Tuesday, January 5, 2016

DIY Wine Bottle Bird Feeders - Detailed Instructions

Carolina Chickadee ~ Tufted Titmouse
A few years ago I held a class for the Master Gardener chapter that I'm a member of on making bird-feeders utilizing natural sources, recycled materials and re-purposed items. Of course the best bird-feeder is what nature provides: nuts, seeds and fruit from native trees, shrubs and wildflowers (and native insects)... Here's my hand-out for my "bird" talk I give:  Creating a Bird Garden

The DIY wine bottle bird-feeder that I demonstrated involved drilling a couple of holes in a wine bottle. Once you get the hang of drilling through glass, it's a fun feeder to make. Here's the DIY for that feeder:  DIY Wine Bottle Bird-Feeders

A few years back I upscaled my wine bottle bird feeder to include feeder ports that are incorporated into the bottle. This glass bottle feeder requires drilling 2 - 4 holes into a bottle - which would be very difficult to do without a drill press...

A lot of folks have asked for the step-by-step instructions on making these feeders. Here's the DIY!

Step 1: Gather your supplies

  • Recycled wine bottle and cork - *Tip - use a Mr. Clean magic sponge to get the label off!
  • Feeding ports - I haven't found a source to buy these separately. I buy cheaper or discounted plastic bird feeders and use the metal ports from them. K-Mart usually has one for around $15.00 with copper colored metal feeding ports. Or - you could buy a feeder with plastic ports and spray paint them any color you wanted.
  • Diamond drill bit(s) - Must be the diameter of the feeding ports you use. Some ports have 2 holes that must be drilled in the bottle for the port to fit. 
  • Drill press - Pretty much required for drilling a lot of holes. If you want to try to drill the holes in the bottle without the drill press, here's a link that describes how to do that:  DIY Wine Bottle Bird-Feeders
  • Gorilla Epoxy - Available at hardware stores
  • Goo Gone - Hardware stores
  • Copper colored chain - Michaels Craft Store
  • #6 32 x 1/2" bolts and nuts - I use brass and distress or remove the shiny coating with  muriatic acid (pretty caustic stuff - be careful or just omit this step)
  • 8 Gauge copper wire - I purchase this by the foot at Home Depot
  • 1/2" Copper clamps - Home Deport
  • 20 Gauge copper wire - Michaels Craft Store
  • Decorative accents - pendant, charm, etc...
  • Wire cutter, needle nose pliers, screw driver
Step 2: Drilling the holes

Mark the location of the hole for the feeder port. Secure the bottle on the drill press and slowly start drilling the hole with the diamond drill bit. Stop frequently and spray the bit with water to keep it from over heating. It's a slow process...  I have plastic wrap around the bottle in the photo above just to protect the label - it's not a necessary step.

Clean all glass residue from the bottle and allow it to dry. 

Step 3: Attach the feeder ports

Secure the feeder ports to the bottle using the Gorilla brand epoxy (works better than any other brand) and allow this to dry over night. Goo Gone works well to remove any left over mess of epoxy.

Step 4: Make the hanger

Bend the 1/2" copper clamps to fit around the neck of the wine bottle. They'll be too small. I have to bend them quite a bit to make them work, but they look better than using a larger clamp. 

Measure the chain to the desired length and cut with wire cutters. Position the chain inside the clamp and use the small bolts and nuts to secure the clamp and chain to the bottle. (See photos)...

Step 5: Decorative accents

Use needle nose pliers to make a small loop in the 8 gauge copper wire. (Also use a cloth around the teeth of the pliers to prevent scratching the copper.) Bend and twist the wire around the neck of the bottle and end with another loop. With the smaller 20 gauge copper wire, add a decorative accent (pendant, charm, etc) to the bottle.

Step 6: Add birdseed - Cork the bottle - Watch the action!

I love how these feeders have turned out and it seems my backyard birds approve too! ♥

Downy Woodpecker
Tufted Titmouse ~ Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadee ~ Downy Woodpecker
American Goldfinch
White Breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Chickadee ~ Tufted Titmouse
I occasionally have these feeders in the Etsy shop - if I come across a good deal on the feeder ports. I have a variety of other glass bottle feeders (birdseed and hummingbird feeders) in the shop always!

Visit my shop at this link:  Rebecca's Bird Gardens (Etsy)

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