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Friday, April 17, 2020

How to make a DIY Recycled Bird Feeder

Want to attract more birds to your garden? Don't worry you don't need to go and buy a fancy bird house or bird bath, you can attract them with something as simple as a toilet paper roll or a milk bottle. You can make an easy DIY bird feeder from recyclables with an empty milk bottle and a few items from around the house by following the steps below.

We've been spending so much time at home lately and the girls have become really interested in the wildlife that visits our yard. They love watching the birds, bees, dragonflies, ladybirds and butterflies that visit our garden. A few weeks ago we made our own DIY butterfly feeder to attract more butterflies and they've been so excited checking it all the time, so we decided to make our own DIY bird feeder from things we had around the house too.

bird feeder made from milk bottle


Supplies you will need:

We use a 3ltr milk bottle every week in our house so instead of recycling one I washed it out and let it dry to use for our bird feeder. If you don't have an empty milk bottle you could use an empty juice bottle, cordial bottle or a cardboard milk or juice carton. 

I used a long shoelace to tie ours up to hang because I couldn't find our jute string at the time, however any string would work. Everything we needed to make our bird feeder I found at home for free, however if you need to buy anything it's all relatively cheap to source from a stationary shop, hardware store or even most supermarkets.


1. Gather all of your items together in the one spot. Fill a small bowl with birdseed so it's easier to fill the bird feeder once it's constructed.

materials needed to make a bird feeder from a milk bottle

2. Use a sharpie to mark out the area to cut out so the birds can access the feeder. We marked out both of the larger sides of the milk bottle approximately 1.5cm from the side and bottom edges and continued a small way past the handle height to allow room for birds to fit into the feeder.

outline for bird feeder window on milk bottle

3. Cut into the pen outline with a stanley knife and use scissors to continue cutting out the shape. If you're confident enough using a stanley knife you can use it to cut out the entire section. Once both sides are cut out you should have a relatively open milk bottle with plenty of access for small birds.

milk bottle window cut open

4. Tape around the edges where you've cut so they're not sharp and won't harm birds if they touch the edge. We did this with plain clear sticky tape, but you could use washi tape for a decorative touch.

5. Use a hole punch to punch a hole on either side of the bottle. Thread the wooden skewer through to make a perch for birds to land on. Tape it in place if the hole is bigger than the thickness of the skewer, so it doesn't slide out.

6. Hang the bird feeder with your choice of string. We poked 3 holes into the top of the milk bottle so it would hang straight because we were hanging it over a pipe out the front in our garden. How you tie your milk bottle to hang will depend on where you want to hang it. 

You can hang it off a tree branch, tie it to a fence, or hang it to a pergola beam or gutter. Wherever you hang it make sure it's up off the ground and away from any pets so that birds will feel safe coming to land on it.

empty milk bottle bird feeder hanging on gutter

7. Fill the bird feeder with seed in the base of the milk bottle up to the skewer.

bird seed in bottom of milk bottle bird feeder

milk bottle bird feeder hanging

We set up our bird feeder out the front above our garden, because birds frequently sit on our garage roof near there, and it's easy for the girls to look out the front window and see it without going out and disturbing them. 

It's only been up for a day so far and while we haven't caught any birds on it yet, there are a fair few empty seed husks inside the milk bottle so I think we've had some sneaky visitors already.

recycled milk bottle bird feeder


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