How to Build a Grape Jelly and Orange Feeder From a Hanger to Attract Orioles

By Trish Popovitch

A backyard full of colorful birds is the dream of any nature enthusiast. The Baltimore oriole is a vibrant orange and black bird spending its time in trees, parks and gardens. Attracting this colorful North American bird into your backyard is a matter of providing the right type of environment. In the case of the oriole, that means trees, open spaces and good food. Create a jelly and orange feeder for your backyard to ensure this spring orioles shows up in your favorite outdoor space.

Cut a piece of cedar wood into a square approximately 12 inches by 12 inches. Have the hardware store cut the cedar before you leave or use a jigsaw and ruler to do the work at home. This will provide the base of the oriole feeder.

Drill a hole at the center and an inch from each corner of the cedar square for a total of five holes. The size of the holes will depend on the size of dowel rod you choose to use in the next step. Be sure to sand away any sharp edges with a fine sandpaper. For dowel rods wider than a quarter of an inch, move the corner holes an inch further into the wood base to avoid splitting.

Tap four dowel rods of equal size and width (approximately six to eight inches long) into the four corner holes made in the previous step. Use a rubber mallet to avoid excessive pressure on the dowels and secure them in place with wood glue. Choose either to tap the dowel completely through so there is no excess hanging below the feeder or leave a few inches to provide additional space for the birds to hang.

Choose a proportionally sized bowl for the center of the feeder and drill a small hole in the center. A shallow bowl will allow easy access to grape jelly and provide a wider platform for birds to gather. A plastic bowl is not the most durable choice, but perhaps easier to find and replace seasonally than a cedar one.

Line up the center of the bowl with the center of the cedar square and thread a hanging hook through the bottom of the cedar and into the bowl. A simple piece of malleable galvanized wire turned at the top into a hook will suffice.

Secure the center wire hook by wrapping the excess around a small piece of dowel rod (two to four inches) so that the rod prevents the wire from falling through the center hole. The tension between the dowel rod and the wire hook during hanging will keep the feeder secure.

Place orange fruit halves on the outer dowel rods and fill the center bowl with grape jelly. Hang on a branch in the garden for birds to enjoy.


Add water to the grape jelly to create a more nectar like substance.


If you choose to purchase a plastic oriole feeder from the store, realize it will only last one season.

Be sure to offer jelly and not jam on the oriole bird feeder. Jam is too thick for the birds to enjoy.

About the Author

Trish Popovitch is a freelance writer with 10 years of professional writing experience and a degree in the social sciences. A former print journalist and current blogger and magazine writer, her content writing is a reflection of her varied background.