How to Make a Nesting Ball for Backyard Birds

Make your own bird nesting balls for a fun spring craft the bird lovers in your family will love!  It is a fun activity to do in combination with our homemade bird feeders or making your own bird houses!

This was our first time making nesting balls for our backyard birds and it was a fun and simple spring activity my kids really enjoyed!  They loved going on a little nature hike around our neighborhood and looking for creative nesting materials to stick inside the nesting ball.  

child holding a diy nesting ball for birds

It was a fun opportunity to talk about how birds work hard to make their nests and are extremely resourceful in finding material to use in their nests.  Since we made our own birds nest helpers my daughters have been spotting nests left and right and are so excited for all the baby birds!  

We loved this simple nature activity and it was a great way to get outside with my kids and spend the afternoon creating something simple and beautiful for our backyard birds! 

What are Bird Nesting Balls?

Essentially, it is a ball or bag filled with nesting materials birds can use to make their own nests.  Nesting balls are especially helpful if you live in an urban area where there are less natural materials for them to build their nests in springtime.  The hope is to provide good nesting material to help your local birds build their nests and provide a warm and soft home for their baby birds. 

Creating your own nest starters is a fun spring craft for kids and requires little to no preparation.  It is great project for a classroom setting and is easy enough for a large group of kids to do on their own.  My 3 and 5 year old worked together on one nesting ball and were able to do everything by themselves!  

two children filling a grapevine ball with nesting materials on a wood deck


  • Grapevine Ball – If you don’t want to buy or make a grapevine ball you can also use a mesh bag (like one you buy onions or avocados in), a suet cage or a pinecone
  • Nesting Materials
  • Twine
supplies for a DIY nesting ball for birds sitting on the bench.  Wool roving, twine, grapevine ball and nesting material in a basket.

Nesting Materials

You can use many natural items you find in your backyard to add to the nesting ball including:

  • Grass clippings
  • Small twigs
  • Leaves
  • Moss
  • Pine needles
  • Feathers
  • Pet fur

You can also add a variety of materials from your home:

  • Natural fibers – We used undyed and naturally dyed wool roving
  • Alpaca fiber
  • Small strips of newspaper

I tried to keep the nesting material as natural and safe for the baby birds as possible and steered clear of dryer lint, yarn, string, synthetic materials and human hair.

How to Make a Bird Nest Helper

  1. Go on a nature hunt to find your ideal nesting material and of course some fun little flowers and decorations to put on top 🙂
  2. Add your nesting material to the grapevine ball.  Add the sheep’s wool and alpaca hair on the outside so it’s easier for the birds to get.  I wove the wool in between the grape vines so it would stay in place, but still be loose enough for the birds to pull out.  
  3. Use a piece of twine to hang from a tree branch! 

If you make your own natural nest ball please share and tag us on Instagram @foxfarmhome – we would love to see! 🙂 

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