14 Easy DIY Winter Bird Feeders

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024

All it takes to get birds to visit your yard in winter is a reliable source of food. See which of these winter bird feeders you like best and make it this weekend!

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Simple winter bird feeders
Johannes Eder/Shutterstock

Build a Bird Feeder: Suet Bird Feeder

Suet, which can be purchased at most grocery stores, is the hard fat around the kidneys and loins of cows and sheep. Especially In the winter, suet is a source of heat and energy for insect-eating birds. You can make a simple suet bird feeder from a mesh bag that the produce comes in. Just shape the suet into a ball, roll it in birdseed (although this isn’t necessary), put the suet in the mesh bag, and hang it outside for a DIY bird feeder.

Also, check these no-waste DIY chicken feeders are a quick, easy, and affordable way to keep the coop clean, save money, and keep your chickens constantly clucking.

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Simple wood tray bird feeder

Build a Bird Feeder: Simple Tray Bird Feeder

A basic tray winter bird feeder is among the simplest to make. Build or repurpose a wooden tray with sides about an inch high and mount it on a deck railing or other solid foundation, or hang it from a tree at a height that makes the DIY bird feeder easy to refill.

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Tube-style bird feeder
Matt Brown/Shutterstock

Build a Bird Feeder: Tube-Style Bird Feeder

The tube style winter bird feeder can either be purchased, or you can use your DIY skills to build your own. These are simple DIY feeders that you can make in just a short time using PVC pipe. Almost any type of seed can be placed in this feeder and they can accommodate multiple birds at once.

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Build a Bird Feeder: Milk Jug Bird Feeder

A water or milk jug winter bird feeder is easy to make and inexpensive. Rinse out the jug, cut open the sides, cut or drill holes for a thin dowel or chopstick perch, add the birdseed and hang it in a tree. You could decorate the plastic jug DIY bird feeder so it doesn’t look like you’ve hung your recycling in your yard.

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Build a Bird Feeder: Wine Bottle Bird Feeder

Any wine bottle can be turned into a DIY bird feeder. Typically set into a wooden frame with a flat bottom, you simply fill the bottle with birdseed, then as the birds eat the seed, gravity will keep the box full. This is a feeder that works well on an open porch or deck.

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lego bird feeder
Courtesy Gary Mueller

Build a Bird Feeder: Lego Bird Feeder

Lego blocks are infinitely versatile so you can build a bird feeder in any shape you choose. Leave the middle of the structure open for the birdseed and include openings with a perch on each side. Put some kids cooped up in the cold to work on one of these or have them each make their own DIY bird feeder and see which one attracts the most birds.

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Build a Bird Feeder: Craft Stick Bird Feeder

A winter bird feeder can be easily made from inexpensive craft sticks. The beauty of crafts sticks is that they’re easy to glue together and can be used to build a bird feeder of any size. You can build openings for access to the seed into your design or you can cut them out when you finish building.

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Build a Bird Feeder: Terra Cotta Bird Feeder

A winter bird feeder that fits exceptionally well in the garden is one made from a terra cotta flower pot. You’ll have to drill some holes in the clay pot and saucer, so here’s a tip: Soak both pieces in water overnight to make drilling easier.

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Build a Bird Feeder: Peanut Butter Jar Bird Feeder

This winter bird feeder starts out as a peanut butter jar. The empty jar plus a plastic plant saucer and some string or twine are all the supplies you need. It’s tough to find glue that will successfully hold the jar and saucer together so go with nuts and bolts.

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Build a Bird Feeder: Soup Ladle Bird Feeder

This unique winter bird feeder is another one that you create using materials you may already have around the house. Attach a soup ladle to a board or other sturdy backing material. Fill the ladle with bird seed and hang the feeder on the side of the house, porch or deck.

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Build a Bird Feeder: Mason Jar Bird Feeder

Mason jars are everywhere! You can build a winter bird feeder using a Mason jar or purchase attachments. These feeders are attractive hanging from trees or plant hooks.

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Build a Bird Feeder: Cake Pan Bird Feeder

Repurpose a Bundt or angel food cake pan as a winter bird feeder. For hanging, wrap twine around a tennis ball or block of wood, place it under the pan and bring the two ends of twine up through the center hole. Then you can fill the pan with birdseed or suet. Simple and inexpensive!

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Build a Bird Feeder: Soda Bottle Bird Feeder

Empty plastic beverage bottles also make good winter bird feeders. All you need is a bottle, string, a screw eye and something for the perches—pencils, thin dowels, chopsticks and wooden spoons work well.