Repurposing Empty Tuna Cans Into Bird Feeders
Making bird feeders out of empty tuna cans is a fun and easy DIY project that repurposes household items. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to turn tuna cans into cute little feeders for your feathered friends.
Gather Your Materials
- Empty tuna cans – make sure to clean thoroughly and remove any sharp edges
- Acrylic paint in colors of your choice
- Twine or string
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Birdseed – black oil sunflower seeds work well
Preparing the Tuna Cans
Before decorating, you’ll want to prep the tuna cans so they are safe for birds to use. Here are the key steps:
- Remove the paper label by soaking the can in warm water. The label will peel off easily.
- Wash the can thoroughly with soap and hot water. Make sure no tuna residue remains.
- File down any sharp edges around the open rim of the can. You don’t want to cut yourself or the birds!
- Puncture 2 small holes on opposite sides of the can near the bottom. This allows drainage so water doesn’t collect.
Painting and Decorating
Now the fun part – decorating the bird feeders! Young kids can help with this step.
- Prime the cans with a base coat of white acrylic paint. Let fully dry.
- Add colors and designs. Paint the outside of the cans with fun colors and patterns. Stripes, polka dots, flowers, and birds are cute options.
- For a glossy look, finish with a coat of clear acrylic sealer once the paint is fully dry.
Feel free to get creative with decorations like gluing on googly eyes or faux gemstones. Make each feeder unique!
Adding the Hanger
To complete the feeder, you’ll need to add a hanger made of twine or string.
- Cut a piece of twine about 18 inches long.
- Fold it in half to create a loop. Glue this loop to the inside of the tuna can’s rim using hot glue.
- Knot the two loose ends together. This will create a hanger to hang your feeder.
- For extra reinforcement, you can superglue over the hot glue.
Filling with Birdseed
The final step is filling the feeder with yummy seeds for birds to enjoy!
- Fill the bottom with birdseed, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.
- Pack down gently. You want room for expansion if the seed gets wet.
- Hang your feeder outside in a spot that’s easily accessible for birds. Ideas include tree branches, fence posts, or shepherd’s hooks.
- Replenish the birdseed as needed. Black oil sunflower seeds stay fresh longer than mixes.
Tips for Success
Follow these tips to make your tuna can feeder an avian oasis:
- Hang feeders at different heights to accommodate different bird species.
- Position near natural cover like trees or shrubs so birds feel protected.
- Clean feeders regularly – about every 2-4 weeks – to prevent disease.
- Use birdseed designed for the birds in your region. Ask at a nature store for advice.
- Once the design is painted, seal with polyurethane for a durable, weatherproof finish.
With a simple tuna can, you can create a charming DIY bird feeder to draw beautiful birds to your yard. The whole family will love watching your new feathered visitors enjoy their handcrafted bird café.