Whether you're washing dishes at the sink or sitting at the desk in your home office, it's pleasant to look out the window and see birds atwitter in the yard. You can invite feathered friends to your property-and help them survive difficult winters-with a bird feeder of your own devising. With only a modest investment of time and a minimal number of basic tools and materials, you can easily create a DIY bird feeder that will provide an enduring enhancement to your landscape.
1. TWEAK A TEACUP
Here's an offbeat yet undeniably charming DIY bird feeder design: Using strong adhesive and a cut-to-length wooden dowel, you can transform a teacup-and-saucer combination into a pretty pit stop for peckish winged creatures. Include a spoon too-it makes the perfect perch for incoming and departing birds.
2. HANG A CAN
Got any empty paint cans sitting around your basement or garage? Choose a small one, and coat its exterior in a bright color. Next, reach for the hot glue gun, using the tool to affix a 3/16-inch dowel to the lip of the can. Wrap and secure a strand of ribbon around the middle of the can, and use the ends to suspend it from a tree limb.
3. BOTTLE-FEED A HUMMINGBIRD
Almost any bottle can become a DIY bird feeder specially suited for summer hummingbirds. Decorate the bottle in whatever fashion you please, fill it with nectar, and insert a hummingbird feeder tube into the neck of the bottle. Hang the feeder from a tree via chain, wire, or twine so that it points downward.
4. GET IN SHAPE
Your kids would love to join you in the kitchen to help make this waste-free DIY bird feeder. Mix birdseed with plain gelatin and then put the mixture into a series of cookie cutters. Once you've filled the molds halfway, insert a loop of twine before finishing. Let them dry overnight, then place your creations at strategic positions around your backyard.
5. BORROW A BOWL
You must own at least one bowl that you hardly ever use. Why not take it outside and repurpose the dish into a DIY bird feeder? Decorate the bowl-or don't-then drill a small hole in its underside for drainage. Finally, drill holes on three sides of the vessel, outfitting each one with an eye hook to facilitate hanging.