DIY: Make your own hanging bird bath

Made with twigs ‘n’ twine and a pot-plant saucer, this bird bath will appeal to the arty gardener.

Photo & words: Julie Legg

Bird baths are magical to have in the garden, especially in summer, drawing in feathered friends to take a dip or a drink. This fun project uses a ceramic saucer as the bath, has a decorative branch base and rope to hang it in a tree. If you fill the saucer with stones or glass marbles, insects and bees will have a safe landing pad to drink from too.


Pot plant saucer
Small branches from the garden
Garden twine
12mm rope
Fake vines and flowers


Step 1: Ensure the pot plant saucer is waterproof. Silicone-seal any cracks if necessary.

Step 2: Collect small branches of similar thickness from tree-fall – or saw or snap to size. The more moss and lichen the better, although the wood itself should not be rotten. Position branches to follow the curve of the saucer base.

Step 3: If necessary, mark and saw branches to size.

Step 4: Arrange branches parallel to each other to form a ‘raft’ then lay two branches across this at right angles.

Step 5: Bind the connecting branches to the raft. Wrap several times over and tie off.


Step 6: Weave the stalks of the fake vines and flowers between the branches around the perimeter of the base (flat side facing upwards).

Step 7: Measure four lengths of rope long enough to hang the bird bath from the tree. Tie two ends together; repeat for remaining two lengths. Where the knots form, again tie together so there is one giant knot and four rope lengths.

More stories you might like:
DIY: How to make a fruit and vegetable rack

Step 8: Hang rope in tree, position raft base so ropes are equally dispersed around it, adjust until level then place saucer in the centre.

Step 9: Fill with water and wait for the birds!


For a base that lasts many seasons, you may wish to repurpose a cane Christmas wreath.


13 ways to help New Zealand birds on your property

Safe landings: Project Kererū founder Nik Hurring finds her calling by taking in injured kererū

View by Publication

NZ Life and Leisure    NZ Life and Leisure
Send this to a friend