DIY Network

Swingin' Bird Feeder

Learn how to build your own bird buffet and attract wild birds all year long.

More in Decorating

Materials and Tools:

board or other piece of wood, about 6" wide
3 small, stainless steel bowls (such as pet food bowls)
power drill with wood bit
large hole saw bit
large artificial leaves
contact cement
4 eye bolts with nuts
4 large chain dog collars or other outdoor-grade chain
hog ring stapler and rings

When choosing wood for the bird buffet, any wide, flat piece of wood will do. If using new lumber, make sure it's suitable for outdoor use (either sealed or pressure-treated.

Steps:

  1. Position the bowls on the wood as desired and decide whether to attach the bowls to the top of the board or mount them flush with the top of the wood.

  2. To attach the bowls to the top of the board, position the bowls, turn the board and bowls upside down, and drive a screw through the board and the bottom of each bowl.

  3. To recess the bowls in the base, position the bowls on the board and trace around them with a marker. Remove the bowls and use the appropriate size hole saw bit to drill the holes through the wood.

  4. To dress up the birds' snack bar further, use contact adhesive to attach some large artificial leaves. Trace and cut holes in the leaves to match those in the wood.

  5. Fit the bowls into the holes and hang the feeder from a tree using eye bolts and chain-type dog collars or other chains. Michele Beschen used one eye bolt at each end of the board; using four eye bolts, one at each corner of the board, will make the feeder more stable.

  6. For each eye bolt, drill a hole through the board the same diameter as the bolt. Screw the eye bolt through the hole from the top of the board and secure with a nut on the underside of the board.

  7. Use hog rings and hog ring pliers to attach the dog collars or other chains to the eye bolts. Fill and hang the feeder, and enjoy wild birds in your yard all year long.

Note: It is possible to make this project using only two eye bolts and two dog collars or chains. However, the feeder won't be as stable.

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