Earth Day Upcycling: Bird Feeder Bottles

Earth Day is an occasion when we are asked to consider what we can do to help our planet. A great place to start is by finding ways to recycle, or as I like to call it –upcycle, the items we might otherwise throw away. And, if you can find a way to remake those items into useful tools to help our feathered friends, even better. Let’s make a birdfeeder!

bird-feeder

Like a lot of people, I am a sucker for great packaging. Califia Farms delivers most of their beverages in these beautiful hour-glass shaped bottles, which are surprisingly sturdy. As soon as I saw them I thought they would make a great vase or storage container, but when they asked me to try to think of a craft with a tie into Earth Day, a birdfeeder was the obvious answer.

califia-products

This project will take around ten minutes to create the basic structure and you can spend as much (or as little) time as you want on decorating the outside. I used some simple paint dashes to dress up mine, but feel free to dress yours up in a big way. Some types of birds are especially attracted to things that are brightly colored and sparkly (HELLO GLITTER!) while other types of birds are scared off by unfamiliar objects. Consider what types of birds you want to attract before you decide how to decorate the bottle.

Let’s get started!

Califia-Birdhouse-materials

* Califia Farms beverage bottle
* Wooden spoon
* Strong twine
* Box cutter or sharp knife
* Permanent marker
* (not pictured) Decorating supplies: paint, markers, glue, glitter, etc.
* (not pictured) Bird seed

Califia-limeaid

Here is the best part of the craft: drink up!

Califia Farms’ line of almondmilk has a cult following, but their sweet-n-sour lemon limeade is my favorite. It’s fabulous on it’s own, or sometimes I like to add a splash to sparkling water. It also makes for a great summer cocktail mixer, but let’s save that for after we are done with the craft project. Just trust me: it’s tasty stuff.

birdhouse-instruction1

1. Peel the label off the bottle.

2. Wash and dry the inside.

3. Decorate the outside however you see fit. Here I am using regular acrylic craft paint (it’s waterproof). If you want to go all-out with extra trimmings and glue, just make sure your bird feeder can be hung in a way that it is shielded from the elements (under a roof overhanging is a great option).

4. Allow the surface to dry completely.

birdhouse-instruction2

5. Use the permanent marker to draw a rectangle that is as wide as the spoon, but slightly taller. Repeat on the opposite side.

6. Use your blade or knife to cut the sides and top of the hole and fold outward.

7. Insert spoon. Is there a small gap space above the spoon? Good. If not, go back and make the hole slightly taller. Keep in mind, larger bird seed will require a larger hole.

8. Tie two pieces of extra long twine around the lid.

And here we go! Fill with birdseed and hang in a prominent location for everyone to admire your ingenuity. The screw-on cap makes it easy to refill often. The birds (and the environment) will appreciate your efforts.

recycled-bottle-bird-feeder-682

This is a sponsored post but all opinions shared are my own. Thank you to Califia Farms for inviting me to celebrate Earth Day with them. And thank YOU for supporting the brands that make this site possible.

You’ll find Califia Farms in Whole Foods nationwide, as well as major chains like Kroger, Safeway and many other grocery stores. You can use their store locator to find one nearest you! If you are interested in trying Califia Farms for free, visit their social media channels to participate in giveaway programs: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Happy Earth Day!

Comments

  1. Deb in Oklahoma says

    Ooh, LOVE this idea! It’s very clever and cute and small enough to have lots of them in the yard. Great idea, Peaches!

    I love almond milk, but JenO, you are absolutely right. That drought out west is scary bad, and I live in Oklahoma where droughts are kind of normal! You’ve got my sympathies, girl–I’m on my own conservation endeavor right now, too.

  2. Jillian says

    Is there a particular reason why you inserted the spoon so high? All the seed at the bottom of the bottle will be inaccessible and would likely eventually spoil. I recommend putting the perch as low down as possible. As a bird biologist I thank you for thinking of the birds this Earth Day!

    • aunt peaches says

      I wanted to be sure a decent amount of seed would weight the bottle to minimize movement as the bird perched to feed. Even as is, bigger birds like robins swing it a bit. If your birds are smaller, sure, hang it low. I have never had a problem with birdseed going bad so long as it doesn’t get wet.

  3. Kristen says

    This is super cute! I remember making big ones out of milk jugs with big holes in the sides but the birds would make a mess and poop them up. Total mess! Glad to have an alternative that is so super cute!

  4. says

    As a person who has been feeding wild birds for 30 years, I wondered if I might make a few suggestions. The following are my thoughts. If you put mixed bird seed or sunflower seed in the bottle, it will likely be devoured by squirrels in short order. They will chew the bottle to get at the seeds unless you use baffles or other anti-squirrel devices. Secondly, I suggest using a small stick for the perch so droppings won’t accumulate on the wide part of the spoon. There are two types of seed you can get that squirrels won’t touch. You can use safflower seeds or thistle. Thistle primarily is eaten by goldfinches. The seeds are tiny and only require a tiny hole. I hope this helps and that you will enjoy the native birds as much as I do. Oh, and PS, it is time to stop feeding. Feeding wild birds is only recommended in the winter.

  5. says

    I live in Newfoundland, but we moved from Nova Scotia a couple years ago. I guess the birds (and other wildlife) are having a really tough time finding food right now because NS got so much more snow than usual. Anyway, this is a great idea! One thing I used to do when I lived there (we had a country home) was to upcycle those plastic meshy berry baskets and the “gable” tops of milk cartons. I would wire the gable to the basket (for a roof) and fill the basket with bits of yarn, string, thread, christmas *icicles” and other stringy things for them to use for nesting. They actually did use it. These bottles you are using, they look like they would make cool maracas…….. I love maracas. lol.

  6. says

    Such a fantastic idea to upcycle a plastic bottle! I love how you saw the shape and re-designed in a way that still makes the item useful and decorative.

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