Remember how exciting it was as a kid, realizing your ability to create things with your own two hands? Maybe it was a papier mache science fair volcano, or a gingerbread house—no matter the project, there came a realization that these endeavors educated you and helped you gain skills at the same time.
As the weather gets warmer, it’s a great time to focus on outdoor projects that allow you to upcycle old goods, such as a DIY bird feeder made from used materials. Before building the structure, you’ll want to channel your inner architect and consider the different materials available. There’s no limit to how simple or grand your DIY bird feeder can be. Get creative and upcycle your . . .
Cup and Saucer Set
One idea is getting a teacup and saucer, and using epoxy to glue the side of the cup to the saucer so the feed spills onto the plate.
A set with bright colors—like the aqua and lemon hues you can buy the Residential Cup and Saucer by Russel Wright in—tend to attract birds most. Then, you can hang the whole structure from the cup handle.
Alternatively, you can have the feed-filled cup sit upright on the saucer (you’ll still want to glue it down). For this method, you’ll drill small holes in the sides of the plate, looping laces or something like this Hanging Flower Pot Chain through to hang it from a tree. Being resourceful is what creative outdoor projects are all about.
The 5-Piece Mason Jar and Metal Stand Set by August Grove can be hung anywhere to create a whimsical DIY bird feeder complex.
For something simpler, hang a mason jar sideways from a branch and affix a wooden cooking utensil underneath, leaving a section sticking out as a perch. You can also hang the jar upside-down using utility wire, and have the feed spill into this Mason Jar Feeder Base.
From there, black oil sunflower seeds or a suet-and-seed mix will start attracting the birds.
Maybe DIY building isn’t your thing—maybe your pet medium is photography. Maybe you want to entice a certain type of bird for your outdoor projects, like hummingbirds . . . but maybe you don’t feel like D-ing anything Y.
This Pot de Creme Shelter Hummingbird Feeder allows these creatures to dine in style via a blue cupola shelter adorned with red flowers (which are created from recycled glass for an eco edge). Hummingbirds consume nectar or sugar water, and are so gorgeous, you’ll want to capture their graceful-yet-speedy movements (their wings flap about 10 to 15 times per second!). Keep in mind that setting your camera to a fast shutter speed, from 1/2500 to 1/4000, freezes the movement of their wings—while continuous autofocus (AF-C) mode focuses on moving subjects. There are so many wonderful ways to create and be one with nature this summer.