In backyards, wild birds feast in suspended red discs that formerly served as traffic lights. And residential options for feathered families include petite wooden abodes embellished with parts from old skis and ski poles.

Innovative artisans are producing bird feeders, bird baths and birdhouses that artfully incorporate an intriguing array of recycled items.

Some are lovely. Some are quirky. And they’re often as delightfully decorative as they are practical. Take a look at seven of the creative ways people have found to make repurposed bird attractions worth flocking to.

Wine Bottles

Sage Studios reshapes wine bottles into hummingbird feeders. Photo: Sage Studios

Empty wine bottles are blasted with torches and reshaped by Sage Studios into nectar reservoirs for hummingbirds. “I like that my bird feeders are made from used bottles,” says glassblower Sage Churchill-Foster. “Reusing glass to make something new is beautiful and good for the soul.” The feeders, in rich shades of green, blue, frosted white and other assorted wine bottle hues, are about 5 inches tall and include removable blown-glass flowers. The price is $40 on Etsy.

Railroad Traffic Lights

Traffic Light Bird Feeders. Photo:

Shallow recycled discs in blue, red and yellow are outdoor showpieces when reused as bird feeders and bird baths. The discs, which are about 12 inches in diameter, were previously lenses from old railroad traffic lights, according to Renee Hansen, owner of Hipcycle, an online marketplace featuring upcycled items. Some versions are embellished with a vintage glass insulator. Prices for red and blue feeders are $57 and $58. Yellow is $78.


Old billboards form the basis for these birdhouses. Photo: BilltheBird

Designer Michael Bom of the Netherlands upcycles billboards into stylish birdhouses, or what he refers to as “billbirdhouses.” The vibrant nest boxes typically are designed to showcase select elements of typography. Bom’s Etsy store explains his material is upcycled Finnish birch multiplex billboards. For perches, the artist uses assorted knobs and pulls. The side opens for access to spruce up the inside between bird families. Billbirdhouses are appropriate for birds about the size of finches and sparrows, according to Bom. The price is $120.80.

Woven Plastic Wrappers

Round Wrapper Bird House. Photo:

Plastic wrappers form appealing patterns in shades of green and blue when woven into birdhouses. Hipcycle sells two styles. A round birdhouse that’s 7 inches tall is $20. A version resembling a regular house is $32.

Skis and Ski Poles

Birdhouses by Frameitinskis use old skis and ski poles. Photo: Frameitinskis

The birdhouse designs by Frameitinskis feature distinctive swoop features, thanks to the tips of recycled skis. In keeping with the theme, a perch extending outward below the round entry door is part of a recycled ski pole. Topping the birdhouse is roof slate from an old barn. The price is $105 on Etsy.

Banjo Rounds and Bottle Tops

Blank wooden rounds rejected for tambourine and banjo use, old funnels, and used bottle tops are among the variety of discards upcycled into birdhouses by AndersenWoodcrafts in Vermont. The cost is $14 to $35 on Etsy.

Bingo Sets

The selection of birdhouses from JunkWhisperers includes a design that bingo fans will appreciate. Vintage bingo cards decorate outside walls, while vintage red bingo chips in overlapping formation adorn the roof. The price is $55 on Etsy.

Read More:
Go Wild! How to Certify Your Backyard as Wildlife Habitat
7 DIY Recycled Bird Feeders
The Big City Is Confusing for Birds

By Patti Roth

Patti began her writing career as a staff writer for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Still based in Florida, Patti serves as editor for Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap. She regularly writes about environmental, home improvement, education, recycling, art, architecture, wildlife, travel and pet topics.