How to Make Bird Feeders Out of Gourds


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.

Step 1

Remove any dirt or debris from the outside of the gourd using a dry scrub brush or sandpaper.

Step 2

Mix together nine parts water with one part bleach. You will need enough of the mixture to submerge the gourd completely.

Step 3

Soak the dried gourd in the bleach mixture for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4

Dry the gourd completely.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

Sand the edges of the holes to remove any rough edges or burrs.

Step 8

Drill a 1/4-inch hole through both sides of the stem of the gourd.

Step 9

Run a piece of wire or twine through the hole you drilled in Step 9 to create a hanger.

Step 10

Drill a 1/4-inch hole slightly below each larger hole.

Step 11

Insert a dowel or twig into the hole you drilled in Step 10 to serve as a perch.

Step 12

Paint a thin layer of polyurethane over the outside of the gourd to protect it from the weather.

Step 13

Wait for the gourd to dry completely.

Step 14

Fill the inside of the gourd with bird seed and hang it outside.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't use gourds that are cracked, moldy or not completely dried.

Things You'll Need

  • Dried gourd
  • Bleach
  • Scrub brush or wire brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Old toothbrush
  • Drill
  • Expansion bit
  • 1/4-inch bit
  • 1/4-inch dowel or twig
  • Wire or twine
  • Polyurethane
  • Paint brush


  • Making Bird Feeders
  • Amish Gourds: Gourd Bird House
Keywords: make bird feeder out of gourds, craft a gourd bird feeder, build a bird feeder out of a gourd

About this Author

Carlye Jones is a journalist, freelance writer, photographer and novelist, with more than 15 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, interior decorating, photography, gardening and traveling. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites, such as Matador Travel. Carlye received her training at Northern Arizona University.