Tuesday, November 23, 2010

bird feeders.

Every fall we like to make some sort of bird feeder for our yard. This year we had a new idea. We saw a terra cotta pot bird feeder craft in an old garden craft book (which I can't now remember) and we thought it would be nice to try making one, but using compostable bio pots and bamboo/recycled saucers instead of the terra cotta!

We picked up bio pots (with holes in the bottom where you can put a cord) and bamboo saucers (a few inches bigger than the top of the pot so you have enough room to add bird seed).

To start, the boys painted a white base using outdoor acrylic craft paint on the inside and outside of compostable pots and let dry. They then painted their designs on the outside of their pots, and let that dry again. This paint is outdoor paint, so with the combination of the white base layer and the boys' thickly painted designs, we didn't feel we needed to varnish them too.

Once dry, we looped a strong cord through the pot holes on the top and knotted tightly (to create a loop to hang it). I put a blob of glue on the knot just to be sure it held.

We sandpapered the lip of the pots a tad bit, and then I used gorilla glue to adhere the pots upside down onto the saucers (added: you can gently smooth the glue as it poofs out of the crack as it is drying so that there isn't any glue outline on the outer edge). We let that dry too, and then voila! Ready to hang.

(yes, he's trying to slyly stick his tongue out - ha!)

We added some bird seed and hung them on a tree.

We had birds within an hour. The bright designs look great in our bare tree, and will pop once the snow hits the ground. We can see it from our back door so can bird watch all winter!



Stephanie said...

They're beautiful!

Mz.Elle said...

oooh those are lovely!
My daughter and I wanted a fun craft and something a little different for outside rather than the usual build your own birdhouse.
Those are just perfect!

Francesca said...

Brilliant! I've been meaning to make a bird feeder for years! I couldn't get the kind of pots and saucers you used, but we've got plenty of terracotta, though it would make it a little heavy, I think.

denise said...

Francesca - The book used terra cotta, but yes, it seemed that it would be very heavy (especially when getting a saucer that much bigger than the pot) - but if you don't have to move it, I think it would be very nice. With the terra cotta the book showed using a heavier cord - they inserted two ends of it it through the one hole into the pot, tied a knot, and glued the knot to secure. The one loop then sticks out of the top hole.

Arctic Mum said...

Hi, you are so creative! Am very impressed!

Erin said...

Those are sooo colorful and cheery for dark and cloudy days. I'm sure the birds were appreciative! I love feeding birds too.

Just a thought about the Gorilla Glue...on the site you linked to, I had a peek at their MSDS page (material safety data sheet), and the glue ranks a "2" for moderate safety. I wondered about the potential for glue chipping off due to the cold, and/or the birds accidentally pecking off bits and ingesting it. The MSDS page suggests that it can cause gastro- intestinal blockage when consumed...just thinknig that birds GI tracts are so teeny-tiny, that it may only take a little bit to cause them harm.

I really, truly didn't want to come across as critical, but just wanted to share what I read and wondered your thoughts? I think it is soo wonderful to help our kids enjoy nature, and the thought of the glue being toxic worried me a little! If you don't want to post this i'm totally okay with it :-)


denise said...

Erin - Yep - we wanted to be careful too - and we actually q-tipped the glue as it poofed out of the crack to smooth it as it dried. I thought that would be OK and yet will still hold those materials together outside all winter. If you use some other kind of glue though I'm sure it would be fine as long as it is rated for your materials.

Anonymous said...

what a great idea! they look awesome and you must post photos of them when it snows :)

Lisa said...

beautiful bird feeders! i was just thinking today that we need to get some bird food. we love to watch the birds outside our window. so does the cat!

Anonymous said...

Those are SO fun! We are working on setting up our winter bird feeding station and this would be a fun addition.
Thanks for sharing.

Tara said...

Your backyard bird visitors are in for a treat - these feeders are great and the boys did a fine job decorating them!

Erin said...

Thanks for posting that follow up to my post. I figured you'd be on top of the glue, but just wanted to offer that in case it slid under the radar!! Q-tipping would be a perfect way to remove excess glue...will remember that. :-)

I'm sure they're well-broken in by now and the birds must be loving them!!

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!!

STEPHANIE. said...

I love these! THey are so cheerful!