Rinse out an empty juice or milk jug. Paint over the jug's label with the spray paint and allow it to dry. Paint the wooden dowel with the colourful outdoor paint and set aside to dry.
Use an exacto knife to cut out a shape 2 to 3 inches from the bottom of the jug. Paint a diagonal line across the jug with the outdoor paint, then fill in the bottom half and let dry. (Tip: If there are sharp edges, cover them with decorative tape.)
Cut a small X just under the triangle and push the wooden dowel a quarter of the way into the jug. Use a glue gun to attach 3 or 4 lines of hemp across the top of the painted area, and around the tip of the wooden dowel.
Cut a lon piece of hemp. Wrap around the lid, glueing to secure, and leaving two long ends on either side. Fill the jug with birdseed to just under the triangle, then tie to a tree branch in your yard.
A version of this article appeared in our November 2013 issue with the headline "For the birds," p. 26.