What kind of birds are found in your area? Even if you think you understand every part of the nature that is around you, the type of wildlife that exists might surprise you. Did you know that the city that you make your home is likely also home to cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, or even magpies?
No longer just a hobby reserved for the amateur bird watchers and the nature lovers around us, feeding the birds is a great way for any of us to become more connected to our communities. If you are looking for a crafty project to carry you through this upcoming weekend, here is a selection of 12 of our favorite DIY bird feeder ideas.
1. Milk Carton
We begin our list with one of the most classic and accessible DIY bird feeder ideas that are out there. Of course, we are talking about the milk carton.
While there are many different approaches that you could take when building a bird feeder out of a milk cartoon, from cutting a carton in half and filling it with bird seed to cutting a door in the front of the carton, we love the approach that is taken in this tutorial from Fancy Momma. On this website, there are not only examples of how to use a proper milk carton, but also includes ideas of how to repurpose various packages such as a carton of apple juice. This is sure to be a plus for households who do not drink milk or buy milk cartons.
We especially love the way that a milk carton bird feeder leaves plenty of room for creativity. It’s a great activity to do with children, as they can use paint or stickers to decorate their own bird feeder in any way that they please. Not only does this help improve their visual arts skills, but it also teaches them respect for nature.
2. Tin Can
A tin can is another object that you can have discarded in your recycling bin that can be repurposed into a beautiful, functional bird feeder. Like the milk carton feeder above, a tin can feeder can serve as a creative project for young children who can decorate the tin can that will be used for the feeder to their liking. Of course, there is nothing stopping adults from decorating the tin can, too — in fact, if you happen to possess the right artistic skills, a tin can bird feeder can be made stunning!
This easy-to-follow tutorial from Momtastic breaks down how you can make a classic tin can bird feeder from just a popsicle stick, some scissors, a glue gun, and some string. Of course, you’ll need an empty tin can, too!
So where to find a tin can, you ask? Before running out to your craft supply store, consider that you can find a perfectly good tin can in your pantry. You must just need to eat that can of beans first, as well as remove its packaging!
3. Old License Plate
Now for something a little bit different. This tutorial from Sun Catcher Studio uses an out-of-use license plate as the roof on a wooden birdhouse. Although this tutorial is a little bit more involved than other entries on this list, it will be more likely to last through a variety of seasons, and to last for many years to come.
If you do not have an old license plate at your disposal, you may be able to find one at a thrift store or antiques store. Of course, you can also always check eBay, as well, especially if you are looking for a plate from a certain location.
4. Popsicle Sticks
Popsicle sticks are usually an important component of a birdhouse, but did you know that it is possible to make an entire birdhouse just from popsicle sticks? For those who are experienced birdhouse makers, this is the oldest trick in the book. However, for everyone else, we just blew your mind.
This tutorial from EconoCrafts will break down the basics for you. The best part is that it requires very minimal equipment: only some glue, a pair of scissors, string, and popsicle sticks. Depending on whether or not you want to decorate your own popsicle sticks, you can choose to purchase either colorful dyed popsicle sticks or to buy plain (wooden ones).
Of course, you could also buy a box of popsicles and get the sticks by eating them, but that’s your prerogative!
5. Egg Carton
While we’re on the topic of items that can be found around the house, it’s time to suggest the egg carton bird feeder. If your family eats a lot of eggs, then chances are that you throw away a carton or two. The next time you finish a carton of eggs, but the carton aside for a future bird feeder project.
The Creative Cubby shows you how you can easily make a reciprocal for bird seed out of a used egg carton.
6. Plates and Bowls
Do you have old plates and bowls around your house that you no longer use? Did you know that you can create a birdhouse out of them? Working with ceramic can get trickier than working with more pliable materials such as cardboard or plastic, but the end result is stunning.
Take, for example, this tutorial from Orange Bettie. One thing worth noting, though, is that you may need a special drill in order to cut through ceramic wear.
7. Toilet Paper Roll
Toilet paper rolls are a classic example of materials around the house that we don’t even think twice about discarding. After all, depending on the size of your household, you may go through several toilet paper rolls a week, so why would you think twice about saving one?
Next time, consider putting a toilet paper roll aside to use it for your next birdhouse project. This creative tutorial from The Sourceful Mama has a creative take where the bird food is actually attached to the feeder.
8. Plastic Bottle
The world has a plastic crisis, so any little thing that any of us can do to cut back on our plastic use is vital. However, if we do find ourselves using plastics, one of the best things that we can do is repurpose that plastic so that it doesn’t go straight to the landfill. One use for an old plastic bottle, such as a soda bottle, can be a bird feeder, as is demonstrated in this tutorial from The Spruce.
9. Mason Jars/Wine Glass
If plastic bottles aren’t quite your style, you will be happy to know that you can also easily make a bird feeder from an unused mason jar or wine glass. If you follow this great tutorial from 2 Bees in a Pod, your end result will be something that looks like it came straight from an arts and crafts show.
10. Terra Cotta Pot
If you are a plant lover, then chances are you also happen to be a lover of plant accessories, too. If you are guilty of having more pots for your plants than you necessarily need around your house, you’re not alone. And we’re happy to announce that you now have a use for these unused plant pots (and perhaps even an excuse to buy more!)
Of course, we’re talking about a bird feeder that is made from plant pots. Terra cotta pots, to be exact. If this sounds cool to you, this tutorial from All Things Heart and Home will break down the nitty gritty.
If you were a fan of Lego as a child, chances are that you still have some hanging around. Perhaps, even, you are the parent of a child with a passion for lego who is always looking for a new project for their beloved miniature building blocks.
Enter the bird feeder that is completely made of Lego, as demonstrated by this tutorial from Fun Crafts Kids. Don’t be fooled by the name of this site, adults love this craft too (and so do the birds!)
This bird feeder idea wins an award for being the only entry on this list that happens to be fully edible! And, ok, maybe the idea of eating birdseed is not palatable to the average human, but we sure do love to eat oranges. And, next time we devour an orange, we can offer our peels to our bird friends, thanks to this unique tutorial from Happy Hooligans.
Fun fact: oranges are edible by birds, and provide them with a health dose of vitamin C. So, chances are that you won’t even need to clean up this bird feeder at all, as your birds will devour it themselves.