top of page

Upcycle A Can Into A Backyard Bird Feeder

Feed the birds with these cheerful flowers made out of leftover cans. Instead of recycling that SpaghettiOs can, upcycle it and turn it into yard art the birds will just love. The narrow stem will make it difficult for squirrels to gorge out on the bird food, but the delicate petals are the perfect perch for our feathered friends.

(Photo by Sara Russell)

This is a fun craft that lets you get your creativity flowing. Just a word of warning: The can needs to be cut with tin snips. This can be dangerous because it creates sharp edges. Make sure you have appropriate adult supervision before getting started.


(Photo by Sara Russell)
  • 14-ounce tin can

  • Tin snips (or cutters)

  • Washable marker or dry erase marker

  • Hammer

  • Nail

  • Sandpaper

  • Green plant stake

  • Outdoor acrylic craft paint

  • Paint brush

  • Heavy-duty glue (We used Monkey Glue.)

  • Clear sealer or protectant (Try an eco-friendly version like Mod Podge)


1. Use the hammer and nail to put a large hole in the bottom of your can. The hole needs to be just large enough to fit your plant stake. Don’t make it too much bigger than the stake.

(Photo by Sara Russell)

2. Use your marker to draw lines where you are going to cut. To get six petals on a 14-ounce can, mark the lines about 1 1/2 inches apart.

(Photo by Sara Russell)

3. Use the tin snips to cut the can on the lines you marked. These will be the petals!

4. Bend the petals down.

(Photo by Sara Russell)

5. Using the tin snips, round the edges of your petals.

6. Use sandpaper to round off any sharp edges.

7. Paint your flower! Get creative and use whatever colors and patterns you want. Don’t forget that you can see the inside and outside of your flower, so paint it all. You will need to paint several coats. Give your paint time to dry.

(Photo by Sara Russell)

8. After the paint is dry, attach the stem to the flower. Start by applying glue to the inside of the flower. Slide the green plant stake in the can. Add extra glue on the inside as needed. Apply glue on the underside to seal up the hole and add extra support. Let the glue dry.

9. Paint or spray on your eco-friendly clear sealer to protect your flower from the weather. Let it dry.

10. Fill your flower with birdseed and place it in your yard.

Enjoy your garden bird feeder. How many birds do you see eating out of your feeder? Which types like it the most? Have a wonderful time outside with the birds!


Follow Willy's Wilderness on Facebook for more kid-friendly nature stories and activities.


bottom of page