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Build your own bird feeder with upcycling – How to turn recycled materials into bird feeders!

  • DIY

Invite feathered friends to your garden by building a bird feeder yourself and help them in autumn/winter. Such a simple DIY project you can realize with the help of recycled materials such as plastic bottles or even with toilet paper rolls. So instead of throwing them away, you can make bird feeders in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. If you want to teach your kids something useful and pet-friendly, as well as spend some quality time together, this would be the perfect occasion. Here are some creative craft ideas to get inspired by this fall season.

How to make your own simple and inexpensive bird feeder

make a bird feeder out of wood scraps and use sunflower seeds to position it in the garden in an environmentally friendly way

Make your own DIY bird feeder using the stash of recyclable items in your home. All you need, as mentioned above, could be a plastic bottle, a toilet paper roll, or a chipped coffee cup or mug. You could even use natural products, such as an orange peel filled with sunflower seeds, and hang it on a tree branch in your garden area as a feeder.

make a natural bird feeder from orange peel with wooden skewers and sunflower seeds

In addition, it is recommended that you purchase a small seed mix for the bird feeder. Millet and oatmeal help a variety of birds such as sparrows and finches, and if you have titmice in your garden, they will enjoy sunflower seeds. Also, use vegetable fat or lard to keep the food in place. It’s also worth noting in this case that you should avoid using cooking fat, as it can coat birds’ feathers. There is a project for everyone here, regardless of age or previous experience.

Make DIY bird feeders from plastic bottles

use a creative and sustainable idea to build and hang a bird feeder yourself using a plastic bottle

One-third of all plastic waste in seas and oceans is plastic bottles. You may have made an effort to reduce the amount of single-use plastic items you buy. However, if you find that you have a plastic bottle that you are done with, don’t throw it away. Instead, give it another use by using it to build a bird feeder yourself.

make your own bird feeder with recycled plastic bottle and help feathered friends in autumn

This is a favorite among elementary school students as well as an easy DIY project for bird lovers of all ages. After rescuing a 1- to 2-liter plastic bottle from the recycling bin, look around your home or yard for two wooden spoons, dowels or twigs to use for the project. These will create a place for the birds to sit while they feed.


  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Bird feeder
  • Two plastic or wooden spoons and some string


idea for a bird feeder made of a plastic bottle with string and old wooden spoons suitable for every garden

  • First, cut two holes in your plastic bottle, making sure they are directly across from each other.
  • Then repeat with two more holes that are slightly higher up. Scissors can make your holes bigger.
  • Make sure your holes are not too small, you may need to open them up a bit more with scissors.
  • Now push the two spoons through the holes.
  • First fill the bottle with birdseed and put the lid back on.
  • Finally, tie the string around the top of the plastic bottle
  • The feeder is now ready to hang in your garden.

How to make your own bird feeder from toilet paper roll

upcycling toilet paper roll as bird feeder and cover with seed mixture and fat

It is believed that on average, a person uses about 100 rolls of toilet paper per year. That’s a lot when you think about recycling options. Even if you don’t use that much of it in your household, you probably have a few cardboard tubes that need to be recycled every month, so why not use them to help the birds in your yard with this food dispenser idea?


  • Toilet paper roll or cardboard tube
  • Pencil
  • String
  • Vegetable fat or lard
  • Birdseed


roll cardboard tube or toilet paper roll in bird seed and plant fat and hang as a bird feeder

  • First, use the pencil to make two holes on both sides of the toilet paper roll.
  • Then thread the string through and tie a knot.
  • First, take vegetable fat or lard and smear it on the toilet paper roll or cardboard tube.
  • Then roll the toilet paper roll or cardboard tube in the seed mixture until you cover it all over.
  • Before you hang the bird feeder in your garden, stick some twigs through it to make them serve as perches.

Turn old tea or coffee cups into bird feeders

make your own diy bird feeder in autumn from unusable ceramics like tea cups or coffee cups

Is there perhaps a favorite mug in your home that has a crack or break in it? Someone may have also given you a mug and you just can’t part with it, even if you don’t really drink from it anymore. These can easily be turned into feeders, which can be another great craft idea. Thus, you will breathe new life into your unusable ceramics, as you can still admire them when you look out your window.


  • Tarnished tea cup or coffee mug
  • Branch
  • String
  • Vegetable fat or lard
  • Bird seed


use old broken cup as base for bird feeder with bird seed in lard and a twig

  • First, tie your piece of string around the handle of the chipped cup.
  • Then roll vegetable fat or lard into a ball and place it in a bowl with your birdseed.
  • Cover the dumpling with seed, aiming for a mixture of about one-third fat and two-thirds seed.
  • Then place the seed-covered fat in the cup and press down to make sure it stays in.
  • Finally, stick a small twig in it to serve as a perch.
  • Now hang the bird feeder in your garden for the birds to enjoy and for you to admire.