I love DIY projects and I recently tried my hand at up-cycling some 2 liter plastic bottles. Turns out it’s easier than I thought and decided to make these cute bird feeders. Functional and pretty!
First, I ordered these plastic bottle bird feeder kits on Amazon, (see picture upper left), but you can probably get them at other online retailers, too.
Then, I collected empty 2 liter plastic bottles. (We go through lots of bottled sparkling water, so collecting several was easy-peasy.)
Once I had those items in hand, I dug into my crafting stash:
- I used painter’s tape to outline my decorative space around each plastic bottle.
- I painted each space with chalk paint using a roller brush; one coat did the trick and then I let the bottle dry overnight.
- I covered the painted space with a napkin design and decoupage, separating the napkin to 1 ply and using saran wrap to remove any bubbles. Note: Remember to turn the bottle upside down before adhering the napkin design.
- I let that dry, then covered the napkin design with a 2nd coat of decoupage, which I let dry again over night
- I then coated the napkin design with varnish and let that dry overnight.
- I inserted the plastic bottle hangers by punching small holes into the sides of the bottles. I used sharp craft scissors for this step.
- Then I filled the bottle with a mixed blend of wild bird seed.
- I screwed on the plastic feeding perch and Voila!
The birds love my new feeder, and I quickly discovered that our squirrels do, too. In fact, in our backyard, we’re inundated with a bunch of hungry baby squirrels. They were able to jump onto the bird feeder and the plastic hanger wasn’t strong enough to hold their weight; it snapped and down went my feeder. But the plastic bottle and feeding perch were durable enough for the fall. So, I replaced the plastic hanger with a wire pant hanger and that did the trick!
Anyway, I loved this idea so much that I went back online and ordered 2 more sets of the plastic bottle bird feeder kits from Amazon. Then I went crazy with my napkin collection, some of which I bought from the Dollar Store. Nice!
Super easy to make, low cost, and really pretty. Hmmm… these might just make the perfect Christmas presents for my birding friends and family-members and I have plenty of time to get started in collecting bottles and supplies. Off I go…
Following my own advice for supporting National Bird Feeding Month, I decided to add something new to my backyard stations with some easy DIY bird projects using supplies I purchased at the Salvation Army. And I scored big with my shopping spree! Just check these out, and my total investment was less than $20:
DIY project #1: Miniature wood birdhouses (above left) spray painted red and decorated with silk flowers, nailed to a tree, and wrapped with silk ivy to keep them in place through the high winds. A little splash of color and lots of fun to make!
DIY project #2: Recycled plate bird feeder (above right) with this sweet decorative plate, string, colored beads, and a large silk flower hot-glued to the bottom for added interest! The birds can’t seem to leave this one alone. Lol.
DIY project #3: Small Green Watering Can bird feeder (above left) with hot-glued silk flowers hanging from a glass suction-cup window hanger for bird feeders. Great way to add a splash of color and bring the birds closer to the window for better observation!
DIY Project #4: White Metal Sconce bird feeders (above right) with hot-glued silk flowers and ivy tied to a metal garden trellis and filled to the brim with bird seed. Both pretty AND functional!
Not too shabby! And I still have some supplies left over for creating more DIY bird projects this weekend. I’m so excited!
A Perfect Indoor Project for the Entire Family!
If you have girls in the house and like to recycle, this project is ideal. Lol. It’s also a perfect project for the kids to do indoors when the weather isn’t cooperating outdoors. But you’ll have to save up your empty toilet paper rolls for this one. (I keep mine tucked away in the bathroom cabinet for when I need a project to keep me busy.)
- Use a light weight sandpaper to remove excess paper or glue from the roll.
- Pour some store-bought birdseed into a wide baking pan or dish.
- Coat each paper roll with creamy peanut butter using a butter knife.
- Roll the peanut butter-coated paper roll in the birdseed to cover.
- Stand rolls on a sheet of foil or parchment paper for 24 hours to set.
- Thread colored yarn, string, twine, or ribbon through the paper rolls.
- Tie or knot ends to make the hanger.
- Hang outside and enjoy!
The great thing about peanut butter is that it will keep for a few months before it goes bad, so you can make these a few weeks in advance for holiday or hostess gifts. Simply place the feeder inside a plastic sandwich baggie and adhere a decorative holiday sticker to the baggie. A collection of these in a decorative bowl or basket will dress up any holiday table or counter space.
I struck gold! I found a set of 12 miniature wood bird houses on sale and I just knew I could do SOMETHING creative with them. So, I shoveled out the cash and brought ‘em home.
Once home, I just stared at them, obsessing over my dilemma – do I make cutesy artsy decorative bird houses? Or do I make cutesy artsy decorative bird feeders?
After a few days I decided… cutesy artsy decorative bird feeders! Just take a look, and this was easy peasy.
- FIRST, I removed the price sticker from the bottom of the miniature bird house.
- SECOND, I coated the bird house with creamy peanut butter, using a butter knife to get into the small areas.
- THIRD, I coated the bird house with a bird seed blend, including their favorite black oil sunflower seed. I set the house on a piece of tin foil and left it alone for 24 hours.
- FOURTH, I added more peanut butter to select locations on the bird house for securing fresh cuts of juniper, including the berries. I left it on the tin foil for another 24 hours; the peanut butter served as an adhesive for the sprigs of juniper.
- FIFTH, I discovered a HUGE ERROR on my part…
My SECOND step should have been drilling small holes into the roof of the bird house to thread string or colored ribbon through for hanging. Oops! This should have been done BEFORE I coated the house with creamy peanut butter.
My husband laughed when I showed him my error, “That’s okay, we can use the drill and still add the holes, but yes, it’s better if you can remember to that first next time.”
Lesson learned, and STILL I am thrilled with the way it turned out. After all was said and done, this little project cost me less than $5.00 each. Nice!
Now, another major dilemma… do I keep these for myself and put them in MY backyard for MY backyard birds? Or do I give them away as holiday hostess gifts or Christmas presents for SOMEONE ELSE’S backyard birds? Ugh! The agony!
What would you do?