Garden Craft: Recycled Bottle Birdfeeder

February 1, 2011

My kids have been asking me to make them a birdfeeder all winter long.  I’ve been seeing an extraordinary amount of begging eyes and hearing a whole lot of “Momma, can we pweease feeeeed da biwds, like Mawy Poppins, day aw so hungawy, pweeease?”  I simply couldn’t take the pressure any more, those munchkins have a way of wearin’ me down. 

So yesterday we finished up a fun project together ~ we made a birdfeeder out of a recycled bottle and a few other supplies.  I say “we” but actually, I’m only choosing to remember it as “we” when it was more me doing all the work and them taking all the credit when Dad came home. 

cg recycled bottle birdfeeder


I had an empty plastic liter bottle and I noticed it fit perfectly inside two Ball jar lids, so that was the original *work with what ya got* concept.  A few supplies from the craft and hardware store, and we were in business.


How to Make a Birdfeeder out of a Recycled Liter Bottle

Supplies:  2 6” wood disks and 1 wood ball finial from a craft store; 2 standard Ball jar lids; 1 threaded crown bolt; 2 nuts; spray paint, eye hook. 

Tools:  Power screwdriver, sharp shears or scissors; hole punch; hacksaw

Step 1: Paint all your parts with outdoor spray paint (I used RustOleum’s Painter’s Touch in ‘Green Apple’).  Allow to fully dry. 



Step 2:  Drill holes through your disk and lid with a power screwdriver using the same size bit (or 1 size larger) than the width of your threaded bolt. 

drill holes with screwdriver


Repeat the same process for the ball finial.

ball finial top


Step 3:   Cut your plastic liter bottle evenly all the way around the circumference with sharp shears or scissors. 

cut bottle

Using a hole puncher, add a large enough opening for the seed you’ll be using. 

hole punch


Step 4:  Measure the length of the bolt you’ll need to secure your feeder together, then with a hacksaw, trim the threaded bolt to the measured length.

hacksaw and clamp


Piece your feeder together, then holding it upside down, fill it with birdseed.  Make sure your holes are at the bottom of your feeder to allow gravity to push the seed out.  Screw the nut to the bottom of your bolt and you’re done!

last step put together


So I did a little research and I learned that different types of birdseed attract different kinds of birds.  Well, duh.

My original formula was meant for larger birds like bluejays.

cg larger birdseed


But since I want to discourage starlings and attract smaller songbirds like finches, I switched out the seed this morning to add more millet, thistle seed, and shelled sunflowers. 

finch friendly mix


Those awful starlings are a vineyard menace, so I’m hoping this smaller shelled feed attracts some sweet little finches and tweety birds!  

cg smaller birdseed in feeder


We are having unusually sunny weather this month in Northern California, but the rain will be back soon.  I’d like to think the sun came out just for me to take a decent outdoor photo. 

cg recycled bottle birdfeeder

Not a bad look for a recycled bottle I say.

Any bird experts out there who can share their knowledge on attracting smaller birds to my garden? 




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