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Homemade Bird Toys

Written by Claria Yacoub, Budgieobsession

NOTE: for more toy ideas, check out our Homemade Toys section as well as the article on how to make a PVC gym.

As we all have witnessed, birds are fussy when it comes to toys. We spend twelve dollars on a new toy when they'd rather just chew on paper. It's a huge frustration for bird owners to want to satisfy their bird's stimulation need when they have no interest in the toys they buy them. The key in making your own toys -- other than making sure there not dangerous for your bird -- is incorporating you bird's favorite things into the toys. I find that a favorite amongst my birds is cardboard and cotton rope. They love chewing on the cardboard and fraying the rope (make sure to cut any frays on the toys). Every bird is different; you just need time to figure out what your bird likes. Below are some homemade toys and instructions on how to make them:

Spider Toy (made by budgielover4ever)


  • Cardboard
  • Toilet paper (unscented)
  • Straws
  • Shoelace or cotton rope


  1. Take some cardboard and cut them into squares, putting a hole in the middle of every one.
  2. Take some straws and cut them into different sizes.
  3. Take some toilet paper, making sure it is unscented, and cut them into shapes (I made circles), putting a hole in the middle of each.
  4. If you want the toy to be like a spider, this is very easy to do. Take shoelace (unused) or cotton rope and fold it in half. Take another strip and do the same; you now have four "spider legs." If you wish, you can add more "spider legs" but I stopped at four.
  5. Now string the cardboard, straws, and toilet paper together. You can make a pattern or just string them at random. Tie the ends of the shoelace/cotton rope and you're finished.

Bead Toy (made by budgielover4ever)


  • Hardwood beads (available at many craft stores)
  • Cardboard
  • Shoelace (unused and clean)


  1. Cut the cardboard into squares.
  2. String the cardboard through the shoelace with beads in between to separate them.
  3. There you have it; a simple and fast toy that is sure to satisfy your bird's chewing needs.

Pear Swing (made by Lindseygossett69)


  • Pear Branch (make sure it's not treated with pesticide or any chemicals)
  • Screwdriver
  • Beads
  • Cotton rope, raffia, or sisal


  1. Find a pear branch that has not been treated with chemicals. Make sure to clean it with a mixture of 10% bleach and 90% water. Rinse it well. Drill two holes in the branch, one on each opposite side.
  2. String beads through cotton rope, raffia, or sisal. If it is cotton rope, make sure to cut any frays and make sure the sisal and raffia are 100% natural and not dyed. Make a "v" shape with the string and beads and tie the ends through the holes in the branch.
  3. There you go -- a good swing that will exercise your bird's feet, not your wallet.
  4. *If there aren't any pear branches in your area, be sure to you use one that has no chemicals/toxins and that is not on this list.

Toilet Paper Circles Toy (made by TaffywDuck)


  • Toilet paper (unscented)
  • Beads
  • Cotton rope


  1. Take the toilet paper and cut it into three strips. Make a hole at the top and bottom of each toilet paper strip.
  2. String the beads through the cotton rope and put a toilet paper strip between the beads.
  3. There you have it; a toy for those toiler paper lovers. Make sure to replace the toiler paper once it's worn!

Sandal Toy (made by TaffywDuck)


  • Dog Toy Sandal (must be 100% natural leather)
  • 100% Vegetable Tanned Leather
  • Beads
  • Cotton rope


  1. Make five or so strips of cotton (about five inches long) and string beads, cardboard paper, and toilet paper through them.
  2. Take a dog toy sandal and string the cotton rope strips through the holes in the sandal.
  3. In place of cotton rope, you can use 100% vegetable tanned leather.

Popsicle Ladder Toy (made by TaffywDuck)


  • Popsicle Sticks (make sure they are either dyed with something safe and non-toxic or just natural)
  • Plastic Beads
  • Bell (don't use the jingle kind as they can seriously hurt your bird)
  • Cotton rope/vegetable tanned leather/twine.


  1. Use cotton rope, vegetable tanned leather, or twine. String it with plastic beads and popsicle sticks in an upside-down "U" shape. You can put a bell at the top to make the toy more fun but make sure the bell doesn't contain zinc or is a jingle bell.
  2. *Cockatiels tend to destroy these toys rather fast so they may be better for budgies.

The toys showed above are suitable for both budgies and cockatiels (unless noted otherwise). If the toy seems too big or too small for your bird, then simply adjust it to the appropriate size. Please watch for any worn down parts and replace them as it can endanger your bird. We hope the toys above will interest your birds enough so your wallet is saved, even if it's for only a little while! Making your own toys is very simple; all you need are safe supplies and a little imagination. Have fun making your bird toys and remember, what may look like fun to you may not always be the same case with your birds.

For more toy ideas, check out our Homemade Toys section as well as the article on how to make a PVC gym.

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