Thursday, February 3, 2011

Celebrate National Wild Bird Feeding Month

It's that time of the year!  Food sources are scarce and your local birds are looking for food much harder than they do throughout the rest of the year.  During the month of February the National Bird Feeding Society encourages citizens to not only feed their feathered friends but to provide shelter and water to help them survive one of the most difficult months of the year.

What better way to celebrate this event than with an upcycled bird feeder that you can get the kids involved in too?  Here's a quick tutorial for a homemade bird feeder that will reuse some of that plastic headed to the trash or recycle bin.

For my feeder I chose to start with a grande sized Starbucks cup; always in constant supply and currently not recyclable in my community.  Keep in mind that you can use just about anything that you can get your scissors through (soda bottle, milk jug, etc.).  So be creative, rescue some plastic and some birds!  To get started, cut the vessel of your choice into strips.  Be sure leave a couple of inches at the bottom to form the bowl that will hold your bird seed, like this:

Once you've made your strips you'll bend each strip back individually and secure it to the bottom outer edge of the feeder bowl.  Be as creative as you'd like!  You can punch some small holes in the both the bowl and the strips then  thread through a length of raffia or twine or you can simply use a glue gun like I did:

If you use a glue gun you'll have to hold each piece in place until it is dry before moving on to the next.  Once all of your strips are secure you'll end up with something that looks like this:

Now you just need to feed two pieces of twine or other decorative string through two of the loops that are equal distances from each other:

Tie off the strings and fill the cup with bird seed that will attract your local wildlife:

...and hang it outside, preferable near a water and/or shelter souce.

These cute little feeders are so easy to make and you have so many different containers to choose from you could make a whole garden filled with them!  At least it'll add a little color to the brown (or even snow covered) winter garden in your yard.

Here's another version that you can make from an aluminum can pretty easily. This colorful bird feeder is made out of an Arizona Iced Tea can. I added some beads and decorative wire for the hanger.  Use your imagination and dream up some fun feeders.  Leave a comment and let me know how you designed yours!


  1. What a great idea! We'll use our Moe's water cups from lunch today!

  2. This is a terrific idea! They turn out looking so organic too!

  3. Thanks! In less than 12 hours, birds were all over mine! Looks like I need to make a couple more. :)

  4. This is such a great recycling idea. I will have to try it when I get my "garden" (ahem, aka balcony) set up. Birds are so much fun to watch and photograph!

  5. My last apartment had a balcony, on the third floor. I didn't get much action up there until I put out some feeders...the cats loved it! :)

  6. Another super simple fun idea! I came home with these super cute plastic gelato bowls last night, they are perfect for this project.


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