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Hip Bird Feeder

DIY garden mixed media

Spend some time crafting outside this weekend and add a handmade, retro touch to your garden with this groovy, 70s inspired bird feeder. As well as being a unique, decorative addition, the Hip Bird Feeder project from Handmade Bird, Bee and Bat Houses, by Michele McKee-Orsini, is a great way to invite some wildlife into your garden throughout the summer!


Handmade Bird Houses



One 6 ft x 5 1/2 in. x 5/8  in. (180 x 14 x1.5 cm) cedar dog-ear fence board

One 8 ft x 2 in. x 1 in. (250 x 5 x 2.5cm) furring strip board

12 in. (30 cm) of 1 1/8 x 1 1/8 in. (27 x 27mm) pine outside corner molding

Waterproof premium glue

Weatherproof 30-minute 100% clear silicone

80-grit sandpaper

Wood putty

1-in. (25-mm) finish nails or galvanized wire nails

#18 (3/4 in./20-mm) escutcheon pins

Round dowel, 3/8 in. (1 cm) in diameter

Round dowel 5/16 in. (8 mm) in diameter

Square 1/2 in. x 1/2 in. (12 mm x 12 mm) dowel

Coral, blue, and white exterior paint

Four #4 (2 1/2-in./60 mm) zinc-plated steel screw eyes

10 ft (3 m) #16 (1.6 mm) single jack zinc-plated chain

Basic tool kit


Finished size

Approx. 11 1/2 x 12 3/4 x 9 in. (29 x 32 x 23 cm), excluding the chain


Cutting list

Front and back: 10 x 5 1/2 in. (25 x 14 cm)—cut 2 from dog-ear fence board

Feeder base: 11 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (29 x 14 cm)—cut 1 from dog-ear fence board

Long sides of feeder: 11 1/2 x 2 in. (29 x 5 cm)—cut 2 from furring strip board

Short sides of feeder: 6 3/4 x 2 in. (17 x 5 cm)—cut 2 from furring strip board

Roof: 9 x 5 1/2 in. (23 x 14 cm)—cut 2 from dog-ear fence panel


1. Cut the front and back pieces at a 30° angle on each side to form a peak. (Reserve the four cut-off triangles to decorate the front and back in step 9.) Cut a 1 1/2-in. (40-mm) entrance hole in each piece, 1 1/2 in. (4 cm) down from the center of the peak.

2. To assemble the feeder trough, glue and nail an 11 1/2 x 2-in. (29 x 4-cm) furring strip to each long side of the feeder base. Then glue and nail a 6 3/4-in. (17-cm) furring strip to each short side.

3. Clamp the front and back together on a steady surface. Drill a 3/6-in. (1-cm) hole 1 in. (2.5 cm) down from the bottom of the entrance hole, drilling all the way through both pieces. (A dowel will be inserted here as an internal perch, once the feeder has been assembled).
4.Paint the exterior of all the panels with coral craft paint, leaving the insides raw. Remember to block up the entrance hole with wadded-up paper or tape, so that no paint can accidentally drift into the interior. Let dry.
5. Aligning the bottom edges and making sure they are centered, glue and nail the front and back panels to the long sides of the feeder trough.

6. Paint all sides of the roof panels and the reserved triangles from step 1 blue. Let dry.
7. Cut a 9-in. (23-cm) length of 3/6-in. (1-cm) round dowel. Insert it through the holes drilled in step 3 to create an internal perch.

8. Apply glue to the peak of the roof, then line up the roof pieces with the edges of the roof peak, making sure that there is the same amount of overhang front and back. There will be a V-shaped gap between the two roof pieces at the apex. Nail in place.

9. Arrange two blue triangles on the front of the house section. When you’re happy with the position, glue them in place. Drill three 1/16-in. (1.5-mm) pilot holes in each triangle, then gently hammer in escutcheon pins. Repeat on the back of the house section.

10. Cut four 1 1/2-in. (4-cm) lengths of round 5/16-in. (8-mm) dowel. Drill two 5/16-in. (8-mm) holes for dowel perches in the front of the house section and two in the back. Gently hammer the dowels in place.
11. Cut six 2 3/4-in. (7-cm) lengths of square 1/2-in. (12-mm) dowel. Paint them blue on all sides and let dry. Arrange three on the front and three on the back, then glue and nail them in place, as you did in step 9 with the triangles, using two escutcheon pins for each one.


12. Paint the dowels on the outside of the feeder white. Let dry.
13. Cut a 9 1/2-in. (24-cm) length of outside corner molding. Paint it coral and let dry. Silicone it into the V shaped gap at the roof apex. Let dry. Cut a 9 1/2-in. (24-cm) length of 3/8-in. (1-cm) round dowel. Paint it white and let dry. Silicone it into the V-shaped crevice of the corner molding and let dry.

14. Referring to the photo above and using a 1/16 in. (1.5-mm) bit, drill a pilot hole at each corner edge of the roof. Insert a screw eye into each one. Cut the chain into two 28-in. (70-cm) lengths. Using needle nose-pliers, attach one end of each chain to the screw eyes on opposite corners. Use a single chain link to join the two chains together in the center for hanging.


This project is from Handmade Bird, Bee and Bat Houses by Michele McKee-Orsini.

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