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DIY Terra-Cotta Bird Feeder

By: James A. Baggett James A. Baggett
Learn how to make a simple but stylish DIY terra-cotta bird feeder using an orchid pot. It will look great in your garden and the birds will love it, too!

DIY Bird feeder

Terra-cotta pots aren’t just for plants. They can be used to make all kinds of cool things, including bird feeders. It’s a cinch to make this garden-themed bird feeder out of a simple terra-cotta flower pot and a couple of saucers. Look for an orchid pot like this one with holes in the sides. You can size this up or down to suit your fancy. And this is a great project to personalize: Decorate it with mosaic seashells or pebbles or paint it with chalkboard paint so you can change it up as often as you like. Watch the video above or follow the steps below to see how to make one yourself.

Project Revision As our Savvy subscribers have noted, this design is improved by switching the larger 10 in. terra-cotta dish to the top position of the feeder as a shield against rain and snow.


What you will need to make a terra-cotta bird feeder

Materials

  • 6-in. terra-cotta orchid pot
  • 8-in. terra-cotta saucer
  • 10-in. terra-cotta saucer
  • All hardware is stainless steel:
  • 12-in. (¼-20) threaded rod
  • ¼×2-in. eye bolt
  • ¼x20 coupling nut
  • ¼-in. lock nut
  • ¼x20 wing nut
  • (3) ¼×1½-in. fender washers
  • 1 decorative steel lamp finial
  • Adhesive epoxy (E6000)

Tools

  • ¼-in. masonry drill bit
  • 7⁄16 crescent wrench
  • Drill

Terra-cotta bird feeder assembly

Watercolor illustration of Exploded view of terra cotta bird feeder construction by Carlie Hamilton

How to create a DIY terra-cotta bird feeder

how-to-make-terra-cotta-birdfeeder-drill-holes-in-saucers-after-soaking:  Soak the saucers the night before to avoid issues when drilling the holes.

Step 1: Drill holes in the saucers

Soaking the terra-cotta saucers first overnight in water will help prevent chipping and cracking and keep the drill bit cool, too.

Before you start drilling, mark the center of the bottoms of the two saucers with masking tape to help prevent cracking. Drill a ¼-in. hole in each using a ¼-in. masonry drill bit.

To add drainage so water doesn't collect in the 8 in. saucer, drill several drain holes circling the saucer using the smallest masonry bit size you have so that only water and not birdseed will fall through.

Step 2: Attach the pot to a saucer

Spread an epoxy, such as E6000, on the bottom of the orchid pot, then center it onto the 8-in. saucer, lining up the holes. Let dry overnight.

how-to-make-terra-cotta-bird-feeder-position-lock-nut

Step 3: Prepare the rod

Thread the ¼-in. lock nut onto the rod, taking care to stop with plenty of room to spare at the bottom. (If you go too far, it's difficult to go backward.) Temporarily attach the finial to the end of the rod to make it easier to hold the rod while threading the lock nut.

how-to-make-terra-cotta-birdfeeder-tighten-lock-nut-with-crescent-wrench: A longer handled crescent wrench makes this step easier.

Step 4: Attach the rod

Slip a washer under the lock nut, feed the end of the rod through the holes in the pot and saucer. Then attach a washer and the finial to the bottom. Tighten the lock nut with a longer handled crescent wrench.

You Might Also Like:
How to Choose the Best Bird Seed for Your Feeders
How to Make Your Own Suet for Birds

how-to-make-terra-cotta-birdfeeder-funnel-bonus-tip: Adding a funnel helps direct bird seed to the orchid pot holes.

Step 5: Add a funnel (optional)

Invert a small plastic kitchen funnel onto the threaded rod and let it rest inside the orchid pot. This will help direct the birdseed to the holes near the base of the pot and into the saucer.

Step 6: Attach the lid

Invert the 10-in. saucer and slide it onto threaded rod; add a washer, then secure it with the wing nut.

Step 7: Add the hook

Thread the coupling nut halfway onto the threaded rod. Thread the eye bolt into the coupling nut.

how-to-make-terra-cotta-birdfeeder-hang-feeder-and-fill-it-up: Note that the updated design will have the larger 10 inch saucer on the top of the feeder as a shield against rain and snow.

Step 8: Fill & hang feeder

To fill your feeder, unscrew the top wingnut enough to lift the top saucer and pour in bird seed. Retighten the wingnut after filling. Hang your DIY terra-cotta bird feeder from a branch, bracket or a pole where you can see it from a window and reach it easily to refill.


Bird feeder tips

  • Look for a seed mix that includes black-oil sunflower seeds, which is rich in calories and attracts cardinals, chickadees, house finches and nuthatches.
  • Spend the money for a high-quality mix (a low-quality mix will contain milo, wheat, flax seed and other filler grains).
  • Fill the feeders late in the day or first thing in the morning, just before or after a cold night.

You Might Also Like:
DIY Bird Feeder Wreath
Attract More Birds to Your Garden with These Tips
Best Plants with Berries for Birds

Published: Oct. 7, 2019
Updated: Jan. 25, 2022
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