Using Bottles To Feed Birds – How To Make A Soda Bottle Bird Feeder

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By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Few things are as educational and delightful to watch as wild birds. They brighten the landscape with their song and quirky personalities. Encouraging such wildlife by creating a bird friendly landscape, supplementing their food, and providing homes will give your family entertainment from the feathered friends. Making a plastic bottle bird feeder is an inexpensive and fun way to provide much needed food and water.

What You Need to Make a Plastic Bottle Bird Feeder

Family friendly activities that also have beneficial impact on the local fauna are hard to find. Using bottles to feed birds is an upcycled way to keep birds hydrated and fed. Plus, you are repurposing an item that otherwise has no use except the recycle bin. A soda bottle bird feeder craft is an easy project in which the whole family can participate.

Creating a bird feeder with a plastic bottle and a few other items is a simple DIY craft. A standard two-liter soda bottle is usually around the house, but you can use any bottle really. It is the base for the plastic bottle bird feeder and will provide enough food for many days.

Clean the bottle well and soak to remove the label. Make sure you dry the interior of the bottle completely so the birdseed doesn’t stick or sprout inside the feeder. Then you just need a few more simple items.

  • Twine or wire for hanging
  • Utility knife
  • Skewer, chopstick, or thin dowels
  • Funnel
  • Birdseed

How to Make a Soda Bottle Bird Feeder

Once you have gathered your materials and prepared the bottle, some instructions on how to make a soda bottle bird feeder will speed things along. This soda bottle bird feeder craft is not difficult, but children should be helped since a sharp knife is involved. You can make the bird feeder with a plastic bottle right side up or inverted, the choice is yours.

In order to have larger capacity for seed, the inverted way will see the bottom as the top and provide more storage. Cut two small holes in the bottom of the bottle and thread twine or wire through for the hanger. Then cut two small holes on each side (4 holes total) of the bottle cap end. Thread skewers or other items through for perches. Two more holes above the perch will let seed out.

Using bottles to feed birds is cheap and easy, but you can also use them as a decorator craft project. Before filling the bottle, you can wrap it in burlap, felt, hemp rope, or anything else you like. You can also paint them.

The design is adjustable as well. You can hang the bottle upside down and food comes down near the perch. You might also choose to cut out a midsection of the bottle so birds can poke their head in and select seed. Alternatively, you can mount the bottle sideways with a cut out and birds perch on the edge and peck at seed inside.

Building plastic bottle feeders is a project that is limitless to your imagination. Once you have mastered that, perhaps you will make a watering station or nesting space as well. The sky’s the limit.

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This project takes about 30 minutes, only uses common household waste, and requires only basic skills. At the end, you will have a bird feeder and become a friend to the birds in your neighborhood.


Chances are you’ll have a bottle of tomato ketchup in the cupboard or fridge. Many of the bottles are now the plastic squeezy type. Rather than simply popping the empty bottle in the recycling bin next time you finish a bottle why not have a go at ‘upcycling’ it into a great hanging bird feeder.

(x1) Tomato ketchup squeezy bottle, (x1) small plastic plant drip tray, 700mm length of string

Drill, Craft Blade, Scissors, Blue Tac or sealant

How Can I Remove the Label From My Bottle?

Before you paint your bird feeder, you will need to remove the label. One of the best things about these bottles is the label is very lightly glued in place. That means that you only have to peel the edge and it will pull back easily.

If there happens to be any residual glue on the bottle, simply wipe off with soap and water or a glue remover product.

How to Make a Soda Bottle Bird Feeder

Building a soda bottle bird feeder is a nice and quick project you can do that will allow you to enjoy some wild bird viewing in your yard. Great for kids and adults alike, this project should only take you about 20 minutes, is virtually free and a great way to get involved in bird watching.

Step 1 – Clean the Bottle

Remove the label, clean and dry the 2 liter bottle.

Step 2 – Drill First Holes

Drill a 1/16 inch in the cap and the bottom of the bottle to feed the wire through. If your wire is thicker, you can drill a hole of bigger thickness.

Step 3 – Feed the Wire

Take the cap off of the bottle and feed the wire through the bottom of the 2 liter and then through the cap, coming from the inside out. Put the cap back on the bottle and secure the wire onto the neck of the bottle. Create a loop on the end with about 4 inches of wire to facilitate hanging the bottle.

Step 4 – Drill Holes for the Perches

Drill two holes about 5/16 inches wide or whatever the size of sticks you will be using. These should go near the feeder or cap end on opposite sides from one another. Insert the perches so that they cross in the center.

Step 5 – Drill Holes for Seeds

Depending on what kinds of seeds you will be using, you will need to create different sized holes for the birds to access the seeds. If using sunflower seeds, cut 5/16 inch holes about 1 ½ to 2 inches above the perches. For smallerseeds, cut small slits just ¼ inch to 1/8 inch long about 1 ½ inches above the perches.

Step 6 – Fill the Feeder

Fill the bird feeder only about halfway, so that the seed will remain fresh until the birds begin to access the new feeder. You will need to refill it periodically based on how many birds the feeder attracts.

Step 7 – Hang the Feeder

Hang your feeder on a tree branch or other element in your yard and sit back and wait for the birds to come. If you are making your bird feeder for your kids, make sure to hang it low enough so that it is easily viewable for them.

It may take a little while for the birds to find the feeder, so don’t be discouraged. Be sure to hang it high enough that it is out of the way of other predators like cats so that the birds can enjoy their meal in peace.

This easy project can help beautify your yard with some nice colorful birds. Gather the supplies and build your own bird feeder for hours of magnificent viewing from your very own vantage point.

Soda Bottle Value Feeder - Black

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Product Description:

Publisher Description:

Recycle soda bottles into bird feeders! Simply twist the base onto a clean, empty soda bottle, attach hanger, add seed and you are ready to feed! All types of seeds (even sunflower) will dispense down into the base as needed. Birds land on the feeding perch and easily grab food from the base. This feeder is affordable, attractive, clever and eco-friendly since it re-uses a soda bottle. Decorate the soda bottle to customize the feeder.Great family project, gifts for grandparents, project for garden clubs and scout troops. Access door on the bottom of the base allows for easy refills.Proudly MADE IN USA! Soda bottles and bird seed not included. Works with most soda bottle threading similar to Pepsi brand bottles.

These are the least expensive bird feeders you'll find! The feeder part is a plastic tray that screws onto a 2-liter plastic bottle. Fill the bottle with bird seed, turn it upside down, and hang from a tree branch using the included hanger. This convenient bird feeder comes with or without a filling funnel, or as a set of three (terracotta, green and black) with funnel

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