Introduction: Squirrel Feeder From Scraps

About: I'm a middle school science teacher going on 20 years in the classroom. I've taught 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I'm constantly looking to improve my instruction and Instructables is one of the places I search…

This time of year in North Carolina, I love watching the birds perch on my feeders. I also love watching the squirrels struggle to reach my feeders (which they almost always figure out how to do!). Since I can't seem to beat em'... I'll feed em'. I decided to build a miniature picnic table for the squirrels to have their own backyard party. Maybe this will act as a temporary solution? The table is a fun addition to the backyard and super easy to build!

I had some scraps of cedar left behind from a birdhouse I built with my kids. Cedar is a good choice for this type of project due to it's ability to withstand the elements and it's safe for birds and squirrels (non pressure treated!).


Wood Scraps

Wood Glue

Tape Measure


Miter Saw or hand saw

Table Saw or hand saw

Brad Gun (not required)

Mini Solo Cups or Small bowl to hold seeds

Step 1: Calculating Dimensions

The picnic table in my back yard has a top that is 70" long and is about 30" tall. With this information, I could shrink my proportions down to a smaller scale. I had a 10" long piece of scrap cedar that was going to serve as the table top and I needed to calculate how long the legs needed to be. For this, I utilized my inner 7th grade math brain to discover my table should be about 4" high (Mrs. Heath would be so proud).

Most of the other dimensions are not to scale, but are close enough. You can look at the notes in the first picture from this step to get an overview of all the cuts/dimensions.

Step 2: Table Top

I debated cutting the table top into smaller strips to give it a more realistic touch. I also considered scoring the table with a knife to add the appearance of multiple boards. In the end, I figured the squirrels wouldn't care that much and left it as a solid top. It's made of a 10" x 5.5" x 5/8" scrap of cedar fence picket.

Step 3: Table Legs and Cross Beams

I cut the legs from a strip of scrap cedar. The dimensions are 4" x 1.25" x 0.5". Each leg is a parallelogram with 30 degree cuts on each end.

I glued a cross beam 9" x 0.5" x 0.5" to the legs to make an "A" frame. I used an extra scrap of cedar across the top of the "A" to make sure the tops of the legs would be flush with the bottom of the table top. Add wood glue across the middle of the legs and lay the cross beam into place. Allow glue to bond.

Not required, but I also added a couple of 1" brads to help hold in place and speed up the build.

Step 4: Attach Legs to Underside of Table Top

Flip the table top over and glue the legs/crossbeams to the underside of the table top. I marked a line 1.75" in from each end of the table top and glued the legs to "underside" of the table. I used the "benches" to help support the legs as they dried.

Give the table legs about 20 minutes to dry.

Step 5:

Step 6: Benches

Flip the table back over and glue down your benches. The benches are 10" long (same as the table top) x 1.75" x 0.5".

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Something tells me squirrels are the types to vandalize the property of others. I imagined all sorts of things they might carve into the table, but settled on "I Heart Nuts".

I also drilled a hole for a mini umbrella.

The shot sized solo cups filled with bird seed are the perfect addition to this setup.

I shouldn't have to wait too long before the neighborhood squirrels come to feast with the birds on this scrap wood picnic table!

* once the glue had dried completely I added a few more brads to strengthen the table.

Scraps Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge