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Making an Up-cycled Bird-Feeder From Any Plastic Jar

It’s quite lovely having birds in your garden, especially for budding bird-watchers and photographers. Their songs and liveliness are great for atmosphere and entertainment, and the best way to attract them to your garden is with humble food offerings. This is an easy guide to help you make your very own bird feeder from up-cycled materials you can find around the house.

What you’ll need:

Empty plastic jar (any size will do)

  • Large yoghurt container lid
  • Something to cut a small hole with - a drill, nail or knife
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Thin stick
  • Washer or nut
  • Super Glue

Step 1

Drill, or cut a small hole in the middle of both lids, as well as the bottom of the plastic jar. The hole only needs to be big enough for a piece of string to fit through.

Step 2

Now you’ll cut holes for the birds to eat through. Sketch a circle or oval about 3-4cm wide on all four sides of the jar. Make sure the bottom of the holes are at least a centimetre above the bottom of the jar to keep space for the feed to sit in. Use a utility knife to cut them out.

Step 3

Using a marker and ruler, put a small dot on opposite sides of the jar to mark the holes to feed your perch through. The best place to put the perch is in the middle of two feeding holes, and slightly below them so that birds can reach both holes from one perch. Use a drill to make the two holes the right size to fit your stick. If you don’t have a drill, you could also cut little crosses with a knife.

Step 4

To find the correct length for the string, measure the jar and add 15-20cm to that. You’ll need double that length. Once you’ve cut your string to size, fold it and tie the loose end to a washer. Feed the folded end through the feeder, starting with the yoghurt lid (inside facing upwards), then the jar, and lastly the jar lid.

Step 5

With the string pulled tight, glue the yoghurt lid to the bottom of the jar, and be careful to get it set evenly in place. Wait for the glue to dry, and then push your perch through the two smaller holes you created earlier. Put a bit of glue on either end to hold it in place and allow it to dry again.

Step 6

Add the feed of your choice to just below the feeding holes and screw the lid tightly shut, then play online. Most of the seeds will get caught by the yoghurt lid as they fall out, but if you’re worried about them falling on the floor, then mix the feed with some peanut butter to make it sticky. These are the most popular foods for feeders:

  • Millet
  • Niger seeds
  • Rape Seed
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin Seed

Step 7 - Well Done!

Hang your bird feeder on a branch or using an over the door coat hook and prepare to welcome your new feathery friends!

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