How to Make Homemade Bird Feeders

Written by jamie poteat
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How to Make Homemade Bird Feeders
A simple bird feeder (peanut bird feeder image by Alison Bowden from

A homemade bird feeder can be made from a number of simple items you already have around the house--from milk jugs and milk cartons to pine cones and bagels. You can decorate them with paint or hang them as is. Most homemade bird feeders will withstand all weather conditions. This is a great project to make with children who will enjoy watching as birds visit the feeder.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Milk carton
  • Paint
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Bird seed
  • Peanut butter
  • Bagel
  • Newspaper
  • Paper plate
  • Paint brush
  • Gallon-size plastic bag
  • Spoon

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  1. 1

    Wash the milk carton to remove all milk residue, and dry it thoroughly. Use scissors to cut a hole 2 inches from the bottom on two or more sides of the milk carton for birds to feed. Side holes should be at least 3 inches by 3 inches. Use scissors to make small holes in the bottom of the carton for water to drain but not large enough to lose seeds.

  2. 2

    Lay the newspaper on a flat surface. Pour the paint in a paper plate. Place the milk carton on the newspaper, and paint the milk carton. This might require several coats of paint depending on coverage. If you can see the carton through the paint, add another coat of paint. Let paint dry between coats and again when finished painting.

  3. 3

    Pour bird seed into the plastic bag. Cover the bagel with peanut butter on all sides. Drop the bagel into the plastic bag and close. Shake the bag to cover all areas of the bagel with bird seed.

  4. 4

    Use scissors to poke a small hole in the top centre of the milk carton. Insert string through hole, and tie in a double knot for extra strength.

  5. 5

    Remove the seed-covered bagel from the plastic bag, and place it in the bottom of the milk carton. Pour the remaining bird seed over the bagel to fill the milk carton. The bagel is an extra treat for the birds and will also help keep seeds from falling through the holes cut earlier.

  6. 6

    Tie the bird feeder to a tree branch that is strong enough to support the weight of the feeder, tying a double knot for added security.

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