How to Make Your Own Bird Bath With Common Household Items

If you enjoy watching wild birds, you probably have a bird feeder.

Create A Garbage Can Lid Bird Bath

Make a homemade bird bath out of readily available household items.Make a homemade bird bath out of readily available household items.
Add a bird bath and you will attract more birds while providing water to your winged friends. While commercially available bird baths add a designer touch to your bird feeding station, they are not the only way to offer water to birds. A homemade bird bath crafted from readily available household items can work, too. You may already have a bird bath waiting in your garage or basement.

Assess the lid. Choose a lid that is at least 18 inches across and will hold water to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Be sure the lid does not have any cracks or holes.

Clean the cover. Use hot, soapy water to wash the lid and rinse it thoroughly. Use baking soda to scrub stubborn spots.

Select the site. Birds prefer to bathe at ground level. Choose a level area at least 15 feet away from shrubbery. Birds are very vulnerable to attack while they are bathing, so keep the bath away from predator cover.

Prepare the ground. If the area is grassy, dig up and remove the turf to create a bare area at least 6 inches wider than your lid. Place mulch or gravel over the bare spot and set the lid in the center. Use a twisting motion to settle the lid into a wobble-free position.

Add a 1/4-inch layer of gravel or pebbles. A slightly rough, rocky bottom give birds added traction and stability while bathing.

Fill the bath with water. Use a garden hose or watering can to fill the lid to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.

Keep it clean. The bath should be emptied and cleaned every three to five days. Empty the water and gravel and scrub the lid with a nylon sponge or brush. Allow the gravel to air dry. Replace the gravel and refill the bath.

Things You Will Need

  • Metal garbage can lid
  • Gravel or small pebbles
  • Garden hose or watering can
  • Sponge or scrub brush


  • For a slightly fancier bird bath, use a large ceramic saucer designed to collect water under a flowerpot.


  • Do not use algaecides or bleach in your bird bath.