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How to build a squirrel feeder: Building instructions and DIY ideas

  • DIY

You provide food for the birds in your garden every year? How about doing something good for another beloved little animal in the winter of 2021? Squirrels can also die of starvation in winter! Especially if you live near a forest or park, or have many large trees in and around your yard, there’s a good chance you can attract squirrels to your yard with food and watch them throughout the winter. Or maybe you even already know that they visit you regularly, or it annoys you that they constantly steal the birdseed. In that case, a squirrel feeder would be just the idea to lure them away from the birdseed while also providing for them and enjoying the sight of them.

Hang squirrel feeder house in the garden in winter and feed animals

We’ll explain which food is best and which to avoid, and give you instructions on how to build, or craft, a squirrel feeder. You can also provide these in a city park, where the natural food supply is otherwise very scarce, and replenish them regularly.

Build feeding station for squirrels yourself

Feeding station for squirrels build from wood or craft from different materials

Various materials and items are suitable if you want to tinker or build a feeding station for squirrels. There are extremely simple projects for beginners, inexperienced craftsmen and children, but also more elaborate ones made of wood for amateur craftsmen . We present a few options that you can use to make a squirrel feeder yourself.

Squirrel feeder building from wood

Build feeding station for squirrels yourself - feed house made of wooden boards

In principle, you can use a simple birdhouse made of wood as a feeding station for squirrels. It is only important that the house has an opening through which these animals can also fit. But the classic bird feeder with four open sides is perfectly suitable. Another variant would be this model, which is built as follows:

Feeding house for squirrels – building instructions.

Combine birdhouses with squirrel houses for a wildlife friendly garden

If you want to build this squirrel feeder yourself, you will need three wooden boards of any and equal length for the side walls (can be cut on a slant at one end) and back wall, one for the roof, which should protrude a little in front, and a longer board for the floor, so that the squirrel gets a place to sit. Screw or nail these elements together. Opposite the back wall and between the two side walls, attach another board. Here you have several options for the feeding place for squirrels:

Ideas for feeders for the garden in winter

Either place it on the bottom of the box and leave a large enough opening at the top for the squirrel to lean in and get food out, or leave another gap open at the bottom for the food to slide out. The top opening is then used for convenient filling. Likewise, you can close the top of the box and leave only a gap open at the bottom and just hinge the roof to open it for filling. Make sure the gap is large enough to allow larger nuts to slide out.

Build bird feeder with wood and plexiglass for tree

Instead of wood, you can also close the front with Plexiglas. This way you can always see if there is any food left or if you need to refill the squirrel feeder. Tape it along the front edges of the side boards, and then hide the glue joints using molding.

Picnic table for a particularly fun feeding station for squirrels.

Funny feeding station for squirrels in the form of a picnic table.

You can also build a picnic table from wood. You can easily attach the cut wooden parts to each other with wood glue (hold them together with screw clamps until the glue dries) or screw them together with small screws. Then provide the table with a side wall, which is used to screw the table to a tree or fence. In any case, you should fasten this with screws, having pre-drilled the holes for it.

Instructions for building a mini picnic table out of wood with wood glue or screws

On this table you can then put a little food ready. Another option would be to screw a longer screw through the table from below (pre-drill a small hole first). On this you can then pin an apple or corncob (see below).

Instructions for building a squirrel table with screw for fruit and corn on the cob

Make a feeding station for squirrels with Slinky

Feeding station for squirrels make your own with children from a slinky and pipe cleaners

With a little creative thinking, you can turn many an everyday object into an inexpensive feeding station for squirrels. This includes the so-called Slinky, which we probably all know from our childhood and still love today. It’s a perfect project for kids and for coarser food:

  • Slinky
  • Pipe cleaner
  • String
  • Food (see list below)

Squirrel feeder – building instructions

Craft with kids for the garden - squirrel feeder with recycled toys

As easy as crafting this squirrel feeder looks, it is. Take pipe cleaners, put them through the slinky and bend the ends upward, forming a half circle with the slinky. Be careful not to space the rods too far apart so the nuts don’t slip through. Knot or twist the ends of the wire and tie string tightly. Then you can hang the squirrel feeder.

Make useful garden accessories yourself from wire

You can also slide the slinky onto a metal ring or embroidery hoop and create a wreath this way. In this case, however, you should form larger distances between the sticks, so that the squirrels can pull out the nuts. Such a wreath is only suitable for medium sized nuts. Walnuts would be too large and wouldn’t fit through the openings, while hazelnuts would probably fall through. However, feel free to test this yourself beforehand and then decide what kind of food to use for this kind of squirrel feeder.

Embroidery frame in a slinky for feeding unshelled peanuts

From a simple tray

Quick and easy building idea using an old tray

You still have an old tray , which you no longer use? Then you already have the perfect container for a feeding station for squirrels. Drill a small hole near each of the four corners, thread solid string through it and tie it tightly on the outside. The knot will keep the string from slipping back out. Then take the four strands together into a bundle and knot them as well. Now tie string to this bundle for hanging and fill the feeder with suitable food.

Squirrel feeding station build with pipes

Feeding station for squirrels do it yourself from PVC pipes for a simple project

An idea for building, for which you must be guaranteed no handicraft professional – PVC pipes assemble can really anyone! Get a straight piece and an L-shape and a suitable connector. Cut the long pipe into the desired size (a sharp knife or saw is suitable for this), sand the cut edges and pierce or drill two holes in one of the two pipe ends and tie string. Connect the other end to the L-piece and you are ready to hang it. Be sure to hang the whole thing at a little angle so the food doesn’t slip out. Now fill the tube with the food.

Feeding house from a plastic bottle

Squirrel feeder made from plastic bottle, wrapped with twine and thatched roof for tropical flair

A large plastic bottle is ideally suited for making a bird feeder. Since this is not really pretty to look at and such a house would be much too bright for the squirrels, dress it up with yarn after you have cut an entrance into the bottle. Simply wrap the yarn around the bottle, applying glue at regular intervals. Cut open the area of the entrance. After that, you can still decorate the squirrel feeder as you like.

Corn on the cob idea

Use dried corn as food for squirrels

Dried corn is really liked by squirrels. Therefore, you can put whole corn cobs and feed them to the animals. You can screw a hook into the cob and then hang it up, or you can screw a longer screw through a board and then put the cob on top. The board can also be part of a feeder.

Corn on the cob to hang - ideas for simple construction projects.

Do you have a lot of squirrels to feed? Then you can also attach several corn cobs at the same time.

Feeding station for squirrels – What do the animals like to eat most?

What food to feed squirrels - nuts, seeds and raisins.

Now that your squirrel feeding station is ready, you still need to fill it with the right food, of course. But what can go in it and tastes particularly good to the animals? Everyone knows it thanks to cartoons and documentaries – squirrels love nuts! These should be absolutely whole, raw and unshelled. Suitable nuts are:

  • Peanuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Corn kernels, dried
  • Raisins
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts

Also small pine cones and even rose hips taste very good to the cute little animals. Equally suitable is rusk, but it must necessarily be unsweetened.

Prohibited are: Almonds, because they contain for the squirrels deadly poisonous prussic acid. Fresh fruits and vegetables such as grapes, apple and carrot pieces are suitable but not recommended as they tend to grow mold and could make the animals sick.

The right place to hang

How to build a feeding station for wild rodents

In order for the squirrels to enjoy your food in peace without being bothered by cats, dogs or other animals, it is important to choose the right place after you build the squirrel feeder yourself. Of course, since they especially like to climb trees and they are also their natural habitat, it is best to choose a tall tree in your garden. Ideally, hang the squirrel feeder at a height of at least 2 meters. The house should also be easily accessible to the animals, without them having to cross too much open space, because that puts them in danger. And since they are very shy animals, they will also think twice before even putting themselves in such danger for a little food.

Be sure to clean the squirrel feeder regularly to avoid disease!