Rather than buying a plastic bird feeder this spring time, why not create your own upcycled bird feeder using old bakeware that is beyond repair such as cake tins and enamel lids. They look great hanging in groups too and the birds will love you for it!
- A selection of vintage metal and enamel bakeware. You will need a bowl like shape for the bottom half and a plate like lid that is the same size or larger.
- A three piece metal chain from an old hanging basket with 3 hooks at the base and the top hook still in place
- Pieces of yarn
- A drill with HSS metal cutting drill bits
- A ruler and pencil
- Safety glasses
- Metal files – a round and flat file
Gather together your rusty, old bakeware oddments and pair them up. You will need two matching pieces; one for the base that is sunken so food can sit in it and then a top piece. This needs to be the same size or larger than the base part.
Take your hanging basket chain and remove the lower three hooks.
Using your ruler and pencil mark three equal positions in the shape of a triangle on the edges. These will define where you will drill the holes for the chain.
Choose a metal drill bit that is the same size as the chain (approx. 1cm depending on the chain). This will be used to drill the holes in the bakeware that is forming the roof of the feeder.
Choose a metal drill bit that is the same size as the hook (approx. 0.5cm depending on the chain). This will be used to drill the holes in the bakeware that is forming the bowl part of the feeder.
Wearing your safety glasses in an outdoor space, carefully drill holes on the marks you made previously. There may be splinters of enamel as this tends to chip so please be careful at this stage. If the base part is very deep you will need to make the holes along the sides.
Drill the bottom holes as near to the rim as possible to make it easier to attach the hooks later.
After you have drilled the holes, there will more than likely be sharp edges and burrs sticking up which can hurt you and the birds. Using metal files, gently smooth these down. You will find that enamel will be worse than plain metal.
Once all the holes are smooth, thread the chain through the top section of the upcycled bird feeder.
After the three chains are through, replace the hooks onto the bottom of the chain.
Now place the hooks through the holes in the base section.
You now need to secure the top part so it stays in position. Using your pliers, gently fold down one part of the chain to create a L shape. Repeat this in the same position on each chain so the top part sits straight. Remember to leave enough space for the birds!
Hang the upcycled bird feeder from a tree and fill with bird seeds. Hang pieces of yarn around the chain so the birds can use this for their nests.
If you have a base part that is very deep, you can fill it with water to create a bird bath. You could use a muffin tray also to create a larger feeder or copper pieces to add a nice colour to your garden.
This is my upcycled bird feeder project for Reloved Magazine for their March issue.