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.
Then, I simply poured the melted fat into my mugs!
I 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!