How to Make a Squirrel Feeder

This feeder provides an unusually clear view of the squirrels that visit it. The bold critters actually climb inside the feed jar to eat!

Introduction

A squirrel feeder you can build yourself.

Tools Required

  • Compass
  • Jigsaw
  • Rough sandpaper
  • Tape measure

Materials Required

  • 1 1-gallon glass jar
  • 1 1"x6" x 6' “dog-eared” cedar fence board
  • 2-1/2" and 1-5/8" galvanized deck screws

DIY Squirrel Feeder

This squirrel feeder requires only a minimum of materials. All that’s needed to build it is a 6-ft. fence board, a handful of screws and a 1-gal. glass jar. If you don’t have the glass jar, or don’t want to eat a year’s supply of pickles to build this feeder, ask local restaurants, schools or other establishments that buy food in bulk if they have a jar to spare. Just be sure it has an inside diameter of at least 6-in., so the squirrels can dine in comfort. Plus, giving squirrels a place to feed can keep them out of places they shouldn’t be— like your birdfeeders.

figure a entertaining squirrel feeder

Squirrel Feeder Project PDF:

Click the link below to download the construction drawings for this project.

Figure A

Project step-by-step (9)

Step 1

Cut Out Your Pieces

  • Grab your jigsaw and cut the pieces from the cedar fence board according to the board layout shown above.

Step 2

Trace the Jar Curve

  • Make the jar support by tracing the curve of the jar onto the wood.
  • The lowest point of the curve should be 1-in. from the bottom of the board. Cut along the line with a saber saw.
  • Place the jar on the support to check that it fits well. Trim the sharp corners off the support (about 1/4 to 1/2-in.) and smooth rough edges with sandpaper. The curved piece left over from this will become the end piece.

Step 3

Cut Out the Holes

  • Cut entrance holes in both side pieces.
  • Mark a spot about 3-1/2 in. from the highest corner of each board and center the hole from side to side.
  • Draw a 3-in. diameter circle with a compass, then cut out the holes with a saber saw.
  • Smooth rough edges with sandpaper.

Step 4

Make a Place for the Jar

Make a hole in the front of the feeder to hold the neck of the jar. This is a tricky step because jars vary in size.

  • Start by determining the radius of the jar’s mouth. Then lay the jar on its side and measure from the tabletop to the bottom of the mouth.
  • Add these two measurements plus 1-in.
  • Mark this distance from the bottom of the front board and center. From this point, draw a circle 1/2 in. larger than the diameter of the mouth.
  • Cut the hole with your jigsaw.

Step 5

Assemble the Feeder

  • Assemble the front and sides of the squirrel feeder, then attach the assembled pieces to the base. These joints, and all others, will be fastened with 1-5/8-in. galvanized deck screws.
    • Pro tip: Cedar splits easily, so be sure to drill pilot holes in each piece before driving in the screws.

Step 6

Insert the Jar

  • Attach the jar support about 3-in. from the far end of the base. Then position the rounded end piece—which keeps the jar from sliding out of the feeder—at the edge of the base.
  • Make sure there is enough clearance for you to tip the jar out for filling. If it’s too tight, use a rasp to round the inside curved edge of this end piece until the jar can easily be removed. If the jar is too loose, move the rounded end farther up the base before attaching it.

Step 7

Attach the Mounting Board

  • Predrill holes in the top and bottom of the mounting board.
  • Attach the mounting board to the feeder with 1-5/8-in. deck screws.
Step 8

Cut a Beveled Edge (Optional)

  • If you’d like to make a beveled edge on the roof piece so it tightly meets the mounting board, cut a 15-degree angle on the back edge of the roof with a table saw. Then attach it to the feeder.

Step 9

Mount the Feeder

  • Mount the feeder on a tree with 2-1/2-in. deck screws (this is a heavy feeder— you’ll need large screws to mount it securely) and fill it with peanuts in the shell, cracked corn or birdseed.
  • It won’t be long before you’ll be inviting the neighbors over to admire your “squirrel under glass!”

entertaining squirrel feeder half way