Activity: Create a Carton Bird Feeder


In his will Armistead Peter 3rd wrote:

“It is my wish that Tudor Place will always be a refuge for the squirrels and rabbits that make it their home. The birds should be given special consideration… in particular, the fountain and bird bath on the lower walk I request be maintained in its present location, where it has given infinite pleasure both the birds and to me.”

Tudor Place has always been home to squirrels, rabbits, birds and other wildlife. Our garden staff work hard to make sure they have comfortable spaces to live. One way you can help the birds that live near you is by making your own bird feeder.

Follow the directions below to turn a juice carton into a bird feeder.

What you’ll need:

  • A cardboard juice or milk carton
  • Scissors or an x-acto knife
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Googly eyes (optional)

First, on two sides of a recycled carton, draw outlines for an opening. These can be any shape you want. We made ours rectangles. Then, on the two sides you haven’t used, draw an outline for a wing-shaped flap. This step is optional. If you don’t want your bird feeder to have wings, you can add more openings. Next, have an adult help you cut out the openings and flaps.

Finally, it’s time to decorate your bird feeder. We made ours look like a bird with paint and googly eyes. If you paint your bird feeder, you will probably need three or four coats of paint. The cardboard exterior that juice cartons are made of makes paint difficult to stick.  Pro tip: make sure to let the paint dry completely before painting the next layer. If you want to hang your bird feeder up outside, punch a hole in the top, and add a loop of twine.  Happy bird feeding!

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