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We are all pretty far into the trash and recycling crisis that befalls us. With all the best intentions in the world of cutting back on packaging and recycling what we can, unwanted packaging and items often still end up in our homes.

While recycling is a better step than throwing away, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Recycling still requires a lot of fossil fuel. Those items that we send to the recycling still have to go through a factory before they are popped out at the other end as something new!

The first step is to try to reduce the amount of packaging we bring into our homes in the first place. The very last resort is the landfill, and only just before that is recycling. Repurposing or reusing an unwanted item is a really good way to take responsibility for items you have bought, do a good deed for the plant, and perhaps end up with something cool.

So, what about making some bird feeders from recycled materials? At this point, we all have many items in our house made from an old plastic bottle or toilet roll, but what if we could make something fun, functional, ornamental, and great for the birds?

Providing you do a little research on the birds you have in your area, what they like to eat, and look at how you should locate various birdfeeders for the safety of the birds, you could be attracting all kinds of feathered friends to your yard and giving them a little helping hand during leaner times.

Plant Milk or Juice Carton

Source: Ultra Kids Zone/YouTube

Take a used plant milk or juice carton and paint and decorate it as you wish. Next, cut a hole in the front of the carton 3-4 inches from the bottom. This hole will allow the birds in but prevent the bird seeds from spilling out. You may glue a little stick beneath the hole for a bird to perch on.

Plastic Mesh Produce Bag

We all know those mesh bags that we can buy onions or garlic in at the supermarket. Well, these make great bags for filling with seeds and other goodies for the birds. If the mesh is tight enough, you can simply fill it with seed and hang it outside appropriately. Alternatively, you can make peanut butter or vegetable suet balls. Just combine suet and/or peanut butter with various seeds, nuts, and oats and form them into balls. Once they have set, you can pop one into one of those bags with wider holes. The birds can use the mesh to hang onto.

Tin Can

Source: DaveHax/YouTube

This project requires a lot of care as it requires that metal is cut and drilled. Take a can full of food. Open one end, but only open it halfway. Carefully fold back the half-cut lid and empty the contents for your dinner! Next, give the can a rinse. Then, open the other end of the can in the same way, but make sure that the open parts match. You are trying to make a trough for seed to fill. You then need to bend the flaps on the ends of the tin to the inside so that there is a folded edge with nothing sharp on show. Do this carefully with gloves and pliers to avoid cuts.

Next, drill a hole through the ends of the can. Make sure that the drill goes through both layers of metal. This is where a perch will go. Get a piece of wooden dowel, a pencil, or even a wooden spoon to push through the holes. Then, drill some holes through the top of the can where you can attach some rope for hanging. Fill your feeder with food and hang it out!

Tea Cup and Saucer

Source: Char’s Nest/YouTube

Before you send those used teacups and saucers to the thrift store, think about making them into super cute and classy bird feeders. You just need a cup, a saucer, some strong adhesive and a chain, an old necklace, or some rope for hanging it up.

Take your saucer and add a dollop of glue into the middle. Next, place your cup on its side with the bottom of the cup towards the edge of the saucer and the handle pointing upwards. Hold it in place with a weight or some tape whilst it dries. Keep checking that the cup hasn’t moved while the glue is drying. Once it is secure, you can thread a chain or rope through the handle for something to hang it up with. Fill the cup with seed and let it spill out onto the saucer. Then, hang it in your garden for the birds to enjoy.

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