Building a beautiful bird feeder not only welcomes lovely birds to your yard, it provides you with entertainment, as you watch the birds peck away at the feeder you made. Hanging a bird feeder in the yard is a great way to teach your children about birds, as they can learn to identify the birds that come to dine in your yard. Making the feeder is also a great weekend activity for a family to complete.
You'll need to purchase wood that can withstand the weather, such as cedar. Cedar is a beautiful wood to look at, so you won't have to do much to treat it. You'll also need an empty 1-liter soda or water bottle, a quarter inch wide dowel, a grommet, wire, an eye screw and a decorative top of the bird feeder. You can use a deck post cap or cut wood pieces to match the bottom of the bird feeder for the decorative top. You'll need a jigsaw to cut the wood pieces as well as sandpaper to make everything smooth. If you have a sander, that's great, but you don't need one. You'll also need wood glue, a drill and drill bit, a hammer, nails, and a pair of pliers to complete the bird feeder. To protect your eyes and those of anyone working with you, wear safety goggles. If you're working with children, make sure to keep their fingers away from the saw blades.
Cut the cedar or other durable wood into three squares that are 3 1/2 inches in size, one 4 1/2 inch square and two 3 1/4 inch circles. Also cut the dowel into four 4-inch lengths. Sand the wood until smooth. Sanding is a great project for a child. If you aren't using a post cap, cut another 4 1/2 inch wood square.
Apply a layer of glue to one of the 3 1/2 inch squares and put another 3 1/2 inch square on top. Hammer a few nails across the top of one of the squares to really hold them together. Center a wood circle on the top of the pair of squares and glue it to the top of the squares.
Put a layer on the underside of the deck post cap and push the pair of squares onto it. The circle attached to the squares should face down. If you're using another 4 1/2 inch square, coat one side with glue and center the 3 1/2 inch squares on it. Let dry.
Drill a 1/4 inch wide hole in the center of each side edge of the 4 1/2 inch wood square that isn't attached to the 3 1/2 inch squares. Drill the hole about 1/2 inch deep. You should have four holes. Coat one end of each dowel with glue and slide into the holes.
Center the remaining 3 1/4 inch circle on the square with the dowels and glue in place. Let it dry for a half an hour. Drill a 1/4 inch diameter hole through the center of the square and circle pieces. Make sure the hole goes all the way through both pieces.
Cut a length of wire so that it is about 3 feet long. Thread the wire through the square and circle piece. Tie a knot in the the wire large enough to hold in place. You don't want the knot to fit through the 1/4 inch hole. Coat one side of the remaining 3 1/2 inch square with glue and place on the bottom of the 4 1/2 inch square to conceal the wire hole and knot.
Drill a 1/4 inch wide hole through the center of the deck post top and wood piece. You'll be drilling through a very thick piece, so be careful and hold the drill straight. Cut the top and bottom off of the soda bottle so that you're left with a plastic cylinder. Carefully drill four 1/4 inch wide holes about 2 inches from the bottom of the soda cylinder.
Push the cylinder over the circle on the bottom wooden piece. Make sure the wire goes through the cylinder and out the top. The four holes should be above the wood circle on the bottom, so that the birds can access the bird seed.
Fill the cylinder with bird seed, and then push the top piece over the cylinder. Thread the wire through the hole you drilled in the center of the top. Push the grommet into the hole on the top of the feeder to hold it in place. Screw the eye screw into the branch of a tree or a suitable spot on your deck and hang the bird feeder.