Project of the Day: Easy DIY Birdfeeders

I’ve been meaning to try this since I ran across the idea on Pinterest. It’s simple, so it’s a great project to do with kids, and, aside from the birdseed, you probably have all the supplies on hand already. It takes about five minutes of work and then you can have fun watching the birds (and probably squirrels) flock around it!


  • Empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls
  • Peanut butter
  • Birdseed
  • String, yarn, or twine (optional)


Spread peanut butter on the cardboard. Tiny people may need a bit of help with this, though they will probably yell at you that they can do it themselves. Don’t worry, it can be a bit lumpy; you just want to cover as much surface area as possible.

Little girl spreading peanut butter onto a toilet paper roll.

Pour some birdseed onto a plate, then roll the tube in the seed to cover all sides.

Little girl carefully rolling the peanut butter-covered roll in a plate of birdseed.

You can slide the tube directly onto a branch, or cut a length of twine, feed it through the tube, and knot the ends together so you can hang it over a branch.

Little girl reaching up to hang the finished bird feeder over a branch.

Lexie put it on the lowest branch since that’s all she could reach, but you should hang it higher up so that the birds can perch on a lower branch to eat. And remember to put it nearĀ a window so you can watch them!

If you’re up for trying something fancier, don’t worry! There are a ton of other tutorials out there (though the ones that use gelatin to make bird seed “ornaments” are probably not the healthiest thing for birds, so I’d maybe skip those). I happened to have an empty cupcake tray in my recycling, so I poked holes for a string and filled the cups with seed. Unfortunately, it was really windy and eventually all the seed got dumped when the tray flipped over. But hey, I’m still getting to watch the birds and squirrels have a little feast underneath it!

Bird feeder made from a cupcake tray hanging from a tree branch.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

By [E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

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