How-to: Upcycle a Mesh Produce Bag into a Nesting Materials Buffet for Birds

mesh produce bags containing nesting materials for birdsThe birds in our neighborhood tend to be quite pampered. At our house alone, they’ve got two little girls who make sure that their feeder is always topped off with seed, and who sit at the window to admire them while they eat.

Since it’s spring now (and I insist this even though the high temperature here yesterday was 41 degrees Farenheit), those little girls have also been hopping around the house and yard, just like little birds themselves, finding all the best tidbits for the yearly offering that we like to call the Nesting Materials Buffet.

If you’ve got a plastic mesh produce bag that you’d rather not toss in the trash just yet, and a little time of your own to gather your own tidbits from your house and yard, then you, too, can set up a station for your own pampered neighborhood birds to come to and gather all sorts of goodies for building their nests.

Here’s how:

mesh produce bagYou’ll want to find a leftover mesh produce bag–often they’re used to contain onions or oranges at the grocery store, and sometimes they’re used in other packaging, as well (my daughter’s new baseball glove came with a baseball in its own plastic mesh bag, sigh).

You may be the sort who prefers only natural materials for your projects, but unless you want to seek out metal caging or chickenwire or make a container out of twigs, the plastic mesh produce bag really is ideal for this project–it’s sturdy, won’t hold germs or bacteria or other birdly grime, and easily air dries after a rainshower.

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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  1. This is all great stuff. I think the mesh bags are fine to use. We use them in the UK for lots of different bird foods and never had a problem with birds getting trapped before. Plus recycling these mesh bags is a good idea (we cant recycle here).
    thank you for the ideas and inspiration!

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