Create a fun apple bird feeder to attract garden birds! An easy, eco-friendly project for kids and a treat for wildlife.

  • Family Friendly
  • Time & Effort
  • Supplies Needed
Apple Slice Covered in Mealworm and Bird Seed hanging on bare tree in garden with two more slices out of focus behind.

Look after the birds in your garden with our super easy DIY bird feeder apple slices.  They are so easy to make.  Perfect for any time of year of course but especially in the winter months when food is scarce, and birds may need a little extra help.

They are also a great way to help attract birds to your garden for the RSPB Big Annual Birdwatch and of course a lovely hands-on way to teach children about wildlife care

And if you include some bird-favourite worms in the food mix, you’re bound to up the intrigue and excitement when making these feeders.

Apples are not just great for us but also for our feathered friends. They’re natural, biodegradable, and a real treat for garden birds. Plus, they’re a superb choice for a bird feeder as they’re easy to come by and safe for our winged visitors. You might even attract some of the UK’s favourite garden birds like robins, blue tits, and sparrows.

Worktop with saucepan containing melting lard on gas hob, wooden board with apple and apple slices, twine, scissors, knife, apple corer, bowl of bird seed and bowl of mealworm.

Equipment To Make Apple Slice Feeders For Birds

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make these bird apple slices.

Apples

Any apples will do.  Obviously the crisper they are, the easier they are to work with.

Bird Food

We used a mixture of wild bird seed and mealworm.  Both were readily available in the supermarket and good for a wide range of wild garden bird species. 

Obviously you can leave out the mealworm if they really don’t appeal.  However, they are great for a little bit of ick factor to get the kids excited – they honestly don’t feel as “wormy” as they look!  Plus, plenty of garden birds such as blue tits and robins love mealworm so you’ll have a better chance of attracting these visitors to your feeding station with mealworm on the menu!  

You’ll only need about a handful of each bird food so no need to buy too much.  And you may already have items in stock at home that you can use.  For example, lots of garden birds love oats, peanuts (unsalted of course, and preferably halved to avoid young chicks choking) and sunflower seedsRaisins are great for birds too.

One word of caution:  Some of our feathered friends’ favourite foods are not safe for our four-legged friends.  So, if you have a dog in your household, be sure to check which bird foods are safe to use (and be sure to steer clear of dried vine fruits, such as raisins).

Lard

We use the lard here as a way to stick the bird food to the apple slices and also to provide the birds with some extra nutritious fat to keep them well nourished over the winter months.  You could replace the lard with suet if it’s easier to find.

If you don’t want the hassle of melting anything, peanut butter works well too – just spread it on the apple slices with a knife.

Twine

You’ll need something to hang the apple slices up with and twine is a great eco-friendly option.

Other Items Required

You’ll also need:

  • Large chopping board
  • Knife
  • Apple corer
  • Saucepan
  • Spoon
  • Scissors
Using Wooden Spoon To Cover Apple Slice In Bird Seed.

Covering Apple Slices In Bird Seed

How To Make Bird Apple Feeders

The brilliant thing about making apple slice bird feeders is how simple they are!  It won’t take more than a few minutes and then you can have all sorts of fun watching out for bird visitors.  Plus, it’s a really child friendly activity so the whole family can join in.  

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Melt the lard in a small saucepan.
  2. Core the apples and slice them into pieces around 1cm thick.  You’ll want them to be chunky enough that they can hold the bird food and don’t disintegrate too quickly on the tree.
  3. Cut a length of twine and feed it through the middle of the apple slice and then tie the two ends in a knot to forming a hanging loop.  Repeat for each apple slice.
  4. Prepare plates or bowls of wild bird seed, mealworm, and any other bird foods you’ve found to use.
  5. Holding the apple slice by the twine, dunk it into the melted lard (taking care not to get any of the hot fat on you).  Ensure the apple slice is completely coated.
  6. Dunk the slice immediately into the largest of the bird food items (in our case, that was the mealworm).  Coat it on both sides.  Then dunk it into the next size food (the bird seed for us) and so on until all the bird foods you’ve chosen have been visited.  We found it useful to use a spoon to help cover the slice.  Gently shake off the excess and lay the apple slice on a board to cool and set.
  7. Repeat for each apple slice.  When all slices have been placed on the board, spoon some of the remaining lard onto the slices to help set the bird food in place.  Allow to cool and set before turning over and repeating on the other side.  We prepared the apple slices outside on a very cold day so the apple slices set almost immediately.
  8. Once completely cool and set, hang your apple slice bird feeders up outside ready for feathered friends to visit.
Wooden board of completed apple slices covered in bird feed, together with bowls of bird seed and mealworm and at top of photo is a gas hob with saucepan of melted lard.

Apple Slice Bird Feeders

Setting Up Your Bird Feeder

Once your apple bird feeders are ready, it’s time to find the perfect spot to hang them. Choose a place where you can easily watch the birds come and go – near a window or in a spot visible from your garden seating. Different heights can attract different birds, so why not experiment a bit?

Here’s the guidance from the RSPB on where to position your feeders.  “Somewhere:

  • Quiet – where birds won’t be disturbed.
  • Safe – not too close to bushes where predators could hide in wait, but close enough to cover that birds can easily dart to and from. Birds like to have a view all around them while feeding.
  • Sheltered from harsh winds.”
Apple Slice For Birds Hanging In Tree.

Apple Slice For Birds Hanging In Tree.  Not for the squirmish but great for the birds!

Observing Your Feathered Friends

Now, the fun part – birdwatching! See which birds visit your feeders and how they interact with this fruity treat. It’s a great chance to learn about the different species that frequent our gardens.

Grab a pair of binoculars and maybe a bird guidebook, and you’re all set for a bit of bird-spotting.  You could even join the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch which takes place in the UK each year.

Involving Kids in the Fun

This activity is a brilliant way to get the children interested in wildlife. They can help make the feeders, hang them up, and then keep a little journal of their bird sightings. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get kids thinking about life outdoors during the winter months.  And a chance for them to learn about different bird species and the importance of caring for our environment.

Homemade Apple Bird Feeder Instructions

Here’s the detailed instructions with materials and step-by-step photos for how to create our bird feeder apple slices.  Have fun!

Apple Slice Covered in Mealworm and Bird Seed hanging on bare tree in garden with two more slices out of focus behind.
Print
No ratings yet

DIY Apple Bird Feeder

Keep garden birds fed this winter with a fun DIY apple bird feeder! An easy, eco-friendly project for kids and a treat for wildlife.

Materials

  • 2 apples any kind
  • handful wild bird seed
  • handful mealworm
  • 100g lard
  • twine

Instructions

  • Melt the lard in a saucepan.
  • Core the apples and slice, approximately 1cm thick.
    Hands slicing apple on wooden board to make bird feeders.
  • Thread a piece of twine through the centre of each apple slice and tie to create a hanging loop.
    Apple slices tied with twine from cored centres ready for bird food to be added to them.
  • Dunk an apple slice in the melted lard to coat it fully (taking care to keep hands away from the lard as it will be very hot).
    Apple slice held up by twine and being dunked into melted lard.
  • Dunk the slice in the mealworm on both sides and then in the bird seed. Use a spoon to add more feed to both sides if necessary. Place the coated apple slice on a board.
    Using Wooden Spoon To Cover Apple Slice In Bird Seed.
  • Repeat for each apple slice.
  • Spoon over a little more lard to help hold the bird feed in position. Let it cool and set (put in the fridge for a few minutes if necessary) and then turn over the apple slices and repeat on the other side.
    Wooden spoon pouring more melted lard onto apple slice bird feeders.
  • Hang apple slices in tree for the birds to enjoy.
    Apple Slice Covered in Mealworm and Bird Seed hanging on bare tree in garden with two more slices out of focus behind.
Share Your Creation!Mention @jollyfestive or tag #jollyfestive!