Service Sparks: Bird Feeder from Recycled Materials

Grade Level: 
PreK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12
Community Service Project
Environmental Stewardship
Natural World
Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects! Make and decorate a bird feeder from recycled materials. Use the type of seed that suits the birds in your area to make sure they have a reliable source of food. Enjoy your visitors from the window.


Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects! 


You may attract a variety of birds to your backyard and give them a reliable source of food while enjoying nature. Reusing materials that would have been thrown in the trash practices environmental stewardship.



  1. Clean a used one-gallon milk jug, including the cap. You will use a sharp knife (with adult supervision for young children) to cut holes for the perch, access to the food, and in the cap for hanging. Put a length of string through the cap and glue/tape the cap back on the jug for strength.
  2. Make stick perches by cutting two small Xs on opposite sides near the bottom of the jug so a straight twig can be inserted - in one side and out the other.
  3. Cut a large hole on each side of the jug for birds to access food while standing on the perches.
  4. Use recycled paper (used wrapping paper, comics, magazines) torn into small pieces and adhered with Mod Podge or papier-mache to cover the surface of the milk jug, wrapping around the opening so the edges aren't sharp. (Sample Papier-mache Recipe)
  5. Decorate with glitter or sequins to attract birds.
  6. Research what seeds and height of the feeder will attract birds near you. Research birds by type and which types of food attracts them (pictures included in the links). 
  7. Learn more with a Learning to Give lesson Sharing the Joy of a Garden

Reflection: Keep a journal of what birds and other wildlife are attracted to your feeder. Note changes you make to position or food type and write observations of changes. Write your thoughts on why caring for birds is good for the environment.

Explore more Service Sparks projects:


Learning to Give ... 

  • educates youth about philanthropy, the civil society sector, and the importance of giving their time, talent and treasure for the common good (knowledge),
  • equips youth by encouraging philanthropic behavior and experience (skills), and,
  • empowers youth to take voluntary citizen action for the common good in their classrooms, lives and communities (behavior).