Backyard Project: DIY Pumpkin Bird Feeders

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Create a pumpkin bird feeder from your real or artificial pumpkin in this easy DIY backyard project. The birds will love it!

DIY Pumpkin Bird Feeder 4Noelle Johnson
Abert’s Towhee enjoying sunflower seeds from a pumpkin bird feeder

Halloween has arrived and pumpkins are everywhere—some carved into creative faces, or others left uncarved where their bright colors add great fall color. But, what do you do with your pumpkin when Halloween is over? Do you throw them in the compost pile or trash bin? What if you could get more use out of your pumpkin and benefit wildlife at the same time? Creating a pumpkin bird feeder is a fun and easy backyard project and you most likely already have all you need to get started—a pumpkin! We have instructions for making a feeder with a real or an artificial pumpkin.

Here’s how to make a super cute, no-carve owl pumpkin.

DIY Pumpkin Bird Feeder Instructions

heirloom pumpkinNoelle Johnson

I used the heirloom pumpkin that had been decorating my home for the fall holidays to make my DIY pumpkin bird feeder.

pumpkin bird feederNoelle Johnson

1. Cut your pumpkin in half. If your pumpkin still has seeds inside, scoop them out and roast them or save a few to plant pumpkins in your garden next year.

pumpkin bird feederNoelle Johnson

2. Carve four small trenches in which to rest perches for your feathered visitors. You can put in wooden dowels or small branches as perches.

pumpkin bird feederNoelle Johnson

3. Fill the pumpkin with bird seed and set it outside. I placed our pumpkin on an old tree stump so that I could more easily see it from the house. You could also use sturdy twine to hang it up—simply knot two lengths of twine together in the middle and set the pumpkin on the knotted section. Bring up the ends and hang from your favorite hook or bird feeder pole.

pumpkin bird feederNoelle Johnson

Needless to say, it didn’t take long to attract visitors.  A pair of Abert’s towhees, birds that are mostly found in Arizona, were the first visitors.

These pumpkin bird feeders won’t last forever, but I like the idea of getting more use out of my pumpkins before I throw them into my compost pile.

Check out 5 fascinating facts about pumpkins.

Artificial Pumpkin Bird Feeder

You can also make a pumpkin bird feeder with an artificial pumpkin, so it will last longer. I used decorative scrapbooking brads for the embellishments, but you could also explore the wide variety of pushpins available. Just be sure that whatever you use is firmly attached to the pumpkin, since some birds love to carry off shiny things for their collections.

Psst—here’s another fun fall decorating idea: fill a pumpkin with flowers!

pumpkin-bird-feederJill Staake

Materials

twineJill Staake

Instructions

  1. Wipe down the pumpkin with a damp cloth to remove any residue from manufacture.
  2. Use a drill to make several holes in the base of the pumpkin to allow for drainage.
  3. On the top of the pumpkin, drill four holes evenly spaced holes. Wipe down the pumpkin again to remove any pieces or residue from drilling.
  4. Cut two pieces of twine, about 2 feet each. Thread one piece through two of the holes, repeat with the other. Knot all the twine ends together to create the hanger.
  5. To add the leaf embellishments, first poke a tiny hole in the pumpkin with a pushpin. Then push the points of the brad in firmly. The points may push all the way through to the other side; if so, bend them flush so they don’t pose a threat to birds.
  6. Fill with your favorite type of bird seed, hang on a feeder pole, and enjoy!

artificial pumpkinJill Staake

pumpkin-bird-feederJill Staake

pumpkin-bird-feederJill Staake

Next, learn how to make a tipsy pumpkin planter.

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Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.