Published on April 2nd, 2012 | by Tom Chu5
5 Upcycled Bird Feeders
Upcycling is more than a hobby; it is a lifestyle. You are no longer just partaking in crafts – you are actually reducing waste and fighting against consumer culture, not to mention giving your personal touches to various items that could have been standard, mass-produced products you would have had to buy.
If you want to take that same ingenuity outside, why not go with an old-school project and upcycle some items to create basic bird feeders for our feathered friends? These are great ideas for getting kids involved in environmental projects and simple enough to do at almost any age.
Note: Make sure they have been properly cleaned and dried to keep bacteria from growing in any remnants left behind, which can make birds ill. Likewise, be careful of any paints you use.
These pretty bird feeders are made using standard milk cartons that can be gathered from any number of people or places. You can also use juice or creamer containers. You can get some great ideas for autumn specific designs, but anything using colors like brown, red, gold, green and orange will work well.
If you want something really simple, this one cuts out any real design or paint time and just goes with a quick version you can do in a couple of minutes. It has a wider opening for larger birds, while still provides enough room for a good amount of bird seed in the bottom. You can use plastic containers with the same design, which is good for even bigger birds that need more space to easily eat.
For paint fans, you can use large, plastic juice containers (this blogger used a Juicy Juice container) to create a more interesting-looking design. They painted along the ridges to take advantage of the original shape. Thicker plastic is harder to cut, but you can use heat to soften it. Just do so in a well-ventilated area to keep from breathing the fumes. If you have a metal skewer of some kind you can also heat it carefully and stab it through the top for even holes through which to put the yarn.
This one is more complicated but really cute. It uses a plastic jar with a lid (such as peanut butter or jam) with an old Frisbee to make an attractive feeder you will be proud to display on your porch or in your yard. It calls for either paint or markers, but paint works better in most cases, as it comes out darker on the plastic.
There are two different designs here. The first is a simple, full feeder that can be filled and left for large periods of time without having to be topped off very open. It just slowly releases more food for the birds. The second has a nice, natural-looking design that uses the same kind of two-liter soda bottle. They used bark strips to make a roof and even included a sweet “Welcome Home” sign on the front.