Monday, May 26, 2014

Make a Bird Feeder for Under $2

I have been trying to attract more birds. I built and put up some more birdhouses, added a bird bath, and wanted to add some more feeders. I found this quick and easy plan on Ana White's website.

This plan uses just one 6 foot cedar fence picket and took me less than an hour to build. I bought my picket from Menards when it was on sale for $1.18. That's not a bad price for a bird feeder!

For more details about the plan, please visit Ana White's website, but here are the steps that I took to build mine.

Needed Supplies:
6' cedar picket at 5 1/2" wide. The thickness may vary from board to board. (My plan is based off a 5/8" thickness.)
Saw (I used my miter saw, but any kind of saw that you have will work.)
1 1/4" nails, suitable for exterior use.
Wood glue, suitable for exterior use.
Screw Eye or Post

Step 1: Using a 6' x 5 1/2" cedar picket, cut the following pieces:

1 at 7" (bottom)
2 at 7 3/4" cut one end to a gable point at 45 degrees. (sides)
2 at 10" (roof)

Step 2: Connect the bottom to the sides. I first used wood glue for the initial connection. Then I pre-drilled nail holes and used galvanized 3D 1 1/4" nails that I had left over from another project. If you are going for looks, you may want to use stainless steel finishing nails.

Step 3: Measure the thickness of your board. Cut the thickness of your board off one of the roof board edges. My board was 5/8" thick, so I cut 5/8" off of one board so it measured 10" x 4 7/8".

Step 4: Connect the shorter roof to the sides. Again, I used wood glue and the 1 1/4" nails.

Step 5: Connect the longer roof to the sides and the top of the other roof.

Step 6: Measure the length from the outer edge of the side to the outer edge of the other side. This should be the length of the bottom plus the width of the two boards. In my case, it was 7" + 5/8" + 5/8" = 8 1/4".

Step 7: Cut the cedar picket at the length that you just measured. Then cut two 1 1/2" widths out of this board. You will have 2 pieces at 8 1/4" x 1 1/2" (side rails). You can discard the leftover piece.

Step 8: Connect the side rails to the bottom and the sides.

Step 9: Attach a screw eye if you want to hang it. If you prefer, you could attach it to the top of a post.

Step 10: Add bird food and wait for the birds to come.

This plan does not use the entire 6 foot picket. I had about 20" left. If you wanted to, you could make the feeder larger by extending the length and/or increasing the height. I would not make it much higher, as this feeder is open on the sides and the shorter height prevents too much precipitation from getting into the feeder.

This fast and easy plan would be a great project for kids to do and it is just in time for Father's Day!

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