Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pint Sized Project - Backyard Birdfeeders

SO I think I have created a monster with all of my crafting. Sweet Pea thinks we need to save every scrap of fabric and every empty container. She sees photos of things in magazines and wants to know if I can make it. . . oh how I wish!

I've saved lots of these ice cream containers. They are sturdy plastic and work well for storing odds and ends, water buckets in the swimming pool or the sand box, you know stuff. Well yesterday they were good for bird feeders. I am a fan of feeding and watching birds. My parents have been feeding birds for as long as I can remember and I guess it rubbed off on me. We made several different kinds last winter (milk cartons, soda bottles, ect) and Sweet Pea has been begging to make them again now that the weather is getting colder. So, since we were home having a sick day yesterday I hauled out the paints!

First we gathered a few supplies. Empty, washed out ice cream containers & dowels. Speaking of ice cream have you tried the Blue Bunny Chocolate Cherry Bordeaux Ice cream???? It's magical!

I started by drilling a hole in the side of each container about one inch up from the bottom. You could use a nail or sharp knife for this but I was putting on a show for the kids so I used the drill! Make the hole about the same size as your dowel so that it fits snugly.
Shove the dowel through to make sure it fits. Then do the same thing on the sides of the container. On the opposite sides make the hole about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the container so that the dowels can crisscross in the middle, like this.

Then, just above the dowel holes, cut a larger hole. I made mine big enough for most small birds but not big enough for a squirrel. You could make these smaller, the birds can still get the seed out.

I also made four small holes around the outside rim of the container. Later I put wire through these to hang the feeders. I totally forgot to take photos of the wire, but wanted to show you the holes.
Then we painted, and painted, and painted.

This Sweet Pea's painting of the birds who will be eating at our feeders :) While she worked on that I worked on the wire. It was a pain in the butt. Get some nice sturdy but flexible wire. Do not be stubborn like me and insist on using what's in the house (some jewelry wire and a coat hanger). Fill the bottom of your feeder with birdseed, snap on the lid & wait for the birds!

NOTE: These are NOT squirrel proof feeders. Our recycled product feeders held up pretty well last year when they were hanging on a hook like this. The ones that were fixed on the deck got pretty much destroyed. Personally, I'm okay with squirrel destruction, it gives us an excuse to make more feeders and give the squirrels a challenge!

ETA:  So happy to report that just as I posted this, Sweet Pea ran upstairs to tell me that a red cardinal has found our feeder. Oh and some other bird she can't remember the name of too! Yeah!

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