Art Lesson Plan: Bird Feeders


  1. 1L or 2L milk cartons OR gallon plastic milk/juice jugs
  2. 1-2 feet of string, wire, leather strip to hang feeder
  3. 12 inch stick or dowel (small piece of found tree branch is fine)
  4. scissors
  5. nail


  1. If you use a milk carton, cut out the sides, leaving a frame around each side, so it looks like the sides have open windows, LEAVING a 2 inch space at the bottom, on all 4 sides. You will cut or punch a hole on 2 opposite sides in this space at the bottom of the carton, to insert the stick, creating 2 perches for the birds to sit and eat.
  2. If you use a plastic jug, poke a starting hole with the nail about 2-3 inches from the base, then cut one horizontal line, leaving 2-3 inches at the bottom of the jug, then vertically cut up on both sides of this cut, stopping just before the jug bends towards the lid. This will make a flap you can fold up for a canopy.  You want to cut out an open space for the seed, but leave the handle and top attached for a rain cover for the seeds.  Having rounded corners makes it easier to cut out the plastic.
  3. Cut or punch a hole through the front of the jug (below where you cut out the flap) and cut or punch another hole through the back of the jug, for the perch to go through.  These 2 holes are in that 2-3 inch space at the base. If you don’t have a perch, it’s okay because the birds just hop right in.  The perch can just be a broken tree branch you poke through the 2 holes in the milk jug.
  4. Knot the string through the handle and hang suspended so that only flying birds can reach the seeds.
  5. Have students who have pet birds save their bird’s seed that they change daily for these feeders. Tame birds only eat about half of what they have before it’s dumped out and changed. Lots of it is chafe or nuts or seeds your bird doesn’t want. When you put it in these feeders, the chafe is blown away in the wind and the remaining seeds are really enjoyed by wild birds. No waste and you can accumulate a lot of seed for wild birds by dumping this “used” seed in a container at home and bringing it in to class once a week. I get a 2 kg jar every 2 weeks from my parrot.

This project is one of Ten Easy Environmentally-Friendly Arts and Crafts Projects:

  1. Coasters: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
  2. Pencil Holder: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
  3. Magazine Holder: for siblings, friends, parents
  4. Shell Butterfly Magnet/Brooch/Barrette: for siblings, friends, parents… (symmetry)
  5. Bird Feeders: for anyone
  6. Twig Picture Frame: for anyone
  7. Handprinted Card: for anyone
  8. Tin Can Stilt Walkers: for anyone
  9. Goldfish Bowl: for anyone
  10. Pop Bottle Terrarium: for anyone


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