Simple Homemade Bird Bath

This homemade bird bath is easy enough for anyone to make, and inexpensive too!

To attract birds this spring, I wanted to add another bird bath to my backyard. But like a lot of things, finding a bird bath that fits the bill and doesn’t break the bank isn’t as easy as it seems. I knew what I wanted: something easy to clean, affordable, distinctive and attractive. What I decided on is a simple and versatile homemade bird bath anyone can make.


  • 3 rods, each about 3 ft. long (either 1-in. doweling, ¾-in. metal electrical conduit or old broomstick handles)
  • Exterior-grade paint
  • Basin (preferably one with sloping sides, maximum depth of 3 in. and a textured surface for good footing)
  • Hammer or mallet
  • Piece of scrap wood

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Step 1

Cut the rods to the needed length, depending on how deep you need to sink them in the ground for stability. If you have loose, sandy soil, you will need to sink them deeper than if the ground is hard clay. I found the right length to be about 3 ft.

Step 2

Paint the rods. If you’re using metal conduit, be sure to wash them with a degreasing detergent to remove any oil and grime from manufacturing. Allow to dry completely.

Step 3

Choose the location of your bird bath. A shady spot with nearby shrubs or trees for safe cover is ideal. For maximum enjoyment, make sure you’ll be able to see the bath from your favorite bird-watching window.

Pound the rods into the ground in triangle formation to provide a stable base. The size of your chosen basin will determine the distance between rods.

Step 4

Place the basin on top of the rods. Fill the bowl with water and check to see if the base is level. If not, adjust the depth of the rods until the water is level. Place a stone or two in the water to provide an extra perch for birds and hold the bowl in place. Don’t forget to clean and fill your homemade bird bath regularly!

    • Elise says

      I find random dishes like this at yard sales and thrift stores …sometimes for as low as 10 cents. It doesn’t have to look like a flower. Just whatever you think is pretty, compliments or perks up your backyard decor. Have fun!

  1. says

    Please Please. ..what is the name of this fern….Had my Mom’s after she passed….lost it in cold…have looked one everywhere and cant find it….if I have the name I might have better luck finding one…Thanka

  2. Mary McFarren says

    In the list of materials you have listed a piece of scrap wood but don’t include its use in the instructions.

  3. Kathy Eschenburg says

    I use 2 bottoms of flower pots. They love them the most of all my bird baths. I lay them down on the driveway. I set them side by side.

  4. Jo says

    “Choose the location of your bird bath. A shady spot with nearby shrubs or trees for safe cover is ideal.” Ms. Siskin, I love your simple idea, but I HIGHLY disagree with your choice of location. Place bird baths should be placed in sunny locations, and one should never surround a bird bath with shrubs! Bird baths should be out in the open — otherwise cats can hide in the surrounding foliage and kill the visiting birds, and a shady location is more likely to create mold and mildew in the bath.

  5. Adrian says

    Though I don’t like to advertise for a company, I did find a combination feeder and water station at Lowes. It is made of plastic and cedar. It seems to work fine except for those pesky grackles that chase the other birds away. It is hanging under a pergola so the neighborhood cats can’t can’t get a free lunch.

  6. karen mc says

    What a lovely idea, and there are beautiful plates and bowls at thrift stores for next to nothing.

  7. Debbie Rockett says

    To Susan, I think the scrap wood is to be used while laying over the PVC, just while hammering into the ground, it won’t damage the pipe that way!

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