Recycle a Pumpkin Into a Bird Feeder

snack o lantern

Make a “snack-o-lantern” for wildlife.

What You Need

  • Bird seed
  • Bowl
  • Thin dowels, approximately 3 feet long (optional)
  • Drill (optional)
  • Hand saw (optional)
  • Large sharp knife
  • Pumpkin
  • Rope
  • Rubber mallet (optional)
  • Metal spoon
  • Large U-shaped metal staple (optional)

What You Do

  1. Prepare your pumpkin.
    One way to make a Snack-o-lantern is to take your existing jack-o-lantern that you carved for Halloween, and recycled it. You can fill it with birdseed and put it out without further changes.
    If you have an uncarved pumpkin, and want to make a more elaborate snack-o-lantern, follow these instructions.
    Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.

    scoop pumpkin

  2. Cut your dowels so they stick out on either side of the pumpkin.
    Stick the dowels through the pumpkin. This makes perches for the birds. If you can’t push the dowels through the side of the pumpkin because it is too hard, you might need to use a hand drill to make holes first.

    add perches

  3. Decide how tall you want to make the roof.
    Measure off the dowels at that spot and cut them with a hand saw.


  4. Stick the dowels in the bottom half of the pumpkin.
    Then press the roof over top.

    girl put sticks

  5. Take some rope and criss-cross it on the bottom of the snack-o-lantern.
    Put a metal staple over the X and pound it in with a rubber mallet.

    staple pumpkin

  6. Wrap the rope around to the top of the snack-o-lantern and pound in another staple.
    Fill it with bird seed and hang it up.
    We had a fat squirrel quickly dis-mantle our snack-o-lantern. Its weight caused the pumpkin to slip sideways. So you might consider this to be a gift to the squirrels and just put it on a stump, rather than hanging it up.
    Another idea is to roast the pumpkin seeds and use them as the bird seed.

    snack o lantern