DIY Bird Feeder: Muffin Tin
Take a break from baking, and feed your feathered friends instead.
Before you buy a new birdhouse or feeder, consider making your own with a little creative upcycling. I’ve been doing it for years. Teakettles, license plates, coffeepots, pans, old utensils and knobs are just a few of the items I use in my designs.
My latest project is this muffin tin bird feeder, which lets you offer an array of different foods in one handy holder. You probably have most of the supplies already or can get them for practically nothing. (I spent less than $20 on all my materials.) Here are some simple steps
so you can make your own.
-Pan, lid or board for roof
-Metal hole punch or drill
-8 key rings
-Drawer handle or other hanger (optional)
-Metal screws (optional)
-Brass bell or other
STEP 1. Mark the places where you want to drill the holes for the corners of the muffin tin and of the pan, lid or board that will be your roof.
STEP 2. Use either a metal hole punch or a drill bit to make holes in the tin and the roof big enough for the key rings.
STEP 3. Mark spots for small holes at the bottom of each cup of the muffin tin for drainage. Then punch or drill the holes, making sure they’re not so big that birdseed will fall through.
STEP 4. Run the key rings through the holes at the corners of the muffin tin and the roof.
STEP 5. If your roof doesn’t already have a handle for hanging, decide how you want to hang the feeder. I like using found items such as drawer or luggage handles, but even a simple eyebolt will work. Making sure the handle is centered, screw it to the roof.
STEP 6. Attach four lengths of chain to hold everything together. You’ll probably find it best to use 8-in.lengths or shorter between the muffin tin and the roof. You can use even shorter chains if you plan to feed only small songbirds.
STEP 7. You’ll probably want to hang a counterweight from the bottom to offset the weight of larger birds, which will reduce the tossing of birdseed when the big guys come in for a landing. You can use anything from a large garden faucet handle to a big handbell or even an old doorknob. Test a few things out until you find one that works for you. Drill a hole in the center of the muffin tin. Then, using an eyebolt or a plumbing pipe hanger and another length of chain, attach the counterweight. Note: If you intend for only small birds to use your feeder, you probably won’t need a counterweight.
STEP 8. Have some fun by decorating your piece. For an even funkier look, try hanging small objects from the chains or the corners; I’ve used vintage skeleton keys. What a good excuse to go rummaging at a garage sale this weekend!