Years ago, my husband brought home a stack of metal spools used
to store MIG wire. He sewed wire cloth onto the spool in a somewhat
rudimentary fashion, and called it a bird feeder. A raccoon demolished
it, the spool was chunked into a pile, and that was the end of that.
Fast forward a few years, and I found myself with a backyard that had
become a bird oasis. It seemed like a good time to drag out the old
feeder and give it an overhaul.
The result is a large feeder that is very durable, can be painted, easily
filled, will feed many birds at once, and will also last a very long time.
Gather the following materials for your feeder:
1 large metal spool (mine is a 12" spool)
These spools are typically used to hold MIG welding wire, but can also
be used to hold other wire. Check with local welding supply stores. Any
welder should be able to steer you toward a pile of these spools, free of
1 roll of hardware cloth
You will need enough cloth to cover the front, back, and circumference
of the edge of the spool. A 10' x 3' roll will cover almost nine 12" spools.
1 roll of galvanized steel wire (I used 24 gauge, with a 10 pound work load)
A short length of chain that can be shortened, used to hang the feeder
The following tools are necessary, if not very helpful:
Sheet metal scissors
Felt-tip pen such as a Sharpie
Durable hand protection, such as leather gloves
A tool with a tiny hook on it, such as a small latch-hook or crochet hook