Bird Nesting Material in a Rusty Spring

Bird Nesting Material in a Rusty Spring

We have a lot of birds that frequent our yard. We offer multiple bird feeders, bird baths, and bird houses (many of which are upcycling projects of mine), and I wanted to make a new one for them. Bird nesting material is something I wanted to make plentiful for them, and I had an idea of just how to do it.

Before I get to that, here are some of our nesting birds. We’ve had baby wrens in our one of our bird houses:

Baby Wrens in a birdhouse or bird house in Greenville SC

And a chickadee nest in the same bird house the following year:

Chickadee nest in a bird house in Greenville SC

Anyway, back to my project idea! I had some bed springs in my craft room that seemed PERFECT for holding any bird nesting material that I could find. So, I decided to give it a try.

Bed Springs or a rusty spring to hold the bird nesting material

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Originally published on March 6, 2016, this post has been recently updated with additional details.

Bird Nesting Material for Wild Birds

Before I started constructing a holder from one of my bed springs, I needed to gather the nesting material that I’d use. I wanted to make sure that whatever I filled the rusty spring with was safe and all-natural for the wild birds.

First, I obtained a bag of plant fluff for the primary source of my bird nesting material.

Bird nesting material that is safe for wild birds and all natural

I don’t know which species of plant this material comes from, but I’d love to find out. Either way, it’s Audubon-approved so I had full confidence in its safety for my birds!

I also wanted to add some other nesting material inside the rusty bed spring, as well.

So I gathered a few additional natural elements:

  • Dried grass;
  • All natural cotton string; and
  • Cottonball fur.

Nesting material for wild birds with untreated pet fur and cotton string and dried grass


You read that right- Cottonball fur. As long as you don’t treat your pets for fleas/ticks, pet fur is highly recommended as nesting material for song birds! But, since originally publishing this project, I’ve stopped using jute/hemp twine or any string as Audubon has discouraged that. 

Now, to turn my bed spring into a holder for nesting material, I just needed to do a couple of things to it. And all I needed was some low-gauge jewelry wire and wire cutters. I chose to use a matching bronze wire since the bed spring was so rusty.

Jewelry wire to attach to a rusty spring to hold the bird nesting material

Upcycling a Rusty Spring to Hold the Nesting Material

First, I added two pieces of wire along opposite sides of the rusty spring by simply wrapping the ends around the top and bottom.

Rusty spring with jewelry wire on the sides to hold the nesting material

Here’s a better view of it. Think of the jewelry wire as vertical insurance to help keep the bird nesting material from falling out completely.

Upcycling the bed springs to hold the bird nesting material for South Carolina birds

Then, I started layering in the bird nesting material. I alternated between the plant material from Audubon and other bits, such as the pet fur and dried grass.  

Filling a rusty spring with bird nesting material to hang in the yard

I filled up the rusty spring with nesting material until it was stuffed, but not packed in too tightly.

After all, the birds needed to be able to easily pluck and pull the nesting material from the holder!

Holder for the nesting material for the South Carolina Birds in a bed spring

Bed Springs as a Holder for Bird Nesting Material

To finish it off, I added a strap of wire across the top of my bed spring (it disappeared into the fluff! But it’s there- I promise!).

Finally, I created a hanging handle with an additional piece of wire.

Bird nesting material in a rusty spring to go out in the yard for South Carolina birds

Now it was ready to be hung outside in the yard! Think my birds will come and fetch some of the nesting material?

Repurposing the metal bed springs to hold the nesting material for South Carolina birds

There’s always a waiting period for wild birds to discover something new in the yard! And I am NOT known for my patience.

Metal bed springs that have been upcycled into a holder for nesting material

But guess what- THEY LOVED IT! I eventually moved it from a tree to the bird feeder pole. And I captured some video of one of my chickadees pulling out the bird nesting material!

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for bird nesting material with a rusty spring, then you may also enjoy this suet feeder that I made with a coffee cup!

How to make bird suet for a suet feeder in a ceramic coffee mug as a DIY bird feeder for the winter

Craft on!


Want to be notified when I publish my next upcycling project tutorial?

Please subscribe here.

Join me on Social Media:

please follow sadie seasongoods on facebookplease follow sadie seasongoods on instagramfollow sadie seasongoods on pinterest





PIN ME!Bird nesting material for the yard

Holder for bird nesting material

Website | + posts

Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Great use of old strings! My kids love doing projects like this and we have old springs in the garage! Thanks for the idea!

  2. Okay, this is just too cute–love it!

  3. Love seeing the baby birds. So sweet. I remember when I was a kid I would hang bits of yarn out on the little tree in the backyard for the birds.

  4. Mind blown. And you are right… totally original! It’s so fluffy, I want to pet it! haha

    Seriously… you amaze me. I love this and want to make one!

    • Haha, thanks, Donna!! You know me, I always gotta be a little “out there” with my projects- and you’re right, it’s fluffy enough to pet! 😉 Can’t wait to poke through all of the #DIYMySpring projects!

  5. That’s a lovely idea, Sarah! One-stop nesting material shopping for the birdies. They will be happy customers. 🙂

  6. I just saw a bunch of springs at an antique store. Now I know what to do with them. Thanks!

  7. Super cute idea, and I’m sure the birdies appreciate it.

  8. Sarah, this is such a cute idea! Mom (my mom-in-law) loves loves LOVES her birds. So I definitely will be making one for her. Oh she is going to be so pleased when she sees it!!

  9. I want some of that nesting material now for some decor! lol. It has a great look to it! Love your bird nest!

  10. What a cute idea! How neat!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  11. What a sweet and helpful idea! My aunt places pieces of string and twine on her porch railing for the birds. I’ll have to show her this idea.

  12. Love this idea for our feathered friends- and how cute are those chickadees? great info- I had no idea pet hair could be a good source – we have 4 rescue cats so we have plenty of that- not sure if cat fur would put them off though lol
    Visiting from the DIY Spring hop – such fun!

  13. This is so great!!! What a wonderful post. My nine year old son and I LOVE this!! 😉

  14. This is too cute! Just kicking myself for bypassing a rusty mattress (metal part only). Shoulda clipped some of those springs….

  15. I love this. Such a heart warming project! I am putting out cat hair at random but I’m going to try this construction!

    I am putting together a sort of spring arts and crafts compilation blog post, with pictures of creative projects for Easter. Would you mind if I shared one of your pictures? I will of course credit it with a link to this post. I did the same thing last year if you would like a reference on how it might look:

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  16. I love this idea, and the spring is perfect for this. Thanks for sharing this idea!

  17. How sweet…love those pictures of those birds. Just amazing! Great idea to provide nesting material…

  18. Well that is just brilliant! Such a clever idea and I think it looks fab.

  19. Sarah, my mom has always collected dust balls and nesting materials for the birds. She puts them out in an old sack kind of like the ones that vegetables come in. It looks ugly outside – she needs a bedspring! I think this is brilliant. 🙂

  20. What a great idea! My son attended a super environmentally conscious elementary school years ago and this would have been a perfect project for school children. It’s just wonderful. I saw your link at Diana’s Adirondack Girl at Heart/Vintage Charm party.

  21. Fantastic idea for the birds! So clever! Now how do I get a bedspring, lol! Do you suppose I’d miss it if I took out one of mine??

    Thanks so much for sharing with us on Throwback Thursday! Hope to see you next time!


  22. Awesome idea! I can’t believe this was made from bed springs – and I bet the birds are really appreciating it about now!

  23. Your feathered friends must adore you! I am so inspired by your creativity and so happy that you bring it to Celebrate Your Story link party. Thank you!

  24. As a bird lover I think this is a fantastic idea! You post was truly a joy to read and I hope that you will continue adding your ray of sunshine every week on Thoughts of Home on Thursdays.

  25. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    What an original idea Sarah. But that doesn’t surprise me, you always come up with original and unique ideas. Thanks for the insipiration and happy Spring to you. Visiting as a fellow blog hopper.

  26. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.

  27. Amanda Kolb says

    Very cute! Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!

  28. Sarah I love this idea. It is one of your best to date. Thank you so much for sharing at Vintage Charm. sb

  29. Sarah, This is such a great project for our feathered friends! Thanks for sharing your posts with us this week at Snickerdoodle Sunday! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  30. This is amazing! I love how you created something so unique and needed from the old springs. The birds are loving you. Thanks so much for sharing this at our link party, DI&DI on Sundays.

  31. What a cute idea!

  32. What a neat idea! Everyone thinks of feeding the birds during winter, but I bet this is something that often gets overlooked. Thanks for sharing on the Family Joy link up.

  33. Here you go again! You never cease to amaze me with your re-purposing skills! Great job! Thanks, as always for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

  34. homeschoolingsc says

    Hahaha…your neighbors think you’re weird! I think you’re brilliant. I love this!

  35. You’re so thoughtful and I bet your feathered friends will be ecstatic!

  36. So sweet! This is perfect for baby birds

  37. TERESA M PENN says

    I LOVE this idea! I picked up an old spring (a car part I think) about a year ago…not knowing what to do with it at the time-but I knew I had to keep it for something. Thanks to you, I now know it’s use. Also, when I clean out my hair brush I toss the old hair in the yard for the birds to use. I plan to make the coffee cup suet feeders too.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Yay!!! Your birds will be so happy! Just make sure that the hair from your brush is clean (i.e., no hair products used). Since I use a volumizer spray, I can’t use hair from my brush- thankfully, though, we have a long-haired cat that isn’t treated for fleas/ticks since he is 100% indoors. If only he knew the birds he loves to watch were nesting in his fur…!

  38. What a clever idea! I have a couple of old springs I’ve been holding on to. This would be a great use for one of them .

  39. Have you considered using these springs to hold corn cobs for the birds or squirrels? A lot less expensive than buying one that is painted green and in a spiral like these springs!

  40. Sandy Benites says

    Sadie, I have a couple of springs and want to give this project a try! I have just subscribed to your blog. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Sandy Benites

  41. The fluff reminds me of Kapok. There were Kapok trees in Los Angeles and I saw escaped parrots ripping the fluff out of the pods. That looks exactly like Kapok fluff.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Ohhh, I bet that’s it! I’m on the east coast and had no idea what kind of seed pod could create this. Thank you so much for sharing your theory- because I really was curious!


  1. […] It really is adorable wildlife habitat – I’ll let you know if any of my resident wren or chickadee families move in. As you may recall, those are my most frequent birdhouse nesters. […]

Have a question or like what you see? Please let me know!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.