How to Make a Bird Feeder Out of Toilet Paper Rolls
Making a simple bird feeder out of recycled materials like toilet paper rolls is an easy, fun project that kids of all ages can do. Bird feeders also help connect children with nature while providing food for local and migratory bird species.
What You’ll Need
- Toilet paper rolls – the cardboard tubes left over after using up toilet paper. Save up a half dozen or more.
- Scissors – child safe scissors for cutting cardboard and construction paper.
- Construction paper or cardstock – for decorating the feeders.
- Glue – white glue or glue stick.
- String, yarn or twine – for hanging the feeders.
- Birdseed – commercial mixes or seeds gathered from your yard or garden.
How to Make a Simple TP Roll Bird Feeder
Step 1: Gather Materials
Collect enough empty toilet paper rolls for each child to make 1 or 2 bird feeders. Toilet paper rolls are perfect because they are lightweight and easy to cut and glue.
Also gather scissors, construction paper, glue, string, and birdseed. Set up a table so kids have room to work on their creations. An old sheet or tablecloth can protect the surface from glue and stray birdseed.
Step 2: Decorate the Rolls
Let kids decorate their toilet paper rolls however they like. They can color designs or scenes on construction paper then glue them onto the rolls. Or color directly on the cardboard rolls with markers.
Younger children may want to glue on googly eyes, pom poms, feathers or other materials to personalize their bird feeders. Encourage creativity!
Step 3: Add String for Hanging
Once rolls are decorated, use scissors to punch 1 hole near the top of each roll, and another hole directly across from it. Cut pieces of string, yarn or twine, doubled over so there are 2 even pieces about 8-12 inches long.
Thread the 2 ends through the holes and tie them in an overhand knot inside the roll. Adjust the length to create a loop so the feeder can hang from a tree branch.
Step 4: Fill with Birdseed
Now the fun part – filling the feeders with birdseed! Any standard mix of millet, sunflower seeds, cracked corn, etc will work. Fill each toilet paper roll about 2/3 full then tie the ends closed with more string or pipe cleaners.
Alternatively, spread peanut butter over rolled oats or birdseed using a butter knife, then pack the mix into the rolls. The peanut butter helps it stick together.
Step 5: Hang Outside Near Trees or Bushes
Once the feeders are full, it’s time to hang them outside! Look for spots near trees, shrubs or bushes so birds have a place to perch as they come to feed. Use loops of string tied around branches to dangle the feeders.
Place several feeders around your yard so multiple birds can feed at once. Enjoy watching the birds enjoy your handmade creations!
Tips for Success
- Supervise young children closely when using scissors and needles.
- Use only non-toxic, washable glue and paint.
- Encourage kids to observe visiting birds from a distance.
- Replenish seed as needed and remove empty feeders.
- Consider recycling toilet paper rolls year-round to always have materials on hand for fun kid crafts!
Making recycled bird feeders engages kids in handicrafts and connects them to nature right in their own backyards. With little supervision, children can create feeders to be proud of while learning about materials reuse and helping local birds.