As a bird lover, you want to create the best possible outdoor space to attract your feathered friends. However, the cost of purchasing quality bird feeders and bird baths can add up! As much as we would like to splurge on the latest and greatest, it’s not always in the budget.
Don’t let that discourage you from setting up your backyard to attract the local neighborhood birds. While they may take a little more time and effort on your part, DIY bird baths are a great way to accommodate the needs of your backyard birds while also incorporating your own unique style and personality into your décor.
To help inspire your creativity, we have put together a list of 53 DIY bird bath ideas ranging from simple, kid-friendly projects to more elaborate creations. There’s something for everyone!
Decorative Bird Bath Using a Plate and a Bowl
For this decorative bird bath, you will need a bowl and a plate. If you have some older dishes or china hanging around that you’re not sure what to do with, it’s a great way to repurpose it. If not, consider checking your local thrift shop for a budget-friendly solution. They can be from a matching set or simply two patterns that complement one another. Additionally, you will need an 8” long threaded metal rods, an eye bolt, washers, and nuts, and a coupling nut.
Carefully make a hole in the middle of each of the dishes using a tile or glass drill bit. Quick tip: Place an X of Painter’s Tape over the spot before you start drilling to help with the process. Thread a small nut and washer onto the eyebolt. Next, add the plate, threading the eyebolt through from the bottom of the plate to the top, placing a washer followed by a nut on the other side (the top of the plate). Using your coupling nut, connect the eyebolt to the threaded metal rod. Hand tighten the nut on each side of the plate but don’t use a tool to avoid cracking the china.
To add the bowl to the bottom, thread a nut onto the rod approximately 2 inches from the end. Following it, add a washer and then your bowl, this time feeding it on from the top through to the bottom, following it with a washer and 2 more nuts to hold it in place. Tighten the nuts above and below the bowl to ensure that it is secure. Seal around the nut inside the bowl using hot glue or a silicone sealant. Hang the bird bath from the eye bolt and fill your now sealed bowl with water.
Floral Bird Bath Display Using 2 Urn Planters
If you are interested in incorporating some brightly colored flowers with your new bird bath, this is a simple option to make that a reality. The structure of this bird bath is constructed using two urn-style planters of different sizes topped with a terra cotta planter tray. To begin, place the smaller urn inside of the larger urn, securing it at the bottom with a commercial-grade adhesive like E6000. Fill the bottom urn with potting soil, packing it around the base of the smaller urn. You can then plant your favorite seasonal flowers. Place a terra cotta tray in the opening of the top urn and fill it with water for your bath basin. This is easy to remove when needed for cleaning.
Trash Can Lid Bird Bath
A great example of reusing and recycling, this bird bath option requires nothing but an old metal garbage can lid and whatever rocks you can find around your property. When you turn the garbage can over, it creates the perfect bath basin for your local birds to enjoy. If you notice any holes or damage to your lid, however, you may have to take the time to silicone and seal off the areas of concern. Adding water to the lid will help to weigh it down, however, you can place a heavy rock in the center to ensure that your bird bath doesn’t go anywhere in the next storm. Your bird bath can be placed directly on the ground or create an elevated pedestal by stacking rocks to hold your bath up. Just make sure that any structures are sturdy and aren’t going to fall over from the movement and weight of birds (and other wildlife) coming and going.
Recycled Light Fixture Covers into Hanging Birdbaths
Whether you’ve been busy doing some redecorating around your house or simply found a beautiful light fixture cover at your local thrift shop, this is an easy-to-build and eye-catching solution for creating a bird bath. Check the exterior edge of your light cover to see if there are already holes for mounting the cover onto your overhead lighting. If not, you will need to drill 3 or 4 evenly spaced holes around the edge. Thread a piece of twine through each hole, tying it off to ensure that it can hold the light cover securely. Alternatively, use a split ring keyring to attach a utility chain to each of the points. Bring these 3 or 4 lengths of chain or twine together to hang your bird bath. Just be extra cautious as your bird bath will be easily broken if it’s dropped or hit against anything.
Beautiful Birdbath Using a Decorative Creamer
We’ve often seen teacups used as bird feeders, so why not make a cute china bird bath to match? To make this, you will need an old decorative creamer, a saucer, and a strong adhesive like E600. Carefully attach the spout end of the creamer to the center of the saucer by putting a bead of E600 both on the spout itself as well as the side of the creamer. Allow it to dry fully. You can now hang your new bird bath from the handle of the creamer and fill it with water for the birds to enjoy.
Create a Birdbath Flower with a Bundt Can and a Candle Holder
While you may not think ‘decorative’ when looking at an old bundt pan, you can repurpose one to make a really nice and decorative bird bath for your garden. First, you will need to find a decorative metal or iron self-standing candle holder. Ideally, you want to find one that holds a single central candle with some sort of decorative design to the sides, not a multiple candle holder. Spray paint your candle holder green and your bundt pan in the desired color of your flower. Place the bundt pan over the candle holder allowing the candle spot to rest in the center of the pan. You can now fill your pan with water and place it anywhere in and around your garden.
Repurpose a Serving Bowl
If you’ve recently started the process of decluttering your kitchen, you may find yourself in possession of a pretty serving bowl that you have a hard time parting with but never use. Rather than leaving it to collect dust in the back of your cupboard, why not transform it into a decorative bird bath that can be enjoyed by everyone that comes to visit? All you need to do is to mount the bowl on a large garden stake or wooden post. Stick with the recycling theme by using an old stair banister or the leg of an old table.
Birdbath from A Casserole Dish Lid
Made from thick, durable glass that is designed to withstand the wear and tear of years of use in the kitchen, the glass lid from an old casserole dish can be repurposed to make a simple suspended bird bath. First, using a smaller piece of utility chain, create a chain circle that will easily sit around the center handle on the lid. To suspend the bath basin, you will then need 4 more lengths of utility chain, all cut to an equal length. Attach one end of each chain to the circle that you just created, evenly spaced from one another. Take the other ends and bring all 4 together using a strong carabiner. The carabiner will serve as the hanging point for the bath. Place your casserole lid in the chain hanging structure so that it rests upside down with the handle in the center of the lid positioned in the middle of the original chain circle and the 4 hanging chains extending up from the 4 sides of the lid. Hang your bird bath in a tree or from your front porch and fill the lid with water.
Transform Fido’s Water Dish
Pet owners that are looking for a beautiful way to memorialize their pets by repurposing their belongings can transform their food or water dish into a simple, decorative bird bath. Mount the bowl on a platform or on top of a simple garden stake for a minimalist look. If you want to level up the appearance, pair your pet’s dish with a large metal serving bowl. Fill the bowl approximately ¾ with potting soil before placing your dish in the center, filling in the rest of the potting soil around it. You can now plant smaller flowers and plants around the exterior of the dish to bring in a pop of color before filling the pet dish with water and putting your new bird bath out in your yard.
Small, Simple Birdbath Using a Soup Ladle
If the local birds that you are looking to provide for are on the smaller side, you may be able to get away with a compact bird bath made from a wide metal soup ladle. Mount your ladle on a wooden plaque or decorative board. To make this work, you may need to slightly bend the connection point between the ladle and the handle, allowing it to sit flush with the surface. This is a great option for those working with limited space, like an apartment balcony or a small deck area.
Stylize Your Birdbath with a Compact Disc Mosaic
Many DIY bird baths use a standard terra cotta planting tray as a bath basin; however, the neutral color and lack of design don’t necessarily create the most decorative appearance. The good news I that you can ‘spice it up’ easily by incorporating some old CDs. The first part is arguably the most fun. Take your old CDs and smash them, breaking them into small, uneven pieces. Taking these pieces, create a mosaic with the bluish-colored side of the CD up, gluing them down with a strong water-resistant adhesive. The goal is to cover the inside of the planter tray but to leave small gaps between the pieces allowing the terra cotta itself to be seen through as if adding framing to each piece. When you’re finished, place your new bird bath on the ground or porch, or create a pedestal of some form to hold it before filling it with water.
Repurpose an Old Kitchen Pan
Another opportunity to upcycle the clutter in your home is to turn an old kitchen pan into a fun DIY bird bath. The ideal pan is wide and relatively shallow to make it easier for the birds to access the water inside. To give the bird bath a more polished look, spray paint the pan in a color that matches your outdoor décor. This could range from a classic white or a more whimsical, bold color choice. If you are interested in adding another layer to the décor, create a mosaic using the CD technique above, use glass aquarium stones to create a colorful interior, or set up a more natural look with standard garden stones. Your new bird bath can be used directly on the ground or mounted on a pedestal depending on the birds that you are hoping to attract.
Combine Food and Water Using a Chip and Dip Platter
Rather than focusing solely on the creation of a bird bath, you can easily create a combination bird bath and feeder by repurposing a standard chip and dip platter. If you don’t already have a platter sitting around the house, you can pick one up without spending too much at your local big box store, thrift shop, or even at your local dollar store. The best part about these platters is that they can be purchased in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and designs. It’s a great way to create a fun and whimsical addition for your backyard, deck, or garden space. Simply mount the platter on a standard garden stake to secure it in the ground with ease.
Create a Feature with a Wire Plant Basket
While a wire plant basket obviously isn’t going to hold water for a bird bath, it can be used as part of a decorative addition to your porch or garden space. All you need is a bowl that is the correct size to sit securely inside the basket. Hang it up as you would when displaying a planter and fill your bowl with water. You can add to the decorative element by weaving vines or other plants through the sides. You can change the look of your bird bath by changing the color or design of the bowl that you are using inside.
Build A Birdbath Using Terra Cotta Pots and Planter Trays
Build your own colorful and one-of-a-kind bird bath using terra cotta pots and saucers. To put this together, you will need 3 terra cotta pots in sizes 10”, 8”, and 6”, a 14” terra cotta saucer, industrial-strength adhesive (like E6000), and a selection of spray paint in the color(s) of your choice. Spray paint your pots and the saucer in the colors and designs of your choice. You can stick with a single color, choose a color for each item, or work in some fun designs and patterns with the help of painter’s tape. When your paint is dry, spray a clear coat over all pieces to protect your work.
Stack your three plants one on top of the other upside down, with the largest pot on the bottom working up to the smallest pot at the top. They will overlap slightly, but still allow you to show off the colors and designs that you chose. Using the E6000, glue the saucer on top of the smallest pot with the opening of the saucer facing upward. Fill the saucer with water and enjoy!
Make a Pretty Birdbath Using a Vase and a Platter
The supplies for this bird bath can be found in your local dollar store. You will need a vase and a large platter, preferably in the same or complementary colors, as well as an industrial adhesive, super glue, or glue gun. You can create this with plastic kid-friendly pieces to include the whole family or opt for a more ‘upscale’ looking bird bath by purchasing a decorative glass platter and vase. Glue the opening of the vase to the bottom, center of the platter. If you are interested in adding a decorative element, glass aquarium stones can be glued to the vase sides or on top of the platter. This style of bird bath looks very nice when set up in any garden or surrounded by potted flowers.
Create a Shallow Birdbath with a Baking Pan
In general, smaller birds prefer to find shallower water sources allowing them to access the water without concern for it being too deep. If you’re looking to attract smaller bird species, including hummingbirds, try assembling a shallow bird bath using an old baking pan. You can decorate using natural elements including plants, rocks, shells, driftwood, or even a water feature. To create a space where they feel safe and secure, set up your bird bath on an elevated platform or surface.
Recycle an Old Porcelain Sink
Have you recently updated your bathroom? If so, you may have an old sink sitting around that you’re debating either advertising for sale or sending to the dump. Before you decide, consider this cute bird bath idea. Porcelain is a popular material for outdoor décor due to how durable it is over time. Why not repurpose your old sink or tub by transforming it into a bird bath. You will need to seal up the drain portion of the sink, which can be done in a variety of ways depending on the aesthetic you desire. If you want to embrace the sink appearance, use an industrial adhesive to permanently secure the usual drain plug. You can even run a small pump to create a fountain with water coming out of the tap. If, however, you are looking to create a look where it appears that nature has taken over, replace the standard plug with rocks, adding silicone (if needed) to seal off the drain.
Turn Your Broken Lamp into a Birdbath
Many of the options on this list require a pedestal of some form to elevate the bath. One creative way to repurpose items that would otherwise find their way to the landfill is to transform your decorative table lamp into a new bird bath. Remove the light/bulb portion of the lamp, including the lampshade to reveal just the base of the lamp. Carefully cut away any electrical cords as they will no longer be needed. At this stage, you can spray paint the base, if desired, to match the colors of your outdoor décor. To create the basin, use an industrial-strength adhesive to attach a bowl or tray on top. For inspiration, consider some of the other options on the list such as the kitchen pan or pet dish.
DIY Hanging Birdbath Nest
Take advantage of the post-holiday sales by purchasing a grapevine wreath to create a beautiful, decorative bird bath. In addition to the wreath, you will need a roll of twine, a terra cotta saucer, sized so that it sits securely in the wreath, and any decorations that you would like to incorporate such as decorative moss, artificial plants, or silk flowers. To begin, cut 3 lengths of twine of even lengths. Tie each of them to the wreath, evenly spaced, then bring the other ends together and tie an overhand knot to bring them all together. This will be how you hang your bird bath.
Using an industrial-strength adhesive or a glue gun, glue the terra cotta saucer onto the top of the wreath so that it’s resting in the center as if the wreath is a nest forming around it. You can then decorate your new nest by adding flowers or greenery around the outside of the saucer but be sure to leave space for your birds to perch on the edge of the saucer. When the glue or adhesive has had the opportunity to dry fully, you’re ready to add water and hang your bird bath outside. If you love the aesthetic, consider making a matching bird feeder!
Build a Birdbath with Just a Planter Tray and a Tomato Cage
If you’re looking for a quick, simple DIY bird bath, here’s an option to consider. All you need to put this together is a wire tomato cage and a terra cotta saucer, sized to rest on top of the cage. Place your tomato cage in your garden or a corner of your yard, careful to push the stakes down as far as possible into the ground to make sure that it’s secure and not going to tip over with the movement of your neighborhood birds. If you want to camouflage the cage, consider weaving vines in and around the wires. For the basin, your terra cotta saucer (if sized properly) will sit right on top of the cage with the center of the saucer dipping down into the cage to keep it from falling off while the lip of the saucer sits on top of the cage to keep it from falling through. You can add additional decorative notes by painting the saucer, adding a CD mosaic (see above), or incorporating rocks and aquarium stones.
Unique Concrete Leaf Birdbath
On the other end of the spectrum, this is one of the more complicated bird baths on our list. You will need a large leaf (such as a rhubarb leaf or a large hosta leaf), a pile of sand, plastic wrap, 3 cups of contractor’s sand, 1 cup of Portland cement, 1/4 cup of concrete fortifier, and a large piece of utility plastic or a tarp to protect your working space.
Spread out your sheet of plastic or tarp to protect the area where you are working. Place the pile of sand directly in the center, wet it down slightly, and create a packed pile as you would while creating a sandcastle or sculpture. Ideally, you want it to be approximately the size of your leaf as this will be used to hold your leaf in the right shape. Aim to structure it to hold the leaf open wider, creating a shallow bath basin. Cover your pile of sand with plastic wrap before laying the leaf on top, vein-side up, in the center of the pile.
In a large plastic bowl or pail, mix your contractor’s sand and Portland cement. Using a separate bowl, combine the concrete fortifier with 1/4 cup of water. Slowly add this mixture to your first pail of sand/cement, mixing it as you go until it reaches a thick batter consistency. When you’re happy with the mixture, take a handful at a time (wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands) and place it on the center of the leaf. Carefully spread it out, reaching out to all edges. This initial layer will give you a working surface while picking up the unique veining of your leaf.
You can now start to build up your bird bath by slowly adding the mixture on top of your base layer. Ideally, you want to create a basin that will be approximately 1 inch thick for strength and durability. Smooth out the edges to create a smooth finished product. Build the center of the bowl up slightly and flatten out the top of it to act as a pedestal. Cover your creation with plastic and leave it to dry for approximately 24-48 hours. Check on it occasionally and mist it slightly if needed to keep it from drying too quickly and cracking.
Carefully remove the leaf from the casting that you have now created. It will leave the imprint of the veins behind, adding character to your bird bath. After the leaf has come off, your basin will need to sit for another week to fully dry and cure. At that point, you can either paint or simply seal the basin with a clear coat before filling it with water and putting it out for your local birds to enjoy.
Assemble a Hanging Bird Feeder and Birdbath
Assemble a simple hanging bird bath and bird feeder using plastic bowls and drinking straws. You will need 3 bowls or plastic containers, 6 standard plastic drinking straws, and 4 lengths of twine or string. Cut 2 of the 6 straws in half before setting them all aside. Carefully create 4 holes in the rim of each bowl, evenly spaced around the exterior. Tie a large knot at the base of each of your lengths of twine, ensuring that it’s big enough to keep the twine from pulling right through the holes that you have created.
Take a piece of twine and feed it through one of the holes in your first bowl from the bottom of the bowl up through to the top. Thread one of the full straws onto the string. Feed it through the second bowl from the bottom to the top. Thread a half straw onto the string. Finally, feed it through the third bowl, but this time going from the top through to the bottom so that the bowl is upside down compared to the others. Repeat this process with the other three strings before bringing all 4 strings together above the feeder and tying them in a knot. You can now hang your new feeder/bath. Fill the middle bowl with your birdseed of choice and add water to the bottom.
Recycle an Old Satellite Dish into a Colorful Birdbath
With the rise of streaming networks, many people are moving away from the use of satellite dishes entirely. But what are you going to do with that old TV dish? Look carefully at the shape of the dish. It’s perfectly suited to be repurposed as a new bath basin for your local birds! Spray paint your new bird bath to suit the colors in your outdoor decorating. If you want to take your bird bath to the next level, consider using a small pump to create a decorative fountain feature. You can even put a hole in the middle of the basin, allowing the water to drain out and be recirculated for this purpose.
Turn Cute Dollhouse Furniture into a Birdbath that Will Make You Smile
As the kids get older, you may find yourself wondering what to do with their old toys. Do you throw them away? Donate them? Give them to someone with young kids still in the house? We have a fun new suggestion – Why not transform them into an adorable bird bath. A simple dollhouse bathtub can easily be hung for the birds to enjoy. Other options include taking the top out of an old car toy and sealing it off or even repurposing a large toddler-style building block by turning it upside down to reveal the open bottom. Get creative or invite the kids to join in the fun and see what they come up with.
Make Your Own Concrete Bird Bath
Do you like the more traditional look of a standard concrete bird bath? If so, you can make one using a similar technique to what we outlined in the concrete leaf bird bath above. Mix up your concrete following the instructions above. To create the bath basin itself, you will need 2 containers in the shape of your choice, one smaller than the other, a children’s plastic sand pail, WD-40, and a rag. You can substitute vegetable oil for WD-40, if necessary.
To start, using the WD-40 and your rag, grease the inside of the pail, the inside of the larger container, and the outside of the smaller container. This will make it easier to reveal the bird bath when the concrete has had a chance to dry. Slowly scoop the concrete into the pail, jiggling the container as you go to get rid of any air bubbles. Repeat this process with the larger of your two containers, filling it up approximately 1/2 to 2/3 of the way. Take your smaller container and slowly press it down into the large container until the concrete is coming up the sides. This will create the center of your bird bath. Remember, birds prefer a shallower bath area. You can help remove any air pockets by jiggling the container a little or putting a little pressure on the bottom, pushing them out towards the edge to release them. Fill the top container with enough water to create weight and hold it in place.
Allow your containers to sit for 48 hours before carefully removing the castings from your containers. With a wire brush, carefully smooth out the surface and remove any rough edges or corners. After smoothing it out, rinse it down with your hose and wipe it clean with a sponge or soft cloth. Pay careful attention to the top and bottom of the pail to make sure that they are flat to allow you to assemble and display your finished bird bath. Give the bird bath time to dry, then set the basin on top of the pedestal and fill it with water.
Create a Birdbath Dripper with a Rustic Appeal
If your backyard space has a more cottage, country, or rustic feeling aesthetic, this simple bird bath dripper is the perfect addition. To make your own, there are three main parts to consider – the drip bucket (with handles), a stand to hold the drip bucket, and a pan to catch the drips. The stand can be constructed easily with two fence posts, they just need to stand firmly on their own when set up in the yard. To begin, set up the posts using your bucket as a guideline for distance. The bucket will need to hang comfortably between them. Make sure to secure your posts in the ground so that they will stand up to the elements over time. If you are sure that you aren’t going to be moving your dripper, you can use concrete for more security. Put a large nail on the inside of each post at the height where you want your drip bucket to rest, allowing it to hang using the handles.
In the bottom of the bucket, you want to create a single tiny hole. The size of this hole is important. Too small, and the water won’t get through at all. Too large and the water will just empty out of the bucket. One suggestion is to hammer a straight pin or thumbtack through the bottom (depending on how thick the material of your pail is). If you accidentally create a hole that is too large, you can patch it up with silicone caulk before trying once again.
Finally, set up your tray on the ground between the posts to catch the drips. To weigh it down (and add to the aesthetic), add rocks of varying sizes to the tray. This will also provide the birds with options for where to perch. Hang your drip bucket from the posts and fill it with water. As the water drips out, it will land in the tray slowly filling it for the birds to enjoy.