How to Make Bird Feeders with Household Items

If you love bird-watching, you should try turning your backyard into a haven for birds. Birds love eating grains, either from cooked meals like rice or from birdseed. Here are some of the inexpensive ways to turn those items you rarely use at home into great bird feeders.

1. Vacuum flask

Vacuum Flask

If you have kids, you may probably have one or two broken vacuum flasks at home. Instead of throwing them away, why not use them to involve your kids in a summer project? Simply cut a round hole, about 1.7 inches in diameter, in the middle of the flask. Ensure it’s big enough for the birds to feed through. Fill it with seeds and tie it to a tree in your backyard.

2. Paint tin

paint tin

An empty paint tin can be put to good use. Look for one that is about 7 inches in height and 6 inches in diameter. Ensure you wash it thoroughly to avoid poisoning the birds. Start by removing the lid. After this, drill two tiny holes on the sides to attach a string. Fill the empty tin with seeds and suspend it from the exterior trim of your window. This way, you’ll get a perfect view of the birds feeding every morning, afternoon, and in the evening. You can also cut 4 square holes around the tin leaving some room at the bottom like the one in the picture.

3. Peanut butter jar

peanut butter jar bird feeder
MIxed seed in peanut butter jar. Food for birds.

Stop licking the remnants off that peanut butter jar. Have a heart and leave it for the birds. You can stack several of these together in a pattern that you like. Besides serving as bird feeders, the uniquely arranged jars can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your backyard. For this project, you will also need a wooden plank to place the jars on. Stick the jars together in twos or threes using superglue. The small holes you drill on the sides will attract lots of woodpeckers.

4. Wine and beer bottles

Wine bottle bird feeder
Feeder for birds, made from an empty glass flask. Use of household rubbish in decorative, and practical purposes in gardening

After downing your favorite bottle of beer or wine, there are other things you could do with the empty bottle. Depending on the color of your bottle, you may choose to paint it or leave it as it is. Drill a few tiny round holes at different positions then fill the bottle with seeds from the top. Look for an old saucer to use as a stable platform. Alternatively, you may leave it suspended on a nearby tree. A beautiful bottle can also serve as a decorative piece.

5. Empty plastic cartons

How To Make A Bird Feeder | DIY Homemade Plastic Bottle Bird Feeder

If you have empty cartons lying around the house, gather them. Remove the top cover of the one you like the most. Fill it halfway with ground nuts or pearl millet. You can leave it lying down by the garden or suspend it from an erected post using strings. If you feel challenged enough, building a nicely raised platform would be a great afternoon project. Ensure it’s raised about 6 feet above the ground. This way, the birds can feed without feeling intimidated by your presence.

6. Coffee mug

Coffee Cup Bird Feeder

To turn a coffee mug into a feeding trough, fill it with grains and leave it at a suitable spot. No drilling is required here. A mug has got plenty of open space at the top for a bird to feed from easily. Place it at a spot you’ll be sure to get a good view of. You may suspend a small wooden plank above the mug to guard against rain, but this project is ideal for sunny days.

7. Saucer and bowl

Builders DIY YouTube Series: Episode 6a (Teacup birdfeeder)

Making a feeder out of a saucer and bowl may be time consuming, but it’s not rocket science. There are three things you will need to accomplish this: a bowl, a saucer, and a straight stick. Drill a hole at the bottom of the saucer. Insert one end of the stick through the hole in the saucer and attach the other end to the bottom of the bowl using superglue. The bowl should be at the bottom while the saucer should act as some form of shelter. Attach a strong string at the end of the stick protruding from the saucer and hang it on a tree. Place your grains in the bowl and you’re good to go.

8. An old boot


An old frayed boot that’s beyond any cobbler’s ability can still serve you well. Just hang it outside your window or by the hedges in your garden. Fill it halfway with some grains and simply watch the birds come.

More Fun and Easy Ways to Make DIY Bird Feeders from Household Items

Recycle an old plastic bottle

One easy way to make a bird feeder is to recycle an old plastic bottle. Simply cut the bottle in half, then puncture a few holes in the bottom half. Fill the upper half with bird seed, then screw on the top and hang it up! You can also decorate your feeder by painting it or wrapping it in colorful ribbon.

Old Coffee Can

Another great option is to repurpose an empty coffee can. Just remove the lid and punch a few drainage holes in the bottom of the can. Then, fill it with bird seed and place it upside down on a tree branch. The birds will be able to perch on the lip of the can while they eat. You can also decorate this type of feeder with paint, stickers, or even fabric.

Repurpose Ceramic Bowl

If you have an old ceramic bowl that you’re no longer using, why not turn it into a bird bath? Just set the bowl on a sturdy surface and fill it with fresh water. Then, sit back and enjoy watching the birds splash around! You can also add some rocks or pebbles to the bottom of the bowl to provide traction for the birds.

One final tip: If you’d like to attract a specific type of bird to your feeder, be sure to research what kinds of food they prefer. For example, hummingbirds love nectar while finches prefer small seeds. By providing the right food for your local birds, you can ensure that they will visit your feeder often!

Turning your backyard into a magical place should be quite easy. There are plenty of other ordinary household things that you can still use. Set aside some time over the weekend to go through all your junk. You’ll be sure to come across an item that you can use in a DIY project. Here are some hanging basket ideas for your patio. Enjoy