Paper Cup Forager

I don’t often shop at Oriental Trading, but when they had a sale recently where you could get free shipping on any order (instead of the normal $49 minimum) I took advantage by make a $4 order for these cute paper “shot glasses”. I like them because they are short and 100% paper (no wax coating) – making them perfect for a forging toy for my smaller birds!



Things you will need:

  • 9″ stainless steel skewer ($5.40 each)
  • 4 short paper cups ($0.09 each)
  • 1 small (1.5″) plastic wheel ($0.08 each)
  • 4 medium (2.5″) plastic wheels ($0.18 each)
  • Drill bit or other item to poke a hole in the cups
  • treats or other foraging items (various)

Total cost (based on California Bird Nerds current pricing): $6.56
Total time: less than 5 minutes

Step 1: Poke a hole in the bottom of each cup large enough to allow it go onto the skewer.


Step 2: Slide the small plastic wheel onto the skewer. I use these on the bottom because it helps keep the bottom cup straight, and holds things onto the skewer better as they are destroyed!

Step 3: Slide one of the paper cups onto the skewer.

Step 4: Slide one of the larger wheels onto the skewer. You should now have something that looks like this:


Step 5: Continue to layer the cups and wheels until you have no more left.

Step 6: Tuck treats into the cups! I used millet for mine. The nice thing about these wheels is it allows the bird to look into the cup just barely, so they can see something is in there!


These toys are super easy to make, and you can easily make more; for my birds I will essentially only have to refill the paper cups, meaning that each time I remake this toy, I am doing so at a cost of $0.36 in materials!

Using the slightly longer skewer than is needed for the parts to all fit gives them plenty of room to get into the cups. You could use a 7 inch skewer, and force them to chew the paper cups apart to get to the treats.

You could also use pieces of cardboard, wood coins, or pieces of paper to cover the cups. Use whatever you like!

If you have a bird that needs a little bit of help, try poking some holes into the cups for them to get them started!

with holes


2 thoughts on “Paper Cup Forager

  1. Laura Mateo June 9, 2014 / 3:49 pm

    This is such a cute and inexpensive idea! And it seems super simple to make. Could you tell me where do you buy the plastic wheels and skewers?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s