What can I reuse or recycle to make a bird bath?

Annetta has emailed with two great questions. Here’s the first:

Any ideas on making a bird bath out of recycled [things from] around the house?

I think it depends on whether you want something pretty, quirky or just something practical for the birds to use, looks be damned. I’d love to hear ideas for all three, personally!

I love old ceramic basins outside – not just the de rigeur belfast sink planter but bathroom ones with ivy or another climber creeping their way up around the pedestal and taps too. With a well-fitting plug, that would work well as a bird bath.

A big old steel wok could be upcycled into one too – it would need a base if it was a round-bottomed one, but I’m sure that could be fashioned fairly easily from some scrap wood (or branches). I’d imagine it might need some protection from the water/the elements – would painting it with metal paint work/be bird friendly?

Staying in the kitchen, an old pottery mixing bowl or the like would be about the right size. We sometimes crack soup bowls in a way that we wouldn’t want to use them for cooking any more but they are still be water-tight enough for underneath plant pots (especially with a little slick of non-foodsafe sealant up the crack) — using the same sealant, a mixing bowl might be watertight enough to be a cute, quirky bird bath.

So that’s a few ideas – has anyone got any other suggestions?

I’ve been a bit lazy really, just suggested things that are already bird bath size/shaped — any creative suggestions for making them other things?

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6 Responses to “What can I reuse or recycle to make a bird bath?”

  1. Bellen says:

    Anything that will hold water and is not too deep will work:
    Plant saucers
    Upside down garbage can lids
    Cake pans – round, square or oblong
    Pie pans
    Plastic containers that have been cut down to about 2-3″
    roasting pans – tops and bottoms
    Any shallow bowl or planter

    Item should hold 1-2″ of water, have a couple of rocks that are above water level for the birds to rest on, be not too reflective and gravel will take care of that. Does not need to be off the ground but does need to be in a relatively clear area so predators could be seen – near a bush or tree is good so bird can get out of harm’s way. Near a food source is always good to attract more birds.

  2. Andrea says:

    I dug up an old tractor hubcap in my backyard….looks something like a great big deep dish pie pan….and used it for a bird bath until it rusted through. Now it’s a planter :)

  3. Melinda says:

    If someone has some plaster or cement to use up at the end of a project, perhaps it can be used to create a “custom” birdbath, in much the way I see stepping stones being made from the same materials. In the same way, stones, marbles, bits of glass and broken crockery can be embedded, and it would look great on a pile of rocks- cemented or not. Just thinking; haven’t done it- yet.

  4. My mom used an old wok which she stuck sea shells all over. she has it on a log and it looks really pretty. the birds love it too!

  5. Anne K. says:

    Bellen is exactly right – a birdbath must not be too deep. One of the most-visited birdbaths I ever had was a terra cotta plant saucer put on top of an upside-down terra cotta pot, which formed the perfect pedestal. A couple of stones in the saucer vary the depth and invite birds to stay longer.

  6. Old satellite dishes make great shallow bird baths.

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