This is a practically-free bird feeder that can be built for a couple of pennies, and 5-10 minutes of your time using very minimal tools and supplies. If you are doing this with your children please choose the proper scissors, not like the ones shown here.
CAUTION: Uses sharp tools and equipment. BE CAREFUL! One slip can cost you 1-15 hours in the emergency room, and a ton of money of you have not yet signed up for ObamaCare! You have been warned!
Now, let's get started!
Step 1: Gather Required Materials
Things you need:
1: ONE-two liter pop bottle
2: ONE-750ml/20oz pop bottle
3: ONE-wooden dowel, piece of bamboo, or stick from the yard or woods
3: ONE-utility knife & pair of scissors(CAUTION-SHARP EDGES!!!!)
4: ONE-wood screw or metal screw with coarse thread.(this is optional. If you are precise with the perch-holes, the screw may be omitted by keeping the holes on the smaller bottle a little higher to keep pressure between the two after inserting the perch)
5: ONE-screwdriver or impact driver/drill(optional, see #4)
(CAUTION-If you use an impact driver/drill INSERT PERCH BEFORE INSERTING BOTTOM SCREW, otherwise the bottom of the two-liter bottle can spin really fast while attaching it to the smaller bottle, causing severe cuts or burns at the very least, you have been warned!)
6: ONE-length of rope or wire as needed.
7: FIVE-TEN minutes of your time.
8: Marker or pen/pencil to make marks on plastic
9: OPTIONAL-cigarette lighter, soldering gun, or other heat source to heat and dull the sharp edges!
Step 2: Remove Wrappers & Mark Bottles
Rinse bottles with warm soapy water and then with COLD water. It is important to use cold water rinse after washing and then quickly place cap on bottle. This allows for a little positive pressure on the bottle rather than negative pressure which will cause it to collapse.
Notice the dotted line one the bigger bottle in the first picture, if using a Pepsi bottle, you will notice a line around it between the contours on the bottom and the indention below the label line, this will be your cut line.
You don't need to mark the black line for the cut line on the big bottle. I just did that as a reference.
The contours I'll refer to as highs and lows. The lows being the five spots where it touches the surface it's sitting on, and the highs being the five recessed spots.
The lows are where we will make our cutouts for the seeds to fall.
Adjust the sizes of these holes according to the type of seed you are using.
You'll want it at least twice the size of your biggest seed. If using only sunflower seeds, I'd recommend three to four sizes so they don't get hung up in the holes.
My marks in the photos are really large, mostly to show detail.
Step 3: Drill Bottoms(Optional) & Proceed to Cutting
IMPORTANT: It will make it much easier if you pre-drill the holes in the center of the bottom now, before making any cuts!
Drill bottoms or use screwdriver to turn screw into center of bottoms. There's usually a small dot already in the exact spot. It can be thick, so of doing it by hand don't expect it to be super easy.
If you have a kid helping, I recommend marking the marks, then starting at least the first line of the holes. You can be badly hurt if you slip while making these holes, be careful.
Notice the lines I have going straight across the bottoms, these are to line up the holes for the perch.
You want the holes straight across from each other, and level(unless not using screw, in which case you'll want holes in smaller bottle slightly higher) with each other when standing side by side as shown.
Cut bottom from larger bottle.
Optional: Use lighter, soldering iron, or hot pan to quickly heat the edges of the cuts enough to remove the sharpness.
Step 4: Drill or Cut Holes in Lid and Secure String
Drill or cut holes in lid as shown.
Insert string or wire as desired and secure with knot or twist.
Make a smaller hole than the one shown if you are hanging it in the open where water entry may be a problem, you can even add hot-glue or silicone around the holes if desired.
Step 5: Insert Perch and Fill With Seed
Now you insert the perch. If you omitted the screw for fastening than you'll want a little resistance when pushing it through to hold the two pieces tightly together. This will prevent it from coming apart during high winds and targeted bird-on-bird drops and bombings! If you are using the screw and it's long enough, you can drill it right into the perch for added strength. You may want to pre-drill the hole in the perch to keep it from splitting though.
If you want to avoid squirrels, try to make the string really long, and hang it far out on a branch so he can't reach it by hanging from the tree trunk. Good luck though, they are pretty persistent and smart little rodents. I don't mind them myself.
They also make birdseed now with pepper spice and other stuff in it that they claim doesn't harm or bother your feathered little friends, I've never tried it though.
Step 6: OPTIONAL: Paint or Decorate As Needed or Desired
Find some paints that will stick to plastics, use stickers, markers, whatever you have to decorate the feeders. They didn't cost you anything but a few minutes of your time and maybe 10 cents in materials, assuming you had the bottles already, so have fun with them. Remember to use only non-toxic paints though, kind of defeats the purpose of making a bird feeder if you end up poisoning them in the long run.
One you get the hang of it, you can quickly make them in two minutes or less if omitting the fastening screw. Make a bunch while the kids are at school, and let them come home and paint them and decorate them. Most kids love crafts, wildlife, and painting. Then they get to sit back and admire their efforts and the birds and wildlife too.
Have Fun, and let me know what you think of my idea, and any improvements or additions we can make!
PLEASE NOTE: The Minion Painted Bottles are not mine, this is just put out as a suggestion! Who doesn't love Minions?!?!?!?!?!
Thanks For Reading,
bifaerie79 made it!