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Milk Jug Bird Feeder

Don't toss out that empty milk jug! Turn it into an easy-to-make bird feeder.

Ranger Rick
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Average Rating:
Participant Age: 7 to 12, Under 7
Approximate Cost: Under $10
Duration: Over an hour
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Birdseed
  • Glue (easier with something strong like Modge Podge)
  • Leaves
  • Marker
  • Empty plastic milk jug
  • Thick nail or hole punch
  • Green acrylic paint
  • Tiny pine cones (optional)
  • Pine needles (optional)
  • Scissors (kitchen-style, can cut through plastic)
  • Tiny stones (optional)
  • Twigs
  • Wire or thick string or rope, about two feet
Make the entrance to the bird feeder.
Draw and cut out a large circle (about 2 1/2 inches wide) a few inches up from the bottom of an empty, clean gallon milk jug.
Punch a hole for the perch twig
Make a small twig-sized hole just below the large one, either with a nail or a hole punch. (See step 5 for adding the perch.)
Paint the milk jug green
Brush green acrylic paint on the outside of the jug and let it dry.
Add camouflage to the milk jug
Attach leaves to the dry milk jug with clear glue.
Create a hanger on the bird feeder
Punch a hole through both sides of the top just below the cap and slip a wire through it.
Add twigs for more camouflage
Glue about a dozen or so five-inch twigs to each side of the jug's top, as shown.
Make the perch
Poke another, thicker twig into the perch hole.
Add more camouflage decorations over the leaves
Glue on stones, pinecones, pine needles, more twigs, or any other decorations you like.
Glaze the whole thing so your decorations are water-resistant
Paint over the leaves with clear non-toxic craft glaze or finish.
Hang up your bird feeder
Add birdseed and hang your feeder from a tree branch. (Be sure to put it where you can easily refill it.)


Craft by Michele Reyzer. Originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Ranger Rick magazine.


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