Frugal Family

Make Your Own Bird Feeder

Winter is very much in full swing and the whole country is under a yellow weather warning for snow. This time of year can be hard on British wildlife, as midwinter brings a shortage of natural food and shelter. The winds are sharp and the weather wet and wintery. Just as our bodies need fat, protein and carbohydrates so do bird’s body’s. Birds use these reserves to keep warm during the winter months and if food is short it can lead to death, as their body just doesn’t have the energy to keep warm. The biggest thing we can do over the winter is to help our wildlife find food by placing bird food, scraps and fresh water in our gardens.

Image taken by Keith Newhouse

Some birds love hanging around for their food. Hanging feeders and fat balls attract birds such as tits and finches. Others prefer feeding off of tables and the ground- robins and blackbirds for example. Today I want to show you how to make a really easy bird feeder, made with items that you probably have in your home already. This is a great activity to do with kids and helps to help teach children the importance of looking after our wildlife in winter.

How to make your own bird feeder

To make this super simple bird feeder you will need:

  • Toilet roll or kitchen roll tube
  • Peanut Butter and butter knife
  • Bird seed
  • String

Take your toilet roll tube and carefully punch a hole in the top. I used a pencil for this job, but be careful not to stab your fingers. Thread your string through the hole and make a knot, to create a hanging loop.

Next using a butter knife, spread peanut butter over the outside of the tube. It doesn’t need to be super thick, but a decent layer is needed.

Pour some birdseed into a dish and gently roll the toilet roll tube in the seed to get a good even covering of seed onto the peanut butter.

Thread your string and hang from a tree or somewhere in your garden for the birds to enjoy! While I do love a good DIY project, there are a ton of great ready-made suet bird feeders available here to help ramp up your backyard bird watching.

I decided to thread the string from the top of the tube. You can thread string through the length of the tube, but I found that when birds landed on it, it became a challenge similar to one found on Ninja Warrior UK. Whilst it’s entertaining, it’s not overly fun for the birds 😉

If you would like to find out more about how you can help our British Wildlife or encouraging ore birds into your garden, please visit the Royal Society for the Protection Of Birds website:


Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply