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My mom almost always had an milk jug full of iced tea in the fridge when I was growing up. She knew she could repurpose empty milk jugs, but it wasn’t really her “thing” to find too many ways to use empty milk jugs. For her, they were simply a way to store a drink. For me, they are another way to save money and a way to keep something from getting tossed. Even though we drink raw milk, the farmer we buy it from uses milk jugs which means I still have them on hand usually. One of my favorite uses for them is this milk jug bird feeder.
I confess that when I first heard the idea to make a bird feeder from milk jugs, I wasn’t too convinced. It seemed a whole lot more complicated than it really is and frankly, I’m not too big on much of anything that is too complicated. I like easy. I’m too busy to deal with complicated. That’s the real reason these milk jug bird feeders is one of my favorite upcycled crafts. In fact, reusing milk jugs in one of my favorite things to reuse at home period.
After I took the time to make these milk jug bird feeders, I was convinced though. They’re super easy so I will just have to admit I was wrong and move on with my life. 🙂 They are a perfect companion to my terra cotta pot bird bath. The birds love them!
How to Make a Milk Jug Bird Feeder
This milk jug bird feeder is perfect for anyone who wants to attract birds to their garden without spending much money on a bird feeder. If you wanted to attract hummingbirds, you could use a non-toxic paint to paint your milk jug bird feeder red.
Also, know that when you make a bird feeder from a milk jug, it won’t be very deep. This won’t affect the function of your feeder at all. All it will mean is you’ll probably have to add bird seed more often if you plan to keep it filled. You can modify the design if you wish, but keep all sharp edges in mind. When you cut into a milk jug, the edges do get quite sharp. I’m certain you wouldn’t want to harm one of our fine feathered friends with a sharp edge.
Why You Should Find Ways to Upcycle Milk Jugs
Milk jugs are one of those items that almost every home has in their fridge on any given day. Most don’t even bother finding ways to upcycle milk jugs and instead they are simply thrown away. It has been estimated that 3.5 pounds of milk jugs are thrown away each year.
Considering a milk carton ways 1 ounce that is a whole lot of plastic going into the dump. Crafts such as this one can help find different uses for milk jugs so that amount of trash is reduced.
Steps to Making Milk Jug Bird Feeders
You Will Need: Each set of supplies makes one milk jug bird feeder.
- 1 empty milk or juice jug with lid
- 2 paper straws
- Colored duct tape
- Bird Seed
- Small piece of yarn
How to Make a Bird Feeder From a Milk Jug
To begin your milk jug bird feeder, wash and dry your milk jug fully. If you are having an issue getting any smells such as orange juice out of the jug, add a bit of original Dawn dish soap and 1/4 cup white vinegar to a full jug of water. Shake well and allow it to sit for a few hours. Rinse it very, very well and allow it to dry fully.
Once the jug is fully dry, cut the jug open on all four sides. Make your cuts below the handle making sure to leave a thin strip of the jug in tact as shown in the photo above.
Next, use the Duck tape to cover the edges of your jug. We used green duct tape for ours, but you can use any color you wish as long as it is bright enough to attract attention. Make sure to cover all the edges since they’re sharp.
If you want to reinforce your feeder, you can also place a layer of tape across the very bottom of the jug. This isn’t necessary though unless you want to do it.
Your bird feeder needs to be balanced so that it will hang correctly. Otherwise, it will lean to one side and dump the bird seed. To balance it correctly, make a hole through both the “lip” that is left on the jug and the tape.
Run a paper straw completely through each side to form an “x” in the center of the jug. They should be secure enough to stay, but if not, secure the center with a piece of tape. I don’t recommend taping it though since it is the area where the bird seed will go.
To finish the feeder, use the scissors or a nail to put a hole through the lid. Run a piece of yarn through the hole. Tie the ends together to create a way to hang the milk jug bird feeder.
Replace the lid and hang outside on a tree in your yard. Fill the bottom area with bird seed then sit back and watch your feathered buddies come in for a snack!