Whether carved, painted or artfully arranged, pumpkins are one of the simplest and most popular fall decorations. However, they can be much more than just decorative. They can even be turned into handy feeders for your feathered friends in the garden. Best of all, you can build a bird feeder yourself out of pumpkins and it’s super easy!
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Turn your jack-o-lantern into a bird feeder
You can easily turn your Halloween jack-o-lantern into a bird feeder, provided the pumpkin isn’t rotten or decorated with unsafe accents. If you lit your jack-o’-lantern with a real candle, you’ll first need to scrape off the wax or blackened areas on the pumpkin flesh.
Cut the pumpkin in half so it resembles a bowl, or carve around the face so it has a large opening. Fill it with birdseed .
Place these bird feeders around a feeder, on a balcony, in flower beds or just around the garden for hungry birds to enjoy.
Build bird feeder yourself from pumpkin – instructions.
If you love carving pumpkins, you’ll love this simple project where you just add birdseed and make a few small changes.
First, cut out the holes and designs a little larger than you would for decorative purposes to make sure they are large enough for the birds to reach the feeder. Not every hole needs to be large enough for a bird, but there should be at least two or three ways for the birds to get in and out so they feel safe and comfortable and the feeder can accommodate more birds.
After carving, soak the pumpkin in a weak bleach solution for an hour: 3 tablespoons of bleach in 3 gallons of water. Note: this is a very mild solution. You can also put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray the pumpkin with it. This will hydrate the pumpkin and prevent mold growth, keeping the carved pumpkin fresher longer.
However, do not apply petroleum jelly or other oil-based products to the cut edges, as these products can easily smear onto birds’ feathers, causing problems similar to oil spills.
Allow the gourd to dry thoroughly, then fill it with seeds that the birds can detect. Mixed seeds or sunflower seeds with black oil will attract most species and help boost fall migration of birds, providing energy for year-round guests who may stock up on seeds for the winter. Sprinkle a few seeds on the cut edges of the pumpkin or where you placed the feeder to help birds discover the bounty.
DIY pumpkin bird feeder vase yourself.
For an even more festive option, turn your pumpkin into a bird-friendly feeder bouquet. Instead of carving an entire design into the fruit, remove just the top and hollow out the center. Insert a simple garden pot into the pumpkin and use it as a vase for seed-filled flowers, such as a mature sunflower head, ripe coneflowers, marigolds and other bird-friendly flowers.
Adding millet twigs, wheat stalks, acorn twigs and ripe berry stalks will add texture and color to the bouquet while providing a greater variety of food to attract more birds . For more decorative accents, you can also add ripe pine cones, colorful leaves or other green accents.
To make a flower vase even more attractive, you can decorate the gourd with non-toxic paint, lines, swirls, shapes, initials or a fun message. Place these vases in window boxes to create an autumnal decoration, or arrange them on a staircase, use them as table decorations on a balcony, or place a delicious vase at a ground feeding station to attract birds.
Make speckled sunflower pumpkins
For an elegant decoration that will please both you and the birds, you can make a speckled pumpkin using sunflower seeds as a bird feeder. Clean the outside of your pumpkin first, then sketch out any pattern you like – thin, delicate patterns like lace, filigree, swirls and outlines work best.
Use an awl or the tip of a knife or scalpel to poke starter holes or marks throughout the pattern. Then soak the pumpkin briefly in a weak bleach bath to prevent mold and keep it fresh.
Once the pumpkin is dry, follow your design by pressing the large seeds into the flesh with the point facing inward for a better grip. Keep the seeds close together for a uniform look, and alternate seeds (black oil sunflower, striped sunflower, safflower) for more variety.
You can even use pumpkin seeds in your design, and birds like jays, thrushes, and mockingbirds will love to eat them. Fill in each row, making sure the seeds are tight and close together so they look good. Birds will have no trouble removing them!
Like other pumpkin bird feeders, these speckled specimens can be placed in groups on a platform, balcony, or ground feeders. When miniature pumpkins are speckled, they can even be hung individually from tree branches to create a festive and delicious fall decoration for birds.
No matter what kind of bird feeder you build yourself from pumpkin, it will not only be an attractive addition to your fall decor, but also a festive feeder that all the birds in the garden will enjoy.