Easily Turn Your Empty Paint Can Into A DIY Bird Feeder

Feathered visitors to your yard may be one of life's greatest pleasures, particularly during the warmer months. While buying bird feeders and houses to fully make a wonderland of entertainment for birds can get expensive, sometimes the best avian accouterments come from upcycling feeders, baths, and houses from things you may already have around the house. You could turn an ordinary wine barrel into a beautiful bird bath or DIY an incredible one with an essential kitchen item. But there's actually a great upcycle that transforms everyday metal paint cans into a cute bird feeder for your yard. 

Not only does it help keep the cans out of the landfill (useful if you are an avid DIYer who goes through a lot of paint), but it also can create an excellent container for seed with a few modifications to keeping the birds in your yard nourished and coming back year after year. Even better, the feeder is a great homemade alternative to store-bought bird feeders, coming in at cost for almost free if you use supplies you may already have on hand. You can make as many as you want, customize their look, and place them all over your yard for birds to enjoy.

Creating a bird feeder from a paint can

To create this DIY feeder, you can use any size paint can, though the smaller ones may work best to keep squirrels and other predator larger birds out of your seed supply. You will also need some ribbon, hot glue, and a wooden dowel or stick to make a perch for feeding birds. You will also need any paint or decorative elements you'd like to add to your bird feeder.

Begin by thoroughly cleaning out the inside of the can of paint by washing it with dish soap and water. Remove the can's label, and let the entire thing soak overnight in hot water. Let everything fully dry before you start your bird feeder project. Use hot glue to attach the wooden dowel or stick perpendicular to the front of the feeder, where it will serve as a perch for feeding birds. To hang the bird feeder, wrap the exterior in decorative ribbon (you could also use a chain, fishing line, or twine) and secure it with a dab of hot glue. Hang the feeder from a tree branch or patio and fill it with birdseed.

Customizing your paint can bird feeder

The TikTok version above is easy to create with minimal supplies, but there are many ways to customize your bird feeder. YouTuber DIYS at the Schwowin's nest adds a roof using cut-down garden stakes painted a similar color scheme to the exterior of her cans, but you could also use wooden craft sticks or small pieces of wood to create a lid. She also makes a wooden lip carved from the stakes and glues it in place to keep the front secure, which is particularly handy if your feeder will be subject to high winds or movement. Leave it in the natural silver or paint your bird feeder in a variety of colors to fit your aesthetic. Use painter's tape stripes or stencils to create a design, or add accents to make it look like a cute googly-eyed bug.

If you don't want a hanging bird feeder, you can mount it to a patio railing or along a fence by securing the can with twine or wire directly to the fence or railing. To make a wildlife feeding center, glue several cans together and place them in the garden for a bird buffet. This is a sure way to attract birds to your garden en masse.