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How to Make a Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeder

Making a toilet paper roll bird feeder is a great activity for kids of all ages. Simple and quick, it's a perfect recycled craft.

How to Make an Easy Bird Feeder

This toilet paper roll bird feeder is a simple and fun activity for the kids to do that will help our feathered friends.

The craft is perfect for kids of any age to make at home. It's also a great Cub Scout den meeting activity. 

bird feeder hanging from tree

While there isn't a requirement to make a bird feeder, having one in your yard will attract birds. Cub Scouts can watch for and identify those birds to fulfill these requirements.

Tiger AdventureMy Tiger Jungle 3:  Point out two different kinds of birds that live in your area. With your parent/guardian, other caring adult, or den, find out more about one of these birds.

Wolf AdventurePaws on the Path 6: Name two birds, two insects, and/or two other animals that live in your area. Explain how you identified them.

toilet paper roll bird feeder

Webelos & AOL Elective AdventureInto the Wild 3:  Watch for birds in your yard, neighborhood, or area for one week. Identify the birds you see, and write down where and when you saw them.

Webelos & AOL Elective Adventure – Into the Wild 6:  Identify an insect, reptile, bird, or other wild animal that is found only in your area of the country. Tell why it survives in your area.

Supplies Needed for Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeder

supplies for toilet paper roll bird feeder

Toilet paper roll
Bird Seed
Paper Plate
String or Twine
Plastic knife

One of the most simple bird feeder crafts uses a toilet paper roll. It's perfect for even the youngest kids.

How to Make a DIY Bird Feeder From a Toilet Paper Roll

To make clean up easier, give each kid a paper plate and a plastic knife. You'll also want to have some paper towels on hand.

how to make bird feeder from toilet paper tube

Spoon out a bit of shortening onto the plate, and instruct them to smear it over the cardboard tube using the plastic knife.

shortening on toilet paper roll

Set the shortening-covered roll aside.

Pour some bird seeds onto the Scouts' paper plates, and have them roll the shortening-covered cardboard in the seeds.  By firmly pressing the roll into the seeds, you'll get more of the seeds to stick.

roll in birdseed

The children can also sprinkle seeds on the areas that aren't covered completely.

Cut a piece of string or twine, and run it through the middle of the toilet paper roll. Tie the top of the string together

bird feeder made with shortening

Hang your bird feeder from a tree branch in your yard, and watch for the birds to visit.

Don't have any string handy? Just slip the roll over a small tree limb.

Most bird feeder instructions online call for using peanut butter to make the seeds stick to it.  But if you have a Cub Scout with a peanut allergy, he or she won't be able to participate unless you make a modification.  A great substitute is solid vegetable shortening such as Crisco.

Another easy bird feeder for kids to make uses a pine cone rather than a toilet paper roller.  It's the same concept–smear shortening on the pine cone and roll it in bird seed. 

You will need to tie string, ribbon or yarn around the top of the pine cone.  While this probably looks better in your yard than a toilet paper roll, it is easier to find a roll than a cone!

In addition to this DIY bird feeder, there are many other types of feeders your kids can make. Find out about two others by clicking these links.

Soda Bottle Bird Feeder
Craft Stick Bird Feeder

Yield: 1

How to Make a Bird Feeder with a Toilet Paper Roll

toilet paper roll bird feeder

This simple craft project is a perfect activity for kids to do to help out our feathered friends.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost .50



  1. Gather your for toilet paper roll bird feeder
  2. Use plastic knife to spread shortening on toilet paper to make bird feeder from toilet paper tube
  3. Pour bird seed onto paper plate,
  4. Roll the shortening-covered toilet paper tube in bird seed, gently pressing it down until it's covered in seeds..roll in birdseed
  5. Run string or twine through the middle of roll. run string through toilet paper roller
  6. Tie the ends of the string into a knot.tie knot in string
  7. Hang your bird feeder from a tree.bird feeder hanging from tree


You could use peanut butter instead of shortening. I recommend shortening because of potential peanut allergies.

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. Check out these birdhouse plans if your Cub Scout wants to build one!

kids bird feeder project


Thursday 29th of April 2021

Great idea - may we use your pictures to make a poster of how to assemble the craft?

Garden Guardian

Tuesday 25th of July 2023

@Anita, please read my concerns regarding this “craft.” As a retired teacher who helped start a preschool many decades ago that is still thriving; as a former teacher at every grade level from first through eighth grade, as one who holds master’s in both special education and school counseling from a tier-one university and a terminal degree from yet another tier-one university AND as a passionate birder who also feeds squirrels unsalted, in-shell peanuts and raises sunflowers for the birds and squirrels to enjoy during the growing season, I urge you to reconsider the choices you are making.

Sherry Smothermon-Short

Friday 30th of April 2021

Sure! Thanks for asking!

Cub Scouts: Easy Bird Feeders for Kids

Saturday 24th of October 2020

[…] Feeders for Kids to Make SeriesPart 1: Toilet Paper Roll Bird FeederPart 2: Soda Bottle Bird FeederPart 3: Craft Stick Bird […]

Lynsey Kmetz

Thursday 13th of August 2020

This is the cutest idea! I did it with peanut butter once - the birds (and squirrels) love that too!

Cub Scouts: Bird Feeders for Kids to Make

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

[…] to part 2 of our “bird feeders for kids to make” series.  Part 1 explained how to make a very simple feeder using a toilet paper roll.  In this part, we'll […]

Cub Scouts: Easy Bird Feeders for Kids « Cub Scout Ideas Cub Scout Ideas

Thursday 16th of May 2013

[...] Feeders for Kids to Make Series Part 1: Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeder Part 2: Soda Bottle Bird Feeder Part 3: Craft Stick Bird [...]

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