How to Make a Cardboard Squirrel Feeder

How to Make a Cardboard Squirrel Feeder

How to Make a Cardboard Squirrel Feeder


A homemade cardboard squirrel feeder is an easy and fun project that can provide entertainment for the whole family. Watching squirrels come to your yard to eat from the feeder is rewarding and helps support your local wildlife. With just a few simple materials including cardboard, string, nuts or seeds, and creativity, you can make a squirrel feeder in no time.

Materials Needed

To make your cardboard squirrel feeder, you will need:

  • Cardboard (cereal box, shipping box, or other cardboard)
  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • String, yarn, or twine
  • Nuts or seeds like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Tape or glue (optional)
  • Markers, paint, or decorations (optional)

Choose a cardboard box big enough to fold and cut into a simple feeder shape. Gather the rest of the materials before starting your project.

Making the Feeder

Follow these steps to make your own cardboard squirrel feeder:

Step 1: Cut Cardboard Pieces

Use the ruler and pencil to lightly draw a rectangle about 6-8 inches wide by 10-12 inches tall on the cardboard. Use scissors or a box cutter to carefully cut out the rectangle.

Also cut a couple of 1-2 inch wide strips from the cardboard for the feeding tray.

Step 2: Score and Fold the Rectangle

On the back of the larger rectangle, use the ruler and pencil to lightly draw horizontal score lines about 2-3 inches apart. Score the lines by gently pressing into the cardboard to create folding creases.

Fold the rectangle along the creases to form a three-sided feeder box shape, using tape on the inside seams if needed. Leave the fourth side open for squirrels to access the feeder.

Step 3: Add Feeding Tray

Using tape or glue, attach the small cardboard strips to the bottom front of the feeder box to create a small feeding tray.

This will help keep seeds or nuts from falling out too quickly.

Step 4: Add Hanging String

Use a hole punch or pencil to make one hole near the top of the back of the feeder. Thread string, yarn, or twine through the hole and tie the ends together to form a loop for hanging.

Make the loop long enough to hang from a tree branch or hook.

Step 5: Decorate (Optional)

Use markers, paint, or other materials to decorate the squirrel feeder. Add fun patterns, animal pictures, or designs. Let any paint or markers fully dry before filling with food.

Step 6: Add Nuts and Seeds

Fill the bottom of the feeder box with an assortment of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, or other healthy foods that squirrels like to eat. Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds are great options.

Hanging the Feeder

Once assembled and filled, your homemade cardboard squirrel feeder is ready to be hung outdoors. Here are some tips:

  • Hang feeder from a tree branch, hook, post, or other area where you can watch squirrels access it.
  • Choose a protected area out of direct rain or snow. Overhangs or porches work well.
  • Use a bungee cord or wire instead of string if in a very windy area.
  • Hang 5-6 feet off the ground so squirrels can easily jump up without being threatened.
  • Avoid locations right next to bird feeders, as birds may try to eat the nuts and seeds.

Refill the feeder as needed when it starts to look empty. Enjoy watching local squirrels take advantage of your new feeder!

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Here are some common troubleshooting tips for cardboard squirrel feeders:

  • If squirrels aren’t coming, try a different location or different nuts and seeds in the feeder.
  • For chewers, use metal cord instead of string to prevent the feeder being destroyed.
  • To deter other wildlife, hang feeder away from bird feeders and make access hole small.
  • For feeders that get soggy, add a plastic or metal roof for weather protection.
  • If nuts or seeds get stuck, add more feeding trays or smooth out rough cardboard edges.

Final Thoughts

Crafting DIY squirrel feeders is an engaging project for all ages. Not only are they fun to make, but it also feels good to support local wildlife. The simple materials make feeders accessible and easy, while allowing for lots of creativity too. Your homemade cardboard feeder will provide hours of enjoyment as you watch squirrels play, climb, and fill their bellies. Enjoy this rewarding hobby that connects you with nature right in your own backyard!