As we get ready to transition from fall decor to Christmas, don’t throw those old pumpkins away! Let me show you how to make a pumpkin bird feeder. Spoiler: it’s very easy!
Last year, at the end of the fall season, a number of the pumpkins I had used on my front porch were still good. I was ready to transition to Christmas decor, but I just couldn’t bring myself to throw all of those pumpkins in the trash. So, I found a couple of ways to recycle/reuse them.
One of the things we did was make a pumpkin bird feeder. Actually we made a few out of the smaller pumpkins we had. My daughter, who was 5 at the time, really enjoyed helping me make these. And it was great fun to watch out our windows as the birds (and eventually the squirrels) discovered them.
So, don’t throw those pumpkins in the trash just yet. These pumpkin bird feeders are incredibly easy to make.
How to Make a Pumpkin Bird Feeder
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What You’ll Need
Step 1 – Scoop Out Pumpkins
For this project, we used three of the smaller pumpkins I had on hand.
The first thing you need to do is scoop the seeds out of your pumpkins. For the smallest pumpkins, we just took the top off, and left the rest of the pumpkin in one piece.
For the slightly larger pumpkin, we cut them in half and made two feeders out of one pumpkin.
Step 2 – Cut Holes for the Twine
The next thing to do is cut a few holes around the pumpkin, which is where you will thread your jute. I made three small holes around each pumpkin.
You want the holes to be low enough that they won’t pull through the top of the pumpkin, but high enough that the pumpkin stays balanced when strung up. You also want your holes to be just slightly larger than the thickness of the twine. This way, the knotted twine will not pull through them.
We used a fairly thick rope for the larger pumpkin feeders, and a much smaller jute twine for the littler pumpkins.
Step 3 – Insert Twine and Secure
Then, you will want to cut three pieces of twine per pumpkin. Make sure they are long enough to be tied around a branch once finished.
Insert one end of the twine into one hole in the pumpkin and tie a knot on the inside.
Repeat for all holes. Make sure the knots are large enough, so that they do not slip through the holes.
Step 4 – Fill with Seed
The next thing to do is fill your pumpkins with bird seed. You can purchase different types of seed based on the types of birds you have in your area. We bought a fairly generic mix last year, but the sunflower seeds disappeared the fastest. So, this year, I may do sunflower seeds only. (The squirrels love sunflower seeds, as well… Although, we have a lot of squirrels in our yard, and it took them much longer to discover these bird feeders than I anticipated!)
We filled ours up to the brim before hanging. You can refill as they start to get low.
Step 5 – Hang Your Bird Feeder
The only thing left to do now is hang them up! We picked a few lower branches around our yard that I could access with a step stool. I carefully tied the twine around the branch and that was it.
These pumpkin bird feeders were so fun and easy to make. Plus, it was great to be able to watch the birds enjoy them over the next few weeks.
Other Things to do with Leftover Pumpkins
- Pumpkins are nourishing for wildlife and make great fertilizer (as long as they’re not painted). So, donate your leftover pumpkins to a farm/zoo/community garden, scatter them in the woods, or simply distribute them among your own gardens. The few pumpkins we had left after making our bird feeders we simply scattered around our own gardens. (Just be sure you break them open if you are leaving them outside for the animals.)
- You can also use the flesh of the pumpkin to make pumpkin puree. The amount of delicious fall recipes that utilize pumpkin puree is endless, so why not create some delicious treats from those leftover pumpkins?
- Save the seeds for munching on, or for planting your own pumpkin patch the next year. (We’ll be trying this one out this year!)
So, there you go – no reason to let all those pumpkins go to waste this year! Which idea do you like best for reusing your old pumpkins?
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