I never throw away glass. I’m a glass artist, and you just never know when a plate, jar or even a soda bottle might make the perfect addition to your next project. This crafty homemade bird feeder cost me just a few dollars, and now I’m sharing my secret with you. All you’ll need are patience and a couple of hours to make your own. Then sit back and watch while the birds enjoy their treats!
Tip: Don’t be afraid to work with glass. With the right tools and a little practice, you can recycle all types of glass into useful new things.
- Glass soda bottle with cap
- 1/4-in. threaded steel rod, 12 in. long
- 7-1/4 x 7-1/2-in. turnbuckle with two eyebolts
- Loctite glue
- Chicken feeder base (available at feed stores
- 1/4-in. threaded wing nut
- 1-in. diamond drill bit
- 1/2-in. regular twist drill bit
Glass soda bottles aren’t hard to find these days. Mexican Coca-Cola is usually sold this way, and it’s readily available across the United States. Once you have the bottle (I used a 1-liter bottle), find something to hold the neck to keep it in place. I find the garbage disposal in my kitchen sink ideal for this.
Next, under running water, use a 1-in. diamond drill bit to make a hole in the bottom of the bottle. This is the most difficult part of the project. It’s important to keep your drill bit and glass cool by immersing them in water; overheating can break the bottle and even ruin your bit. Start at an angle, gently holding the drill bit in place. Once the drill bit has made a groove in the glass, straighten the bit up so that it hits all sides of the hole evenly. Run your drill at a slow speed to start out, speeding up as the bit becomes deeper, then slowing down toward the end. Once you’ve made the hole, you may need to file off the sharp edges; an emery board will do.
With the 1/2-in. drill bit, drill a hole in the center of the chicken feeder base and Coke bottle cap.
Connect the turnbuckle and the steel rod by removing one of the eye hooks from the turnbuckle and screwing the rod into place. Once you’ve determined that you have the correct length, you can use a drop or two of Loctite to keep it from moving, but don’t do this until you have put it together successfully at least once.
Taking out the other eye hook, place it through the drilled hole in the bottle cap and screw it back into the turnbuckle. The eye of the eyebolt will be on top of the cap for your hanging hook to thread through.
Feed the steel rod through the top of the bottle, past the hole in the bottom of the bottle and then through the hole in the chicken feeder. Firmly press the bottle cap down on the lip of the bottle.
Holding the feeder upside down, place the washer over the threaded rod. Screw the wing nut in place.
Attach a hook. I use a G-hook, but you may choose a different type depending on where you want to hang it.
Once you’re ready to fill your bird feeder, simply take the bottom off, fill with your favorite seed and reattach the bottom.