DIY Birdhouses for the Winter Garden wallacegardencenter

DIY Birdhouses for the Winter Garden

Have a craving to get crafty? Check out these awesome DIY birdhouse ideas we have for you and your kids!

Who loves to craft? Gardeners typically have an artistic streak in us somewhere, and what better way to explore that than to create your own DIY birdhouse? This project is great for the kids—especially as the colder months approach. While nothing quite beats trees as homes for birds, DIY birdhouses can surely lure birds in a different direction. Unleash your inner artist and enjoy the wonderful spectacle of winter birds you will attract with our DIY birdhouse ideas.

5 Different Ways to Make Your DIY Birdhouse

1. Put on your woodworking hat! There are countless resources out there on how to make a basic birdhouse with minimal steps and materials. Build a simple wooden box structure, drill an opening large enough for birds to enter (and hopefully small enough so squirrels can’t squeeze in). After the hammering is done, have your kids come and help you paint, decorate, and hang!

-gourd bird house wallaces garden center 2. Make a birdhouse with a hollowed out gourd. With Halloween and Thanksgiving on the horizon, gourd season is officially upon us, plus the kids will love this one. Find a decently sized gourd and hollow it out. You can either choose to let it dry out for a while (a week to a month) or work with it right away. Have the kids add their desired decorations, let them dry if needed, add a solid string or hook to the top, add your seed or bird food, and hang the DIY birdhouse your kids can be proud of.

3. Don’t have tools? Don’t like woodworking, but love crafts? We hear you! Head to your local craft store and buy a premade birdhouse that you can decorate with the kids! This is a time to get really creative! You could use:

  • Buttons, pebbles, old mosaic tiles or broken-up marble, coloured popsicle sticks, etc, etc, etc!

-diy winter bird house wallaces garden center 4. Get extra crafty and repurpose something in your home, such as an old drawer, a piece of wooden fence/scrap wood, an old door, or whatever else that may get your creative juices flowing. This is a fantastic way to reuse and recycle while crafting something that will bring you and your family joy or could even make a thoughtful gift.

5. Try a Jack-o-lantern birdhouse; another idea that the kids will adore. Get a smaller to medium sized pumpkin, hollow it out and carve your desired Jack-o-lantern design, and the birds can enter through the cut-outs. Add your desired bird food, attach twine to the top of the pumpkin and enjoy this fun fall birdhouse this season.

-blue jay winter house wallaces garden center

What Type of Birds Can I Attract to My DIY Birdhouse?

You have made the birdhouse; now what exactly will you attract to this masterpiece? Many birds call Iowa home in the winter months, and for some species that breed in the far North, Iowa is South for them! Some of these species might include purple finches (very rare around here), dark-eyed juncos, or American tree sparrows. There is plenty of opportunity to attract some “classics” that we all know and love, such as cardinals, blue jays, and certain species of woodpeckers, like red-bellied and downy. Some other common species you may attract are nuthatches, titmice, and chickadees.

-feeding winter birds wallaces garden center

What Do I Feed the Birds?

The next step is food! You are much more likely to attract birds to your DIY birdhouse with a nearby food source. It is important to remember that different foods attract different birds. For starters, cardinals and blue jays adore black-oil sunflower or safflower seeds. These can provide many different species with a nutritious diet of protein, fiber, and healthy fat. Cardinals and blue jays also enjoy small chunks of suet; this can help attract some woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches. Some other effective foods for winter feeding include:
  • Mealworms
  • Fruit
  • Peanuts
  • A nutritious, mixed seed blend (read the label and be sure to avoid unnatural fillers!)
  • Cracked corn
  • A DIY seed mix from the above seeds!

Making a DIY birdhouse can be a wonderful way to involve the whole family, and when the birds flock to your crafty perch for a rest, everyone can be satisfied and proud of their creative input. Visit us at Wallace's Garden Center in Bettendorf for expert advice on all your birdhouse and bird feed needs. Help us feed our passion by assisting you with yours.
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