Attract some feathered friends to your garden with these rustic makes

Coconut perches

These eye-catching coconut shells make perfect pecking perches for hungry birds

Coconut perches bird feeders

Skill level: Intermediate

Time to make: 1-2 hours

For this bird feeder, you will need:

✤ Whole coconuts or halved coconut shells
✤ Thin rope or twine
✤ Dry bird food
✤ Lard or suet, melted in a saucepan
✤ Berries
✤ Drill
✤ Sharp knife
✤ Wooden spoon
✤ Wreath wire
✤ Darning needle

1 Use a drill to make two holes in the top of the coconuts and drain off the liquid. Drill two more holes in the bottom for hanging later. Carefully cut the coconuts in half with a sharp knife.

2 Thread the two holes at the top of each halved coconut with a piece of thin rope cut to your desired hanging length. Tie the two loose ends together to create a hanging loop.

3 Make the bird-feed mixture by combining one part dry bird food with two parts melted lard or suet. Stir well with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients have been coated in the fat, then allow to cool slightly.

4 Once cool enough to handle, spoon the mixture into the shells and press down firmly until level. Allow the mixture to set completely.

5 Tie wreath wire around the shell several times, creating a criss-cross pattern across the mixture. Secure with a knot.

6 Thread the leftover wire ends through a darning needle. Pierce the berries with the needle and thread the fruits on to the wire. Tie off the wire at the end. Repeat until you have three or four berry perches and a ring of berries around the hanging loop.

Pine-cone planters

Coat pine cones in a rich mix of cereals, nuts and seeds to make eco-friendly bird feeder.

Pinecone planter bird feeder

Skill level: Easy-peasy

Time to make: 1-2 hours

For this bird feeder, you will need:

✤ Pine cones
✤ Lard or suet
✤ Seeds
✤ Chopped nuts
✤ Cereal
✤ Florist’s wire
✤ Saucepan
✤ Baking tray
✤ Florist’s foam
✤ Small pots
✤ Wide hessian ribbon
✤ Red twine

1 Place the pine cones in a warm space, to encourage the scales to spread open. Secure a doubled piece of florist’s wire around the base of the pine cone and twist the wire ends to create a long stalk.

2 In a saucepan, warm the lard or suet over a gentle heat until loosened but not completely melted. Scatter the seeds, chopped nuts and cereal on to a baking tray.

3 Dip a pine cone into the fat, making sure the spikes are completely coated – use a spoon to push the fat in between the scales if necessary.

4 Roll the pine cone across the tray of seed mix, so the dry ingredients stick to the fat on the spikes.

Shake off any excess and allow to cool. Repeat for the other pine cones.

5 Cut cubes of florist’s foam to fit inside each small pot. Push the florist-wire stalk at the bottom of each pine cone into the foam until stable.

6 Wrap a piece of hessian ribbon around each pot and secure with a piece of knotted red twine. Decorate with foraged fruits and nuts from your garden if you like.

Seed Snaps

Hang these no-bake treats from your tree’s branches and watch as the birds swoop down to feast

Seed snap bird feeder treats

Time to make: 20 minutes, plus chilling time

Skill level: 20 minutes, plus chilling time

For this bird feeder, you will need:

✤ Dry bird food (we used nyjer seeds mixed with rolled oats)
✤ Lard or suet
✤ Saucepan
✤ Wooden spoon
✤ Baking tray
✤ Greaseproof paper
✤ Biscuit cutters
✤ Skewer
✤ Twine

1 Create a mixture of one part dry bird food to two parts lard or suet. Place the lard or suet in a saucepan and heat gradually until melted. Mix the bird food into the melted lard with a wooden spoon, until all
the dry ingredients have been coated in the fat.

2 Line a baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper and lay the biscuit cutters on top. Spoon the seed mixture into the cutters until each is full to the brim.

3 Refrigerate the seed snaps for 5 minutes. Remove from the fridge and make a hole in the top of each with a skewer, then return to chill for a couple of hours.

4 Once the mixture has set, remove the seed snaps from the cutters. Thread a short piece of twine through the hole in the top and knot the ends to form a hanging loop.