Slinky DIY Bird Feeder for Peanuts

Jill Staake

A few years ago, a new style of feeder started appearing in wild bird supply stores and catalogs. It’s basically a wire spring bent into a wreath shape, which you fill with peanuts for birds and squirrels. Around the same time, I started seeing lots of people pinning it their Pinterest boards, saying things like “Make this feeder with a Slinky and a wire hanger – so easy!” But when I looked around on the web to see if anyone had actually attempted this DIY bird feeder craft, the only examples I could find all looked very, well… inexpertly homemade. I wanted to see if it was possible to create this feeder inexpensively but attractively. And the good news is that it definitely is!

What You Need:

  • Regular-sized metal Slinky (I got mine for $3 in the bargain bins at Target)
  • 12″ metal macrame ring (Available at your local craft store for about $2)
  • 1″ loose-leaf ring (available at office supply stores, about 50 cents)
  • Fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Bolt Cutters

What To Do:

  • There are two ways you can start. I believe the feeder is easier to fill later on if you begin by cutting the macrame ring open in one place. To do this, you’ll definitely need bolt cutters, since the ring is very sturdy. If you can’t cut the ring, or don’t want to, skip this step.
  • If you cut the macrame ring open, slide the Slinky around it now. If you chose not to cut the ring, you’ll have to twist the Slinky onto the ring a loop at a time, starting at one end.
  • Pull the Slinky around the ring and hold it closed temporarily with a twist-tie or piece of wire (see top right photo).
  • In order to make the feeder look neat and attractive, you’ll need to attach the Slinky to the ring about every fifth loop or so. Do this by tying the Slinky very firmly with fishing line to the metal ring and trimming the excess. Continue to do this all the way around the Slinky and ring, including the first and last loops.
  • Hold the ring up and see if the Slinky “droops” at all. If so, tie that section to the ring. If not, you’re all set!
  • If you cut the macrame ring open, you’ll now need to hold it closed once it’s filled. Use the 1″ loose-leaf ring by looping it around two or three rings on each side (see lower right photo above).

Fill the feeder with peanuts (in the shell) through the openings at the top, and hang outside for the birds (blue jays are very fond of peanuts) or squirrels. Once my local squirrel found it, he spent the rest of the day emptying the feeder of peanuts one-by-one – and leaving my sunflower feeder alone!

Have you attempted to create this DIY bird feeder by another method, or do you have one of these peanut wreath feeders already? Do you have any tips for others?  Drop by the comments and tell us about it!

  1. Jennifer says

    I was having the same issue with the other posts on pinterest – the project looked easy enough but resulted in a slouchy feeder and all the peanuts just fell out. I knew I needed to afix the slinky to the wire somehow so I got out my hot glue gun. Worked like a charm until it froze outside an all the “glue seams” broke loose. I’ve been trying to come up with another solution, including asking my husband to weld for me! I will definately try the fishing line trick! Thanks so much for the tip!

    • Regina says

      I made this and had the same issue of the slinky becoming sloppy. To correct this issue I used a long string of fishing line and wove it over and under between each wire in the center and pulled it kind of tight and tied a good knot. Mine is as nice as the ones they sell that my daughter got me for Christmas which she paid $29.99 for. Mine does not get sloppy any more. If you need a picture let me know was a very easy fix. And it only cost me $4.27 to make. I have 4 of them in my yard and it keeps the squirrels of my feeders.

      • Luanne Kipka says

        Be careful. A woman posted on a feeder site that the wreath peanut feeder was low and a Blue Jay had crawled down into it and could not get out. She found him dead in there. Awful.

  2. Lorraine says

    AWESOME!!!!! Going to town to get the stuff to make one of these, then maybe I can get some squirrels to come to my yard…..I live in the woods and the squirrels have moved to town :( Love watching squirrels.

  3. Donna Cook says

    Love this idea – now to get the materials to make. Keep the squirrels happy and maybe they will leave the feeders alone!!!

  4. Mona Rowland says

    The problem with this is that peanuts are much more expensive than sunflower seeds right now, so if the squirrel is going to eat something I would rather it be my sunflower seeds. I’m bird feeding on a budget and have to consider this when feeding them.

    • kenny scott grapevine texas says

      I throw all my bird seeds on the patio,I have about 3 squirrel buddies who love to eat the bird seeds right along next to the birds eating as well,seems no one is scared of each other,Call it the neighborhood eatery,the only nusance I have is the ole texas mockingbirds who hate to see everyone enjoy eating their meals,they are mean ………any ideas to rid this problem???

  5. says

    I plan on making one of these… I used to have problems with the squirrels raiding my bird feeders, but a couple of years ago I added a small red wagon to my feeding area. My husband poked holes in the bottom of it for drainage, and I keep it stocked with sunflower seeds & raw peanuts. While the birds use it, along with the multiple feeders that are available, the squirrels definitely claim it as their own! As long as I keep it stocked, they don’t even look at the hanging feeders. Now birds and squirrels feed at the same time…

  6. Julie Hotes says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I can’t wait to make one….or two….
    My squirrels and I thank you!!

  7. Kim Lunsford says

    I think I will use a metal hanger and shape it into a circle and then cut it open. I think it would be alot easier to cut open than a macrame hoop.

  8. Debbie Latina says

    I didn’t cut my hoop. I also used a key ring to hold the Slinky on after using a piece of metal(it was on the new slinky) to hold the ends together. Still used the fishing string.

    • Amanda Hess says

      Don’t CUT the hoop! That was the mistake that left me less then satisfied with my feeder! Also, I am looking for different was to pretty it up….looks just really BLAH with no color or pretty decorations on it.

  9. Sally says

    My husband and I made one of these today and it looks good but the slinky wants to roll on the ring despite the fact the we tied it every 5th ring. We’re going to lace fish line around each slinky ring if we have to and see if that works. Thanks for the idea!

  10. Angie says

    If you hang the feeder far enough away from a tree or other structure and high enough off the ground, squirrels cannot get to it. I guess that means hanging it on a pole, set about 5′ off the ground & 7′ or so away from anything that a squirrel can climb on. Of course, if you don’t happen to already have a pole in that position, there’s a lot of work involved; however, if you are planning birding projects for your yard, that might be something that would interest you to put on your “to-do” list. I’m going to try hanging my slinky feeder from the ribs of an old patio umbrella set in the middle of my yard. It won’t be 5′ off the ground but I’m hoping my dog will do a good job chasing off the squirrels.

  11. says

    I am making this! No doubt the neighbors will really think I have lost it…I bought a house for the woodpeckers and not this for the squirrels.

  12. Patty says

    Does anyone know if these can be made with the plastic slinkys as well? I’ve seen some plastic ones that glow in the dark and think it would be fun to use.

  13. Julie says

    I think this whole idea is a bad one. Too many ways for a squirrel to get its foot / hand, fingers/toes hung up between wires, slinky on bottom of inside of slinky where it gathers more, too many ties that could come undone / loose enough for them to get caught in.
    Just say’n!

    • Zizi says

      It’s a slinky not a bear trap.

      Was wondering if anyone did anything to weather proof it? How does it fair in rainy/snowy weather?

  14. ARJ says

    I thought this would be a great way to feed the crows that had returned to our yard and had been eating from our caged suet feeder. However, the crows won’t go near the slinky and I’m feeding one squirrel that has figured how to jump from a tree. Nuts do make it to the ground but this wasn’t the result that I expected.

    • ARJ says

      I modified this using a lot of small cabel ties on every slinky rib and some cut down lids from carryout coffe cups. Using the same cabel ties I segmented the upper third of the slinky so the peanuts don’t all fall to the bottom.

  15. mr goats says

    Good job making it look semi attractive. Now you’ll see it on pinttrest without giving you credit.

    Why do people post other peoples ideas on pinttrest with hype words like “I’m the best- this is the greatest” but I never see anyone giving credit to where THEY got the idea. That’s not so creative. 😉 Thanks for sharing.


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