This weekend I DIYed two mason jar birdfeeders along with a few other simple materials – which I’ll tell you all about in a minute! I just love spring, what about you? Because spring means birds, and birds provide such great inspiration for outside yard art. Bird houses and feeders provide great fodder for creativity.
Is there anything mason jars can’t do or become? Most birdfeeders I see at the store are, well, boring. One Ball or Mason canning jar and you’ve got the making of a beautiful and rustic looking decoration in the making.
Follow along with this tutorial and you can too! This one will be attractive to look at, easy to accommodate wild birds AND weather-proof so your feathered friends don’t have to contend with icky wet birdseed. Plus I’m going to show you a special “hack” to make it easy as pie to hang!
(Sorry, I can’t help you with squirrel problems….There aren’t that many trees nearby so I rarely have to deal with squirrels, LOL)
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To get started you’re going to need at least one quart sized mason jar. Also you need some strong waterproof adhesive, wire, and one of those chicken feeder bases like these. Your average home improvement chain stores do not carry these – I found that out on my own and finally had to call one of my relatives who advised me to try the local feed store, in which – bingo.
I got an aluminum one and a plastic one, so I could make two feeders. I would recommend the metal one, because it fits jars better.
Let’s Get Started!
Alright! If you’ve got everything, first thing you want to do is get your mason jar and make sure the feeder base fits snugly into the jar.The threads of the base have to line up with the threads of the jar opening as well. The aluminum base, I found out, will ONLY fit the traditional Mason/Ball jars. The plastic base, not so much, so I had to come up with a different kind of jar.
Now comes the fun….We need to create a top for the bird feeder that will also double as a hanger too. I’ve seen crafters advise drilling a hole in the top of the jar and threading a type of brace thingamabob through to hold it – but that’s a tall order for those of us not experienced with glass drill bits (which is most of us.), I went to seek a better way. And I did find it – yay!
I can’t take all the credit for this one. A brilliant idea is revealed here in which this crafter used ordinary cookware pot lids as birdfeeder hangers. Pure Genius!
Unfortunately all my lids have respective pots, and I didn’t want to mess with that. Besides some of them have knobs instead of handles and if you want to be able to hang up your feeder (obviously) it needs a handle.
i have a considerable collection of plates and flatware….so I selected a 9″ one to use. OK…then what was I going to use for the “handle” ? Then I got a new idea…
I picked up one of those cabinet door handles from Lowe’s. Perfect! Just needed a nice small, sturdy brass one…
So you may want to consider checking your nearest thrift store and see if you can find a “lid without a pot” that could be used for your bird feeder’s cover/handle? If not, my approach with the plate and cabinet handle will definitely work!
Attaching and Hanging Your Birdfeeders
Use some of your strong bond adhesive and dispense some of it around the top of the jar as it will be the part sticking to the plate. You may also want to put a dab of glue in the middle of the plate (or lid) for good measure.
Now bond them together. Then add some glue to the handle if you did the plate hack, and secure it to the plate center.’
Now we let them set up…About 5 days later….Then will come the fun part of hanging them up! To do so, you can use a good length of jute rope cord or some wide gauge wire.
Next ..time to fill them up with birdseed …You pretty much turn them upside down and fill away, then attach the feeder base back on. Make sure you fill it to the brim, as some of that seed is going to drop into the base which is at least 2″ deep.
When you need to refill it with more seed all you need to do is turn the jar/base upside down and twist off the base. After you replenish it with new birdseed just replace the base and flip it over again.
If you really want to diy a bird feeder from a mason jar you’ll be hard pressed to find a better method than this one. It looks good, the seed stays dry and only dispenses so much at a time. You’ll slap yourself when you realize how simple this is! And the birds will thank you, too!
Here’s another cool idea for a birdfeeder cover…a vintage lampshade….Love it, it looks so classy!
Update 8/9/19 As a crafter…sooner or later, something you made that involves glass or ceramics is going to get broken even with the best of intention and careful handling.(Like you needed me to tell you that right?? ?? )
But what counts is…how will you fix what’s broken….Well I have a story for you today.
I’m getting ready to refill my birdfeeder I made last spring (2018 – not THIS past spring) Sometimes, I get a little, shall I say, clumsy…(It happens to all of us) And as I was attempting to undo the base from the bottom, it slipped out of my hand and broke on the patio pavement. Ugh! Well…that’s the BAD news. The GOOD news is….
ONLY the birdfeeder’s COVER (it was ceramic) shattered into pieces. The aluminum base was fine of course, and the ..surprise, surprise….the mason jar was FULLY INTACT. Wow, you want to talk about s@%thouse luck right??? As a devoted mason jar collector, I treasure my old vintage jars.
You might want to consider using plastic plates instead of china or ceramic now after reading this., lol. Anyway….OK I still have the jar and the base, now I just have to think of a way to re-create the hanger. (Read on…)
Hanging a Birdfeeder…Using Rope or String Bundle
Update: 8/23/19 Now I needed to replace the cover and trying to think of some ideas. I saw one post in which a gal used something like jute rope and hot-glued it to her jar. That’s another way to make your feeder hangable and I decided to try it, too. Jute rope is very strong and it has a nice rustic look to it, too. Here’s how you do it:
I almost went to the rope but I had another idea instead…I found this long colorful string bundle, I don’t know what I had been planning to make but it’s enough skeins together to be strong enough in the event of being used to hang my feeder. Too good a piece of yarn to toss.
I managed to wrap it around the jar enough times it would be strong enough to support it.
After that I got out some of my e6000 glue and used a ribbon of it for each time I went around the jar (it made, like three rounds. ) I am NOT a fan of hot glue guns for something like this, as their permanency is questionable (You can read up more about my glue experiences here.)
If you decide to use jute rope, it is stiff enough so that you won’t have to knot or double like I did with the yarn bundle. If you have a tape measure to go around the jar, cut the length of rope to that amount.
Then for the loop handles, you would cut two equal lengths of rope about 12″ in length and all you’ll have to do is glue them on after you have glued the length of rope around the perimeter of the jar.
A week of glue cure time should do it. Enjoy!