Easy crafts for kids – homemade birdfeeders

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With winter fast approaching here in Cape Town, bird feeders are a good way to help out our feathered friends when food is more scarce. We already have a wooden birdhouse feeder that is a popular eating spot for some of our regular garden visitors, such as the Swee Waxbill, Red-eyed Dove and Forest Canary, but we decided to give these great craft ideas a go. They are both fairly simple to do with basic household items and such fun for kids to help you create.

1. Hanging Birdseed Ornaments

What you will need:

  • Scrap Cardboard Box
  • Colouring Pens/Crayons/Paint/Decorative bits
  • Shape to cut around or cookie cutter
  • Scissors
  • Holepunch
  • String/Ribbon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Knife
  • Flat dish or tin
  • Birdseed

Step 1

Get a shape to cut around, we used a heart-shaped tin and an old CD.

Step 2

Decorate one side with anything you like. We did some colouring and then added some glitter glue and some stickers for extra fun.

Step 3

Punch a hole in the top and thread through a length of string long enough to hang from the branch of a tree or bush. Ours was about 60cm so we had a hanging length of 30cm.

Step 4

Paste a thin layer of peanut butter on the non-decorated side. We used a ‘no salt no sugar’ brand – much better for our feathered friends! Put some birdseed into a flat dish or tin and place the cardboard shape, peanut butter side down to coat in seed. If you don’t have any birdseed you can create your own with any of the following ingredients:

  • Sunflower seeds – the most popular choice for many birds so make sure this is the largest quantity in your mix
  • Unsalted peanuts – crushed up will stick better to the cardboard
  • Cracked corn
  • Dried fruit
  • Uncooked porridge oats

Step 5

Hang your ornament from the branch of a tree and wait for the birds to come!
We have some resident pesky squirrels in our garden that love raiding the bird feeder, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when the first visitor to check them out was none other than said inquisitive squirrel!

2. Tin Can Bird Feeder

What you will need:

  • Tin Cans
  • Paint
  • Glue
  • Wooden dowel or lollipop stick
  • Ribbon
  • Birdseed

Step 1

Clean out your tin can and make sure that the label is removed and that the cut edge is not sharp. Paint the base and outer edges of the can. It will need a couple of coats. If you want the paint to stick better then you could even use a basecoat of oil based primer or undercoat.

Step 2

Add some decoration to your cans, we kept it simple with coloured spots.

Step 3

Use lollipop sticks or some wooden dowel sticks to create a perch for the birds to land on. Glue this to the inside of the can. We used a hot glue gun so make sure an adult does this part!

Step 4

Using a hammer and a nail, punch two holes in the top of the can to tie your string. We tied separate lengths of string so that the feeder can be hung at an angle to ensure that the seed doesn’t fall out.

Step 5

Put some bird seed into the bottom of the can – remember you can make your own if you want to – and then find a good place to hang them. We made an addition to one of our cans to add a plastic lip to stop the seed falling out. We took a plastic yoghurt pot lid and cut a hole in it to fit over the lollipop stick then we cut around the can to create the shape. You could secure it in place with some glue too if you want to make it extra secure.

Not five minutes after we’d hung them and we spotted a cheeky squirrel coming to investigate! Now we need to keep a close eye out for some birds and, of course, chase the squirrels away. 

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