Make a Recycled Plastic Bottle Bird Feeder

recycled bottle bird feeder

This simple bird feeder is made from a used Gatorade bottle and a few wooden skewers.

There’s no better or easier way to connect with nature in your backyard than by beckoning birds with a handmade bird feeder. Michele’s tequila bottle hummingbird feeder has been one of our most popular posts ever, and I think it has as much to do with reusing old bottles (another topic you really love) as it does attracting feathered friends. Here’s another simple project with both those vital elements: a bird feeder made from a used plastic bottle. Alas, I cannot claim to be the originator of this clever and easy project for kids — my co-volunteer at a local school garden project, Nancy, deserves the credit. We made them with the kids last week, and they loved it!

recycled bottle bird feeder

Make slits to insert the skewers and cut X marks for the birds to insert their beaks and grab the seeds inside.

Aside from the used bottle with a screw top (Gatorade bottles worked great for us), the other easy-to-find materials in this kid-friendly bird feeder project are wooden skewers, twine and bird seed. The only tools you’ll need are a knife and sharp hand-pruners (both of which should be handled by adults only). The basic idea is to insert skewers across the bottle to create perches for the birds. Depending on the size of your bottle, you may have one or two perches. Start by cutting slits for inserting your wooden skewers and X marks just above for the birds to use in feeding, then mimic those same cuts directly across the bottle on the other side. Repeat for multiple perches, making skewers perpendicular to allow more room the feeding birds.

recycled bottle bird feeder

Using a funnel helps kids get the bird seed into the bottle and not all over the ground.

Let kids insert the skewers into their bottle bird feeders, and then clip the sharp ends off for them. Then the kids can fill up the bottles with bird seed. Re-attach the screw top, and then tie twine around the top to hang from a tree. The kids I worked with figured out how to tie the twine on either side and create a loop for hanging, almost like a basket handle. This worked great! It’s that easy.

Below, find some more inspiration for feeding the birds. These ideas are a bit more ornate than this plastic bottle feeder, but the idea is all the same — feed the birds to feed a love of nature for yourself or a child.

6 Responses

  1. Barbara Stanley says:

    I am a guest and I am excited about trying the recyclable bottle bird feeder .

  2. Salina says:

    This tequila bottle hummingbird feeder is looking adorable. Love it. Agree with your point that "There’s no better or easier way to connect with nature in your backyard than by beckoning birds with a handmade bird feeder."

  3. Mowla plue says:

    Your current cutlery assortment will be search thus appealing along with useful to myself. First time I've truly seen like kind of cutlery along with capable of find an amazing idea concerning the cutlery. That allows myself to collect one quality cutlery.

  4. Trish says:

    I have always thought this was an excellent idea. However, after making many of these with many children, I discovered from a "green" article the plastic breaks down and it's not good for the birdseed. Which would be a bad choice for the birds. It's better to STICK with peanutbutter and pinecones. :) If someone reads something better on this topic, I'd appreciate it. Because these were one of my favorite things to make.


About Kelly Smith Trimble 


I grow vegetables wherever I can find enough sunlight and forage roadsides and hiking trails for plants that can be used to make natural dyes. You can find both vintage ...

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