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Build Your Own Vegan Milk Carton Bird Feeder

Build Your Own Vegan Milk Carton Bird Feeder

It's springtime here in Chicagoland, and the little songbirds are winging their way north. We're working on turning our backyard into a little paradise for ourselves with a big organic garden (more about that in future projects) and a happy habitat for birds, bees and butterflies. So we decided that our last weekly project for this year's National Crafts Month would be something to get us ready for the outdoor season.

We plan to have several bird feeders going filled with different mixes to attracts different birds. The particular blend we bought for this project is formulated for songbirds.

This bird feeder uses all found materials or stuff we had lying aroung the house. The centerpiece is a half-gallon carton of almond milk that we finished off this morning to make a nice chocolate and fruit smoothie.

Note about the photo: I'd love to say this is our yard, but
today is dark and rainy and our yard is leaf strewn brown grass and mud with a few remaining piles of stubborn icy black snow. In a couple of months it may look like this Photoshopped image, but with less lawn and more garden.

For this particular bird feeder, you will need:

Empty half gallon nondairy milk or juice container
Acrylic paints
(could use latex house paint or any other kind of water resistant paint)
Disposible lids
(or something use to mix or place paint in)
Rubber cement or white glue (according to Elmers.com, their brand, at least, is vegan, though some glue may contain casien or bone cartilage) or Duct Tape
Two pairs of disposible chopsticks
At least 18 inches of sturdy twine, string or wire

Cut out a rectangle the entire width and about 3 1/2" high from the front of your carton,
and then cut out the same size rectangle on the opposite side.

We opted to cut off the plastic spout as well, though if you want, you could keep it, and build it into a chimney.

Take the two panels you cut out and slice each one horizontally into three 1" wide strips and one 1/2" wide strip.

Mix up your paints according to their directions. We recommend mixing them kind of think. Most of these types of cartons are waxy and covered with bright graphics, so it's good to use a heavy coat of paint and probably a second and possibly a third coat.

The strips we cut out will be made into shingles for the roof, so paint the strip accordingly.

Paint the sides of the carton. We kept ours simple, but feel free to paint flowers, animals or whatever.

Decorated your shingle strips, and then glue or tape them to the angled top starting with the strip closest to the bottom and overlapping it with the strip above. Glue the 1/2" strip to the top vertical piece and cut, punch or drill a hole throgh the center.

Cut, punch or drill four holes in each side about a half inch below the opening and spaced evenly apart. Make four similar holes on the oppisite side.

Insert the four chopsticks through the holes so that each side has two long and two short perches (you could also use one pair of chopsticks and just have one perch on each side)

Fill will birdseed, tie your twine through the top hole (a square knot is best) and hang from your favorite birdwatching spot.

2014 Vegan Street

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