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February 08, 2016

Thrifting for the Birds…A DIY Feeder

I *LOVE* a good DIY project for my yard and garden, but a chilly South Carolina winter can make that challenging. But then I realized I could create a super simple & inexpensive suet feeder (perfect for winter) to hang in my yard…using a common thrift store item: Coffee Mugs!

If you walk into any Goodwill store, you’ll find a huge selection of coffee mugs- in every style, color, and shape you can imagine!




After selecting a few to purchase (I couldn’t pick just one!), I headed home and ran them through my dishwasher.


Now, to transform them into suet feeders, you can do a couple of things: (1) melt down a pre-made store-bought suet cake, or (2) create your own suet using rendered beef fat and bird seed.

I opted to make my own as an experiment- so, while I melted some beef fat on my stovetop, I created “perches” for my feeders using sticks from my yard! Doesn’t get any cheaper than that, does it? And I felt like I was doing a little yard work at the same time- bonus!


I added bird seed to my Goodwill mugs (about half-full in each one), and stuck my “perches” in the seed, at the opposite side from the handles. To ensure the perches stayed in place, I wrapped some wire around each one- just as insurance.

5_Thrift_store_coffee_mugs_at_Goodwill_for_repurposed_bird_suet_feeders_by_Sadie_SeasongoodsThen, I simply poured the melted fat into my mugs!

4_Thrift_store_coffee_mugs_at_Goodwill_for_repurposed_bird_suet_feeders_by_Sadie_SeasongoodsI placed my mug feeders in the fridge to cool down and allow the suet to harden- it took about an hour to re-solidify and I used my stick-perch to stir it periodically to evenly distribute the seed.

Once it was solid, I used a carabiner to hang my suet feeder in a tree! And if I didn’t already have a carabiner, I would have just used jute twine to tie it to a branch.


Such an easy, thrifty DIY- and a great use for all of those donated mugs!

Craft on!


One Comment

  1. Such a terrific use of those millions of coffee mugs at the thrift stores. And it makes the little birds happy too. Now if only kept the squirrels off my bird feeders, it would be perfect. I would have to use wire as they would chew through any string or rope and smash the cup. Cheers, Michele