5 Easy DIY Bird Baths
There are plenty of bird bath options available for less than $100 – or even less than $50 – both online and at local garden centers and home stores. So, if you just want a simple bird bath on a stand that you can set in your yard without any additional effort on your part, that is certainly an option. However, if you would like to use materials you already have on hand, want to save even more money, or just prefer a do-it-yourself approach, then this list of five easy, diy bird baths is for you.
1. Tea Pot Bird Bath
This whimsical teapot cake plate from Dollar Store Crafts may specify that it is for cakes, but it can just as easily be used as a unique, simple bird bath option you can make with items you have on hand or that can be inexpensively acquired at a flea market or thrift store. You will need a tea pot, tea cups, saucers, a large plate, and a bowl. Other materials for this diy bird bath project include spray paint and ceramic glue.
You can read about the full process here. The basics include starting with your bowl upside-down as the foundation of your tea party-inspired tower. Use the ceramic glue to glue one of the tea cups onto the bottom of the bowl. Work your way up the tower gluing your saucers, tea cups, and tea pot in place. Complete the tower by gluing your plate on top to provide the vessel for the water. You can then spray paint your creation and allow it to dry thoroughly before placing it and filling the plate with water.
2. Shallow Bowl on the Ground Bird Bath
If you do not have dogs, cats, or other predators that might attack birds while they are bathing at ground level, this is the absolute simplest option for adding a DIY bird bath to your backyard. Almost any shallow receptacle that will hold water will do just fine for this project. For example, you could use a pie plate, an upside-down garbage can lid, a shallow serving bowl, a deep dish, or a terra cotta saucer.
To keep it simple but add more height, you can also place your shallow dish on the railing of your deck, on a vintage chair, or on a ledge to keep it off the ground.
3. Repurposed Lamp Bird Bath
If you have an old lamp that you love but that is no longer working, consider transforming it into a beautiful bird bath to give it new life. Color Me Thrifty has a step-by-step guide on how to do this. The basic steps are to acquire an old lamp from your attic or a thrift store, remove all of the wiring and unneeded parts, clean it, spray paint it, and then use a strong adhesive to glue a bowl or plate to the top. Let it dry, place it in your garden, and start enjoying more birds coming to your yard to freshen up.
4. Terra Cotta Pot and Saucer Bird Bath
Another simple option is to attach a saucer on top of a terra cotta pot to create a bird bath. Choose the size of the pot in accordance to how tall you would like your bird bath to be, and be sure to use a strong adhesive to permanently attach the saucer to provide a safe bath for the birds.
To make a taller bird bath with a bit more visual interest, use two pots attached with adhesive with a saucer on top. To accomplish this, attach the pots at their bases. Then set one end on the ground and attach the saucer to the top of the pot on top.
Alternatively, you can stack pots together starting with the largest pot on the bottom, a slightly smaller pot next, and then a smaller pot on top of that. Use a strong adhesive to attach the pots in the stack, and then attach a saucer or other shallow vessel to the base of the pot on the top of the stack.
For added visual appeal, you can paint your pots and saucer, or create a tile mosaic in the saucer.
5. Stepladder and Bowl Bird Bath
All you need for this simple bird bath is an old stepladder, paint, strong adhesive, and a vessel for the water. The vessel can be any shallow receptacle that will fit on top of the stepladder, such as a vintage serving dish, a terra cotta saucer, a pie plate, or a deep dish. Our Fairfield Home & Garden lays out the whole process, but here are the basics.
Paint the stepladder in your color of choice, allow it to dry, attach your terra cotta saucer or other water vessel to the top of the stepladder with a strong adhesive, fill with water, and enjoy. As you see in the photo from Our Fairfield Home & Garden, you can also glue a small flowerpot or other decoration into the water vessel or on the steps of the ladder.
How to Clean and Maintain a Bird Bath
Cleaning your bird bath is simple and should be done regularly. You do not need any special soap and, in fact, it is best if you skip the soap entirely, particularly because many birds are sensitive to chemicals and cleansers.
The best way to clean your bird birth is to mix one part vinegar with nine parts water. Use this mixture to scrub any spots that need scrubbing and to rinse the bird bath out.
If you have a bird bath with stagnant water, make sure to change out the water every other day to avoid mosquitos and other bugs and to keep it fresh for your feathered friends. Keep in mind that mosquitos and other bugs prefer stagnant water, so you can also avoid this by adding a fountain to your bird bath to keep the water circulating.
If you have hummingbirds that frequent your yard, or if you would like to attract more hummingbirds to your garden, adding a fountain can also help with this. Hummingbirds do not like stagnant water, so they are more likely to visit your yard if there is a fountain or a mister.
The easiest way to turn any bird bath into a fountain is to add a simple, inexpensive, solar fountain pump to the water vessel you are using as a bird bath.
Where to Place Your Bird Bath
If you live in a warm climate, such as most of Southern California, it is best to place your bird bath in an area that receives mid-day and afternoon shade in order to keep the water cool for the birds. It is good to place your DIY bird bath near bushes or trees to allow for an easy escape if visiting birds feel threatened, but you do not want it directly under bushes or trees that will drop leaves and twigs into the water, since this will make it dirty, filled with debris, more difficult to maintain, and a breeding ground for bacteria and disease.\
Try to keep your bird bath away from windows, since birds are often confused by windows and may fly into them and be injured. You should also keep the bird bath away from areas where predators could easily access it. For example, if you have dogs or cats that frequent your yard, do not place your bird bath on the ground or in an area where they can sneak up on the birds.