By their very shape and size, gourds make ideal bird feeders. They are also inexpensive, especially if you grow your own or get them from a local gardener. Most of the supplies you will need are also inexpensive and probably already around the house, and you can complete the feeder in an afternoon, making it an ideal project to work on with older children. Gourds also offer just enough protection from the elements for the seeds, but are open enough to make birds feel secure while feeding.
Remove any dirt or debris from the outside of the gourd using a dry scrub brush or sandpaper.
Mix together nine parts water with one part bleach. You will need enough of the mixture to submerge the gourd completely.
Soak the dried gourd in the bleach mixture for 10-15 minutes.
Dry the gourd completely.
Drill a two holes on opposing sides of the gourd using a drill with an expansion bit. The size of the hole depends on the type of bird you hope to attract. For most small birds, a hole 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter is appropriate.
Clean out the inside of the gourd using an old toothbrush or other small tool, such as a bottle brush. Remove all of the seeds and debris until the interior is smooth and clean.
Sand the edges of the holes to remove any rough edges or burrs.
Drill a 1/4-inch hole through both sides of the stem of the gourd.
Run a piece of wire or twine through the hole you drilled in Step 9 to create a hanger.
Drill a 1/4-inch hole slightly below each larger hole.
Insert a dowel or twig into the hole you drilled in Step 10 to serve as a perch.
Paint a thin layer of polyurethane over the outside of the gourd to protect it from the weather.
Wait for the gourd to dry completely.
Fill the inside of the gourd with bird seed and hang it outside.