Do-it-yourself projects and plans for anyone who can swing a hammer.
Don’t want to spend $40 for a squirrel-proof bird feeder? This homemade bird feeder will cost you less than $10 and take about an hour to put together.
Before you get started, you’ll need to buy or track down a section of 4-inch-diameter black plastic drain pipe and two end caps, plus enough quarter-inch metal “hardware cloth” to form a tube to line the inside of the pipe.
How to Build a Bird Feeder That’s Inexpensive and Squirrel-Proof
1. Use a hole saw to cut one or more openings near one end of the pipe. This is where the birds will access the food.
2. Insert the tube of hardware cloth to line the inside of the pipe. (The hardware cloth holds sunflower seeds in until birds pull them out.)
3. Drill a drain hole in the center of one of the caps, stuff the cap with a ball of aluminum foil (to fill the space below the hole in the pipe where the birds won’t be able to reach the food).
4. Then attach the cap over the end of the pipe with the feeding holes in it.
5. Drill a couple holes at the top end of the pipe and thread a loop of wire through it. (I like to recycle old wire coat hangers). You’ll use this wire to hang the bird feeder.
6. Fill the feeder with sunflower seeds and place the other end cap on top. Voila!
Note: If you have especially hungry squirrels that start to chew through the hardware cloth in the circle openings, add a second layer of hardware cloth over the outside of the feeding holes and you will have a truly squirrel-proof bird feeder.
Photos by FLICKR/PHEANIX300 and SEAN ROSNER