Skip to content
bird feeder ideas

10 Great DIY Bird Feeder Ideas for Kids

It's no secret that we’re suckers for unique and fun bird feeders here at Happy Gardens. While we are incredibly proud of the artistic, handcrafted collection of bird feeders featured on our website, we understand that sometimes the crafty mood kicks in, and it's nice to have options.

Since we pride ourselves in offering something for every type of garden lover, we want to provide you with a handful of fun and exciting DIY bird feeders that make for great craft days with the kids.

So, without further ado, here are some of our favorite DIY bird feeder ideas for kids. Some are more challenging than others, and some require more materials than others. The point is, we want to make sure we've got something for everyone. No matter what type of DIY you’re looking to get into, we’ve got you covered with...

  1. Wreath Feeder
  2. Muffin Feeder
  3. Orange Half Feeder
  4. Cereal Feeder
  5. Bagel Feeder
  6. Milk Carton Feeder
  7. Toilet Paper Roll Feeder
  8. Plastic Water Bottle Feeder
  9. Log Suet Feeder
  10. Pine Cone Feeder

RELATED: How To Squirrel Proof A Bird Feeder

Make Your Own Homemade Bird Feeders

DIY Bird Feeder Setup

The average bird can eat somewhere between one-quarter to one-half of its body weight daily. That's a lot of food! It's no wonder that bird feeders have become such a popular garden piece.

Especially in the colder winter months, it can be challenging for birds to find enough food, which is why helping them out with bird feeders throughout our garden space can become a crucial tool to their survival. Even better, having bird feeders at home can help to get the whole family involved. But how do you know what type of bird feeders to place in your garden? It's simple.

Some of the best bird feeders out there are homemade bird feeders. For the most part, they are quick and easy to make and a fun project to get the whole family involved in. There are countless easy bird feeders for kids of all ages, but a few of our favorites are here.

1. Wreath Bird Feeder

Wreath bird feeders are a fun and easy place to start. Children can handle this project on their own or with minimal adult supervision, which makes it even more exciting. The hardest part of making wreath bird feeders is waiting a day or two for them to dry and enjoy fully.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 c hot water
  • 1 T unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 3 T corn syrup
  • 4 c bird seed


  1. Stir your hot water and gelatin together until completely dissolved.
  2. Slowly add in your corn syrup and flour until you are left with a sticky paste.
  3. Next, add in your birdseed.
  4. Grease a bundt or tube pan, and using your hands, press your mixture in tightly.
  5. After 24 hours of resting to dry, flip your feeder out of the pan onto a drying rack and wait another 24 hours to harden fully.
  6. Using string or any other scrap material, hang your new wreath bird feeder outside.

Keep in mind that while this bird feeder is charming, it will not hold well during rain. It's great for less wet months of the year, or if you're able, try to keep it under an awning or where it can be protected.

If you love the look of a good, festive wreath, check out this non-DIY alternative at Happy Gardens, the White Christmas Cottage Bird Feeder.

2. Muffin Bird Feeder

If you're looking for an eco-friendly alternative to bird feeders, the muffin bird feeder is going to be your best bet. These homemade bird feeders are convenient for those with limited options for hanging more traditional feeders in their yard. Essentially, you'll be baking mini muffins for your feathered friends and sticking them anywhere that's convenient throughout your yard. Some great places for muffin bird feeders might be porch railings, crooks of trees, benches, or window ledges.

What You'll Need

  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c peanuts
  • 1/4 c chopped bacon
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T honey or maple syrup
  • 3 T melted butter
  • 1 c milk


  1. Chop your fruit, nuts, seeds, and bacon finely, or place them into a food processor.
  2. Mix the mixture with your flours, then slowly add in your wet ingredients.
  3. Grease a mini muffin tin and pour the mixture in.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  5. Any unused muffins can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.

A fun aspect of muffin bird feeders is that it is easy to place them throughout your garden. You can make it a type of game with your kids to notice which areas become the most popular station for feeding wild birds.

If you're looking for a non-DIY alternative, check out the Happy Gardens Open Gazebo Bird Feeder.

3. Orange Half Bird Feeder

One of the most simple homemade bird feeders is the orange half bird feeder. Using three household items, you can quickly place these easy bird feeders throughout your garden, transforming your space into a sanctuary for your feathered friends.

What You'll Need

  • 1 half of an orange
  • Birdseed
  • Macrame


  1. Using macrame, create a small net to hold your orange half.
  2. Place bird seed on top of the orange half.
  3. Hang your new orange half homemade bird feeder outside.

If you want to simplify this feeder, even more, you can eliminate the macrame and place orange halves throughout your garden. As the birds eat the seed and the fruit, the shell of the orange will become more hollow, allowing easy refills of more birdseed. You can also use peanut butter or lard to help the seeds stick better if you prefer.

For a fun, non-DIY alternative to the orange half feeder, check out the Happy Gardens Seed Saver Domed Bird Feeder,

4. Cereal Bird Feeder

Cereal bird feeders are super simple and cute DIY bird feeders that are a great project for kids of all ages. These feeders require minimal materials and can be made with all different designs in mind, allowing your little ones creative freedom.

What You'll Need

  • Craft wire
  • Cheerios
  • Grapes


  1. String cheerios and grapes through the crafting wire until you've made a complete loop.
  2. Once completed, take the feeder outside and hang up wherever you see fit.

It's that simple! You can change up some of the ingredients on the feeder as you see fit and have your little one track which ingredients are the most popular with the birds in your area.

For a non-DIY alternative, check out the Happy Gardens Madison Bird Feeder, one of our favorites.

5. Bagel Bird Feeder

Bagel bird feeders are a simpler take on the wreath bird feeders previously mentioned. Instead of using a pan, you can get the classic wreath shape using an old bagel.

What You'll Need

  • 1 bagel
  • Peanut butter
  • Birdseed
  • Yarn


  1. Place a thick layer of peanut butter all around your bagel until it is covered.
  2. Roll your bagel around in birdseed until there are no more open spaces.
  3. Using the yarn, string it through the hole of your bagel and hang it from a tree outside.

This project is great if you've got some old bagels that are about to go bad or have recently gone bad. Rather than wasting the product, you can repurpose it into a feeder for your feathered friends outside!

Check out this non-DIY alternative from Happy Gardens, the Rustica Italia Gazebo Bird Feeder. This open feeding concept is another great way to observe the local wild birds from your yard.

6. Milk Carton Bird Feeder

DIY projects are the most fun when you can let your kids' creativity take charge. That's why the milk carton homemade bird feeder is one of our favorite easy homemade bird feeders for kids.

What You'll Need

  • Paint or markers
  • Empty milk carton
  • Hole punch
  • Birdseed
  • Scissors
  • Twine


  1. Draw a design on your milk carton for an opening cut out with scissors a couple of inches from the bottom.
  2. Once an adult has cut out the opening, use the paint or markers to decorate the outside of the milk carton.
  3. Punch a hole through the top of the carton and string the twine through.
  4. Pour birdseed into the opening and hang your feeder outside.

Another simple yet crafty idea helps you to upcycle some household waste into your yard.

If you enjoy the shape of this design, check out the non-DIY alternative from Happy Gardens that is similar. The Telephone Booth Bird Feeder is a fun take on a traditional shape.

7. Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeder

The toilet paper roll feeder is another excellent option that is quick and easy. Best of all, it's more than likely you've got the three necessary items around the home to make this type of feeder with your kids on a rainy day.

What You'll Need

  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • Peanut butter
  • Birdseed
  • Foil pan
  • String
  • Stick for hanging (optional)


  1. Pour your birdseed into your foil pan to use as your work surface.
  2. Put a thick coating of peanut butter around the surface of your empty toilet paper roll.
  3. Once completely covered, roll your toilet paper roll around in the birdseed until it is fully coated.
  4. Using string, or a stick with string, hang your new feeder outside.

You can create a few fun variations in this feeder, depending on what type of materials you have available. You can use string or opt to find a stick. The stick is a nice added feature because it provides a perching place while the birds eat. You can also try a paper towel roll with some popsicle sticks placed through it for perches. Butter also works as an alternative to peanut butter.

For a non-DIY alternative to the toilet paper roll feeder, look to the Happy Gardens Classic Gazebo Bird Feeder.

8. Plastic Water Bottle Bird Feeder

Kids DIY Bird Feeder

Another fun way to reuse some household items is by making homemade bird feeders out of old plastic water bottles. While this feeder will require a sharp object, adult supervision or assistance with this one part is easy enough.

What You'll Need

  • Empty plastic bottle
  • 6" wooden dowel
  • Funnel
  • Paper towel
  • Sharp object to cut holes
  • Birdseed
  • Eye hook
  • String


  1. Make a hole near the bottom of the water bottle on both sides, then place the dowel through the two holes.
  2. Make another small hole just above the dowel big enough for birds to grab a seed from.
  3. Using a funnel, fill your water bottle to the top with birdseed.
  4. Screw an eye hook into the lid.
  5. Loop string through the eye hook and hang outdoors.

If you're worried about your little ones making the holes in the bottle, you can give them the bottle all ready to go beforehand. Then, watch them as they put it all together and fill it with seed and pick the perfect placement outside.

A couple of non-DIY alternatives to the water bottle feeder can be found at Happy Gardens. Our favorites with a similar design include the Big Tube Wild Bird Feeder or a dish option with the Dorothy's Cardinal Bird Feeder.

9. Log Suet Bird Feeder

The log suet bird feeder is another kid-friendly option for homemade bird feeders but will require an adult to handle a power drill for the holes. If you have older teenagers, it might be an opportunity to closely watch them and let them take charge of the craft independently.

What You'll Need

  • 1 log (4" in diameter x 12" long)
  • Drill with 1.5" drill bit
  • 1-2 nails
  • Hammer
  • Chain for hanging
  • Suet


  1. Talk a walk outside and find the perfect log.
  2. With your drill bit, drill holes (as many as you like or will fit) into your log until you are around 1.5" deep.
  3. With a hammer, nail the chain into the log so it can be used for hanging.
  4. Fill drill holes with suet.
  5. Hang your new log suet bird feeder from a nearby tree.

The log suet simple homemade bird feeder is an excellent option that is easy to refill throughout the year. As an easy enough craft with a truly natural look, it's the perfect addition to any garden decor.

For a suet bird feeder non-DIY alternative, check out the Happy Gardens Christmas Cottage Suet Feeder.

10. Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Last but not least is the pine cone bird feeder, a traditional take on homemade bird feeders that everyone should try at least once with their little ones.

What You'll Need

  • 1 c peanut butter
  • 2 T butter or shortening
  • 2-3 c birdseed
  • Pinecones
  • String


  1. Talk a walk outside and collect pine cones of all different shapes and sizes.
  2. Tie eight inches of string around the tip of the pinecones.
  3. Melt your peanut butter and butter (or shortening) together until you have a runny mixture.
  4. Once cool enough to touch, fully dip your pinecones into the runny mixture.
  5. Once coated, roll your pinecones through your birdseed.
  6. Hang your new pinecone bird feeders around your garden.

In case all of your pinecones are tight, don't panic. You can toss your pinecones in the microwave for 30 seconds to help them open up to make for better bird feeders.

A fun, modern take on this traditional classic as a non-DIY alternative is the Happy Gardens Pineapple Bird Feeder.

Finding Non-DIY Bird Feeders

We don't all have the DIY crafting capabilities, and that's okay. Sometimes, it's nice to be able and shop for the perfect new addition to your outdoor space. Unfortunately, searching for the perfect bird feeder is not always the simplest task since they come in different shapes and sizes. Here are a few ideas to help get you started if you're looking for some non-DIY bird feeder alternatives.

Local Second-Hand Shops

Second-hand shops are a great place to check for reasonably priced bird feeders. Best of all, many of the treasures found in these types of stores are usually pretty unique. The one thing you'll need to be careful about is checking the quality and making sure the feeding functionalities have not been compromised at all.

Facebook Marketplace

Another great option doesn't even require you to leave the comfort of your own home. You can peruse the Internet in search of your ideal bird feeder. Facebook Marketplace and other online marketplaces, like OfferUp, are great ways to find great products at great prices. Much like with second-hand shops, though, you'll want to do your best to research the overall quality before purchasing. Don't forget to checkout our birdhouse collection and popular bird bath page.

Happy Gardens Store

But, for those who are interested in finding an art piece without having to compromise on functionality or quality, the Happy Gardens Store is an excellent resource. Here you can sift through all sorts of different aesthetics when it comes to bird feeders alone. If you find yourself lost in the options, don't be afraid to reach out for help. At Happy Gardens, we're here to help guide you to the garden of your dreams.

About Happy Gardens

If you've been on the hunt for thoughtfully designed garden decor and merchandise for your outdoor spaces, a great place to check out is the Happy Gardens online collection. Whether you've been endlessly searching for ornate bird feeders, beautifully crafted wall art, or charming rain chain, you'll find exactly what you're looking for and then some at Happy Gardens. One of the best features of our online collection is that each product has been individually handcrafted and chosen with love for your happiness.

The Happy Gardens stores offers an expansive assortment of special collections, all of which are beloved and top-rated garden products. Choose from some of our favorite pieces, like unique spinners, eye-catching garden statues and ornaments, or artistic rain gauges to decorate your outdoor areas. While perusing our site, you can also check out our brand new line of merchandise, with exciting gifts available all year round. If you require a gift for the fellow garden enthusiast in your life, check out our collection of tote bags, coffee mugs, and wine glasses, perfect for any occasion.

Stay up to date on our latest collections at Happy Gardens and join our mailing list by simply entering your name and email address. You can immediately look forward to adding some excitement, and countless garden tips and tricks, to your newsfeed. Looking for even more garden inspiration? Give us a follow on Instagram and Facebook.

If you're feeling overwhelmed with options when it comes time to pick out your ideal bird feeder, feel free to reach out to our garden specialists via chat. Remember, here at Happy Gardens, we're happy to help!

Previous article 9 Ways How to Keep Squirrels Out of a Garden
Next article The Best Fairy Garden Ideas For Your Backyard

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields