Crafty & Clever Bird Feeder Ideas

Here’s an assortment of recipes and projects to treat our feathered friends, don’t miss the teacup and pine cone tutorials at the bottom of the page.

Wreaths: Nice craft for our feathered friends, complete with homemade bird seed treats.

Cakes: Made with gelatine, birdseed, boiling water, molds, and hang by yarn or string.

Vintage Glassware Project: An orphaned coffee or tea cup, saucer, glass vase and wooden dowels are assembled together to make this nifty feeder.

Shabby Chic: This one stacks assorted vases, saucers and cups together (held together with glue).

Flowering Feeders: Woodworking project that hangs by chains, a ground cover such as moss, ivy, thyme, etc., is planted on the roof.

Plastic Bottle Dispenser: Wooden spoons are inserted into a clean 1-liter soda bottle, filled with seed then hung by a length of twine.

Hanging Mesh Bag: Assorted ingredients are mixed then packed into paper cups (for molds), once firm the homemade mixture is packed in mesh bags and hung from a tree.

Stonegable Suet Balls: Beef fat is ground then mixed together with seed and formed into a ball. Set out in a terracotta saucer or a mesh bag.

Speedy Bird Cake: Ingredients are mixed together then packed into empty yogurt containers to set. Once firm, hang cups upside down with a bit of twine or string.

Pumpkin Feeder: A pumpkin is cut in half, cleaned out and filled with seeds. Neat idea!

Toilet Paper Rolls: Empty tubes are covered with peanut butter then rolled in birdseed, these slip right over branches for easy hanging.

Popsicle Sticks: Remember this camp-craft from back in the day? Kid-friendly project using wooden popsicle sticks, glue and hemp cord.

Bird Seed Wreath: Bird seed is mixed with a few ingredients then pressed into a bundt cake pan (as a mold), hung from a strip of ribbon once it’s firm.

Flowerpot Project: Made with a clay flowerpot, a plastic water bottle, lightweight wire, a small branch and other assorted household items.

For The Window: Frame and tray are made with scrap wood, suction cups are attached on the back to hang on window.

Filled Spiral: 12 or 10 gauge wire (aluminum, copper or nickel) is wrapped around a rolling pin or can, fill with fruit, nesting materials or seed covered pinecones.

Dinnerware: Supplies needed are a colorful bowl and plate, a carriage bolt, washers, nuts, glue and nylon cord.

Easy Rounds: The bottoms are cut from empty plastic bottles then packed with a mixture of seeds and melted lard.

Teacup Project

*First published July 13, 2009 and moved here for better organization

This project will not only add a touch of charm to your garden, it’s a great way to use those pretty china teacups and saucers you picked up at thrift markets and garage sales. I love how the teacup holds the birdseed while the saucer makes a convenient perch for the birds (and catches stray seeds). Here’s the easiest way I’ve found to make these…

Materials Needed:

Teacup Feeder With Sprouting Seeds

Teacup Feeder With Sprouting Seeds

  • Teacup & Saucer
  • 1/2″ Copper Tubing (Length will be the height you want the bird feeder to be plus a few inches)
  • Copper Tubing End Cap (to fit the tubing)
  • Epoxy Glue (clear)
  • Copper Cutters
  • Bird Seed


  • Turn the teacup upside down and glue the saucer to the bottom of the teacup.
  • Glue the end cap to the bottom of the saucer.
  • Allow to dry for 24 hours.
  • Stick the copper tubing a few inches into the ground where you want the bird feeder placed, fit the teacup endcap onto the tubing. Make sure the copper tubing is in the ground deep enough that the feeder will stand securely.
  • Fill the teacup with birdseed.


  • Position the feeder high enough to be out of reach for cats and other predators yet not too high that it will be awkward for you to re-fill with birdseed.
  • To hide the copper tubing, plant the feeder in a flowerbed where it can be covered by tall flowers and plants.
  • Instead of copper tubing you can try a wooden dowel or post instead, for extra sturdiness affix a little wooden perch on top to hold the teacup and saucer (glued in place). Paint the wood or treat it to help it last longer in the elements.
  • If you’d like to make a hanging teacup bird feeder, use a ceramic drill bit to drill a hole in the center of the cup and saucer (or in three places around the inside edge of the saucer), attach chain(s) and hang from a tree branch.
  • Teacups not your thing? Consider using pretty china bowls instead!

Pine Cones

*First published September 7, 2007 (moved to this page for better organization)

Picture of Pinecone - Tipnut.comA little early for these yet since they should be set out when the weather is chilly enough for the peanut butter not to go rancid, but it’s nice to be reminded this time of year to snatch up all the pine cones you can–while you can get them free :).

Pine Cones

6 large pine cones
6 strands of heavy duty string
1 1/2 cups bird seed
1 1/4 cups chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup vegetable shortening


  • Securely tie a strand of string onto each pine cone.
  • Melt the peanut butter and vegetable shortening over medium heat in a saucepan. Mix in cornmeal, heat for 3 – 5 minutes (stirring often).
  • Pour mixture on a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Roll pine cones in the mix and use a spoon or spatula to fill between the cracks.
  • Dip the covered pine cones in bird seed.
  • Chill or freeze the pine cones until ready to use.
  • Hang from tree branches in cold weather (fall and winter).

If you’re concerned about: Is peanut butter safe for birds? Or – Isn’t vegetable shortening a laxative for birds? Or – Peanut butter chokes birds! Please read:

“The Great Crisco Debate” – The Suet vs. Lard vs. Shortening question
Mother Earth News

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What Readers Are Saying: 2 Comments
  1. Jenny James says:

    Love your bird feeders. Will definitely try some for little birds. Am a little concerned about our cockatoos here in Aus some of our birds rip bird nets apart on our fruit trees. Does anyone have ideas about attracting our smaller native birds but keeper the bigger distructive birds away? Especially those that eat the smaller birds.
    Keep up the good work
    Goulburn. Australia.

  2. Sharon Martin says:

    Jenny, criss cross your bird feeding area with thin wire or cord. The big birds can’t fly thru it, and it won’t bother the little birds. We also have chicken wire on our big covered bird feeder, the little birds go thru it easily. Big birds soon lose interest. Our fruit growers use “cannons” in the fields to keep birds away. Try fake owls with big eyes! and a stuffed ‘cat” in the tree-bears with big eyes help, also.

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