Having a bird feeder in your backyard is a great way to attract beautiful birds and enjoy their songs and behaviors up close. However, buying a bird feeder can get expensive. Luckily, there’s an easy and cheap DIY solution - repurposing an old garden hose into a unique hanging bird feeder!
In this comprehensive guide, I'll walk through all the steps I took to transform a worn-out green garden hose into a functional and decorative bird feeder for my backyard.
Gather the Necessary Materials
The first step is making sure you have all the materials you'll need:
- Old garden hose - this will act as the base of the bird feeder
- Wire cutters - to cut the hose to size
- Scissors - to trim any loose ends
- Twine or rope - to hang the feeder
- Bird seed - to fill the feeder
- Funnel - to easily pour seed into the hose
- Decorative items (optional) - to embellish the hose like ribbons, flowers, etc.
Make sure to thoroughly wash the garden hose beforehand to remove any dirt or debris.
Cut the Hose to the Desired Length
Once you have a clean hose, it's time to cut it. Plan how long you want the feeder to be based on where you want to hang it. I recommend at least 15-18 inches so it can hold a good amount of seed.
Use the wire cutters to cleanly cut both ends of the hose. The cut edges may be a bit sharp, so use scissors to trim any loose bits.
Be careful handling the cut edges of the hose as they can be sharp. Use scissors to smooth down any rough patches.
Add Hanging Rope
To hang the hose bird feeder, you'll need to attach ropes or cords at the top.
There are two easy ways to do this:
- Knot the rope directly around the hose
- Put the rope through the hose opening and tie it
I prefer threading rope through the hose as it creates a cleaner look. Use whatever strong twine, rope, cord or string you have on hand.
Make sure to tie a very secure knot so the feeder won't come loose and crash down! Leave long ends to easily tie the feeder to a tree, deck or other hanging point later.
Funnel and Fill With Seed
One end of the hose will be the bottom, while the other will be the top where birds access the seed.
Use a funnel to carefully pour bird seed into the hose. Fill it about halfway or two-thirds full. Any standard bird feed mix will work - I used a basic mix of millet, cracked corn and sunflower seeds.
Consider using nyjer or thistle seed to attract finches. Just make sure the seed won't easily fall out the openings of the hose.
Decorate the Bird Feeder (Optional)
To make your hose bird feeder truly unique, decorate it! Here are some fun embellishment ideas:
- Paint the hose with colorful folk art birds, flowers or other designs using acrylic paint
- Wrap the hose with colorful ribbon or raffia
- Glue on fake flowers or leaves
- Accent with colorful pipe cleaners curled into spirals or bird shapes
You can also leave the feeder plain - the green garden hose has a nice natural look on its own.
Make sure any decorations you add are weatherproof and won't easily fall off. Acrylic paint or glue-on items work best.
Hang in Your Yard & Enjoy Watching Birds Feed!
The final step is finding the perfect spot to hang your recycled hose bird feeder. Look for a location that:
- Is near trees or shrubs to give birds shelter and places to perch
- Offers you a nice view of the feeder through a window or seating area
Use the hanging rope to securely tie or loop the feeder in place.
Once it's up, you'll be able to sit back and enjoy the sight of colorful birds like cardinals, finches, chickadees and more feeding!
It's incredibly rewarding to watch wildlife utilize and enjoy something you made.
Plus, repurposing an old garden hose into a unique bird feeder helps give new life to something that would otherwise end up in the landfill.
So try this fun, simple DIY project to add a decorative and ecological amenity to your backyard. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips or tricks for repurposing items into bird feeders!