Homemade Bird Feeder
Instructions with picture guide.

This homemade bird feeder will attract lots of birds to your garden. You can make it with a used plastic bottle, the laundry balls that you get free with the detergent, elastic bands and some old stick pens!

It's amazing how much money you can save by following these instructions. Bird feeders of this capacity can cost £20 plus!

On the other hand if you like to recycle plastic bottles and enjoy recycling crafts then give this homemade bird feeder a go. The worst that can happen if it goes wrong is that you put the plastic bottle back in the recycling bin!

You can use your plastic scrap to help the planet as shop bought bird feeders cannot be recycled at the end of their life. Homemade bird feeders can be recycled again making them much better for your environment.

Don't take my word for it! Watch this video to see how much the goldfinches in my garden love this feeder.

What do I need for my homemade Bird Feeder.

plastic bottle

A large 2litre plastic bottle that you are about to recycle :)

lbf_laundry balls

The laundry balls you get free on top of your detergent. We throw so much of this plastic scrap away but it's so great for recycling crafts.


Any elastic bands you've got knocking around the house. Maybe the ones that the postman leaves on the path!


Stick pens are great for recycling crafts. They are very cheap, sometimes even free! They are hollow when you take them to pieces, this is perfect for our homemade bird feeder. They double as both perches and the hanger.


Left over washing line is great for hanging homemade bird feeders. If you haven't got any then string or even an old wire coat hanger bent into a loop will do the trick. Just remember that the point of these recycle crafts is to use whats lying around, so you may have to modify things as you go along.

How to construct your Homemade Bird Feeder.


Measure about 9cm (or 90mm if your that kind of person ;)) up from the cap of the bottle and mark a hole with a compass or similar pointy thing.Then from that point draw a cross with a diameter of around 5.5cm. This marks where you will cut the holes to insert the laundry balls.


Draw a circle around the cross and with a sharp pair of scissors or side cutters cut the cross to the circle. Then carefully cut around the circle. Once you have cut a hole try the laundry ball into it. If it fits snuggly you've done it! If not trim the hole more and try it again. keep trimming off bits of the plastic bottle until the ball fits snuggly. Repeat on the other side of the plastic bottle.


The next step in making your homemade bird feeder is to cut the laundry balls so that they let the seed out. I found that using side cutters is the best method but it's possible to do it using a stanley knife. Because the plastic is thick if you are using a knife be very careful!! Cut the slots as shown in the photo opposite.


Using a wood screw make another hole in the laundry ball just below the slot you have just cut. Then put the elastic bands around the ball so that they rest on the raised edge. The elastic bands provide a seal around the plastic bottle and the ball to prevent water getting in. If your hole is very snug you won't need many. You can also glue the balls in place instead of bolting them. This isn't as good for the planet though as you are unable to recycle the bottle once it's covered in glue :)


It's time to construct the homemade bird feeder! To hold the laundry balls in you can use some washing line or string or you can use a nut and bolt if you have one. Whichever you choose put the laundry balls in the holes that are cut for them and then either thread a knotted piece of washing line through the small holes or a bolt. Tighten the nut on the bolt or tie another knot in the washing line to secure the balls together and thus onto the plastic bottle. The elastic bands should form a seal in between the bottle and the balls.


Make perches underneath the laundry balls by using a wood screw to make a hole on either side of the plastic bottle. Then wiggle a pen into the holes until it fits comfortably. Use duck tape to secure two dismantled stick pens together and push them through the hole. You won't be able to see the tape once the homemade feeder is full of bird seed.


At the other end of your plastic bottle, you need to make holes so that you can hang the bird feeder up. Use exactly the same method as you used to make the bottom perches, but this time only use one pen. Thread the washing line through the pen and tie it in a knot.


Make sure the gap in the laundry balls is facing the neck of the bottle, otherwise when you hang it up all the seed will pour out! Fill up with bird seed hang in the garden and enjoy the birds.


As you can see the birds in our garden love my homemade bird feeder :)
return from homemade bird feeder to plastic recycling
or recycle-crafts home page
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Goldfinch on feeder

Feed the birds in your garden this spring

cathedral window quilt

Learn a new skill!

denim bag

This denim bag made from old jeans is a great project