeder out of it:

  • Plastic Bottles
  • Milk Cartons
  • Coffee Cans
  • Wine Bottles
  • Mesh Produce Bags
  • Coconut husks
  • Gourds

Items such as coat hangers or knotted strings can be used to form hangers. Dowels, pencils, or even chopsticks can be used as perches.

The following slideshow has examples of feeders made from the above materials. Take a look, get inspired, and plan your own DIY bird feeder project!

  • DIY Bird Feeders 1 of 13

    These bird feeders can all be made from everyday items. 


    Photo Credits: Tony Alter and Shutterstock

  • Starbucks Bird Feeder 2 of 13

    I love the look of this feeder made from recycled materials. The feeder uses a wire coat hanger, fence plank, Starbucks Frappuccino bottle, and a tuna can. The bottle cap adds extra decoration. Simply hang the bottle so that there is enough space at the bottom for the bird seed to spill out and fill the can.   


    Photo Credit: Marco Becerra

  • Recycled Coffee Can Bird Feeder 3 of 13

    A recycled plastic coffee can is perfect for a feeder. It holds a lot of seed and is generally watertight. To make this feeder, cut or punch four holes in the side of the can at varying heights and insert two wooden dowels through the base. Use a bent coat hanger or wire inserted through the upper portion of the can as a hanger.   


    Photo Credit: Tony Alter

  • DIY Mesh Produce Bag Bird Feeders 4 of 13

    Nuthatches and woodpeckers love peanuts. One great way to serve them up is to fill plastic mesh produce bags with nuts or suet, tie off at the top, and hang them from branches.  The bags provide both a perch and a container for the food. 


    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

  • Water Bottle Bird Feeder 5 of 13

    A plastic bottle is perfect as a smaller feeder. Here, a few holes are cut in the bottle and pencils are inserted to act as perches. Wire, twine, or a coat hanger can be interested near the top for easy hanging.  


    Photo Credit: Tony Alter

  • Milk Carton Bird Feeders 6 of 13

    Painted milk carton feeders can be a fun family craft activity. Paint cartons in fun colors, cut out holes, insert string at the top, and you have fun DIY tray feeders. 


    Photo Credit: Desert Rivers Audubon 

  • Soda Bottle Feeder Adapter 7 of 13

    This feeder uses the Chanel Craft Soda Bottle Bird Feeder to easily convert a bottle into a hanging  feeder. The kit includes the bottom feeder piece and the wire for hanging. 


    Photo Credit: Donald Lee Pardue

  • Coconut Suet Feeders 8 of 13

    To make these suet feeders, punch a hole in cut coconut shells and thread them with leather or string to form hangers. Fill the shells with homemade suet, or melt down commercial suet and fortify it with extra seed. Press the contents with a spoon and place in the refrigerator to set.    


    Photo Credit: Doustpauline of > whatwhenwhere/ <all behind.

  • Recycled Canister Feeder 9 of 13

    This feeder uses a larger recycled plastic food container with a chopstick acting as the perch. Punch a hole in the lid and insert a hook or knotted string to hang it.  Like the coffee can version, this one will old a good amount of seed.


    Photo Credit: Tony Alter

  • DIY Gourd Feeders 10 of 13

    Gourds can make attractive try feeders when cut in half and tacked or tied to a tree.


    Photo Credit: The Fixer

  • Feeder Made From Basket and Wood Scraps 11 of 13

    This feeder is made by nailing together wood scraps to act as a container and shelter. The basket acts as a tray and rope strung though it hangs it evenly. You can also hang a basket without the shelter in the same manner to create a simple tray feeder.


    Photo Credit: Per-Olof Forsberg

  • Coffee Cup Suet Feeder 12 of 13

    This is one of the simplest ways to serve up suet, and it works especially well if you make your own or if you like to melt down commercial suet and add additional seed. Simply fill a coffee cup with suet and hang it from a tree branch.


    Photo Credit: Cindy Sue Causey

  • Wine Bottle Feeder 13 of 13

    This wine bottle bird feeder is a bit more elaborate. If you have woodworking skills, this is an attractive way to feed the birds while still using affordable and recycled materials. 


    Photo Credit: Dwayne Bryce 

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