We’re super fortunate to have a large lush garden that’s pretty self-sustaining, and we have loads of feathered friends who visit on a regular basis. From teeny tiny Cape White-eyes, paradise flycatchers, and the shaft tailed whydah to an amazing eagle owl. They all seem to love popping around. Their favorite spot is probably the water feature. It gets a constant stream of visitors throughout the day. I swear there’s a sign up somewhere advertising daily specials and cold brew on tap 😀 Anyhows, with Autumn fast approaching, I thought we’d make our feathered friends this rustic two-tier bird feeder. You know, just in case they need a nibble while they’re enjoying their cold brew 😉
The scrap wood we used had been lying in our stash for a while, so they got a good scrub with soap, water, and bleach first. We left the wood to dry for a few days in the sun before making the bird feeder. I would have loved to used real pallets, but I’m not sure what our pallets were treated with. So to be safe, I used a stencil to fake it 😉
A few more stencils adorn the sides to give it that rustic look that we love. Okay, before we get to the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need to make the bird feeder
- Untreated wood. Avoid green-tinted, pressure-treated wood, or pallets from unknown origins
- Jigsaw, sander, and drill
- Wood screws and glue
- Half ring eye hook screws
- Raw linseed oil to seal and protect
- Suitable seed bowl. We used an empty coconut husk.
Optional extras include a stencil, paintbrush, and paint. I used some gorgeous stencils from Funky Junk to dress up our two-tier bird feeder.
How to make a two-tier bird feeder
You can make the bird feeder in any size. For this one, I wanted to repurpose a coconut husk we had leftover from making our wine glass planters. You can use whatever you have on hand as a guide to figure out how wide the tiers needed to be. Just make there is enough space for your feathered friends to perch comfortably while they’re feeding.
The height of the bird feeder will depend on what type of birds you’d like to attract. Doves tend to be a bit of a pest in our garden, so I made the top tier, where the seeds will go, shorter to discourage them from feeding. Cut the wood according to your measurements. Our bird feeder is 13 cm (5 1/8″) wide and 46 cm (18 2/8″) tall. The top tier is 15 cm (6″) high, and the bottom tier is 26 cm (10 2/8″). You’ll need two side pieces and three shorter pieces (top, bottom, and middle) to make a two-tier bird feeder. Save the off-cuts so you can make this gorgeous hinged photo frame for your favorite pics.
To put the bird feeder together I used 2 x 2 to secure the sides and create “supports” for the middle shelf. You’ll need 6 pieces in total.
Giving the bird feeder some character
I stained the 2 x 2’s to match the other bits of scrap wood. It’s best to use a pet-safe water-soluble stain or linseed oil. It’s never a good idea to apply stains or sealers directly to the eating surface of a bird feeder. To give the feeder some character, my “RESORT” and “CABIN” stencils from Funky Junk’s Getaway collection were perfect.
To fake the look of real pallets, I used a few crate stencils 😉
If you want your bird feeder to last a few seasons, seal all the wooden bits with raw linseed oil or flaxseed oil and leave to dry. Just a heads up, raw linseed oil takes about 3 days to dry, but it’s non-toxic and safe to use for your feathered friends. You can also use stand oil (linseed oil boiled at about 300 degrees C), which dries faster.
Putting the bird feeder together
To put the two-tier bird feeder together glue and screw two 2 x 2’s on either end of the bottom and top shelf.
Measure where you’d like to place the panel, or shelf, that will separate the two tiers and glue and screw one 2 x 2 in place on the long sides of the bird feeder.
Attach the sides to the bottom and top shelves.
And then add the shelf that separates the tiers. To hang the coconut husk or bowl, drill three, equally spaced hole in the coconut husk or bowl. Thread some twine through the holes and tie them together.
Insert a half-ring eye hook screw to the inside of the bird feeder and hang the coconut shell.
Hanging the seed bowl makes it easier to clean once a week.
We hung a suet cage in the same way.
To hang our bird feeder we screwed two rusty hinges on either side and attached a chain.
Fill with fresh fruit and other tasty nibbles and wait patiently for you feathered friends to come pay a visit.
Tips on getting your feathered friends to visit their new feeder:
- Place your two-tier bird feeder where you can see it without disturbing your feathered friends when they decide to pop around for some munchies.
- Choose a spot that’s protected from predators. If you hang the feeder, avoid placing it on a branch that cats can use to stalk the birds. And make sure there’s a protected area a short distance away for the birds to escape from flying predators.
- Plant a few “cat unfriendly” plants under or around your bird feeder. Cats shy away from thyme, rosemary, lavender, and lemongrass.
- Birds tend to poop while they’re eating, so the spot you choose needs to be easy enough for you to clean the feeder regularly.
- Keep feeders away from areas where there’s a lot of noise. Placing the bird feeder near the kid’s playground is probably not a good idea 😉
- Position the feeder away from windows. Not only do windows cause millions of bird deaths each year, but male birds think their reflection is a rival and will attack the window.
- To encourage your feathered friend to visit the bird feeder scatter some seeds on the ground beneath the feeder.
- Be patient. Some of our bird feeders have been an instant hit, while others took a few days before they got their first tentative visitor.
- No self-respecting bird is going to eat dry, stale food, and they will tell their buddies not to waste their time either 😉 So, don’t skimp on the quality of food you serve.
If you like the idea of making a two-tier bird feeder don’t forget to pin it for later.
Sharing is caring 😉
And if you don’t have scrap wood to play with, we’ve also used enamel plates and a biscuit tin to make bird feeders. Both are easy to make from recycled bits and pieces and your feathered friends will be ever so grateful, especially during the cold winter months.
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉
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And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.