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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day: Make A Birdfeeder from Recyclables

Inspire the whole family to become more concerned about protecting the environment by making a bird feeder from a quart-sized milk or juice carton. Everyone will enjoy watching wildlife up-close right at home. You might want to encourage the kids to keep a diary of the birds that take visit your feeder.

This design protects the bird seed from rain and snow, which is very useful in the winter months when many bird feed platforms become snow covered and unusable.

  • milk or juice carton
  • craft knife or scissors
  • wax pencil or crayon
  • ruler or straight edge
  • two small lengths of double-sided tape
  • two bamboo skewers or straight, small diameter twigs to use as perchs
  • bird seed
  • hole punch
  • heavy twine to make a hanger

  • Directions
    1. Use the wax pencil and ruler to draw the shape of the opening on the front of the milk carton, as shown in the diagram at right. The opening looks like the outline of a house with a peaked roof. You should allow about two inches at the bottom of the carton to hold a good amount of seeds.

    2. Use the craft knife to cut out the opening. Younger children will need an adult to help with this part.

    3. Using the top of the peak as a center point, fold the piece of milk carton that you just removed in half along its length. Make a half inch cut from the point of the peak down the center fold. Fold up a half inch flap on either side of this cut, as shown in the diagram at right.

    4. Attach a length of double-sided tape to each flap.

    5. Insert this roof piece into the top of the opening and use your fingers to press the flaps against the inside of the milk carton until the double-sided tape holds securely.

    6. Poke a bamboo skewer or thin straight twig through the wall of the milk carton, just below the left side of the opening. Repeat on the right side. Poke skewers all the way through and out the back wall of the carton. This keeps the perches straight and secure.

    7. Use a hole punch or a skewer to punch two holes through the top line of the carton.

    8. Thread twine through the two holes to make a hanger. 9. Fill the bottom of the feeder with nyger seed or a small bird seed mixture. Hang your milk carton bird feeder from a tree branch that you can reach easily when you need to add more bird seed.


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