When the weather outside is frightful, I like to spend a few hours inside relaxing with simple DIY projects for the birds, including recycling my mismatched tea cups, saucers, and other bowls and dishes into decorative bird feeders. What a great way to repurpose old dishes. All that’s needed are a few saucers and tea cups, string, plastic beads, silk ivy or colored flowers, and a glue gun. Just take a look at this quick video for some ideas.
Thanks for watching… and the birds thank you, too!
Time has surely flown by this year as the holidays are nearly upon us! I’m already starting to feel the pressure of Black Friday. Aren’t you? And with the excitement of all the holiday sales and bonuses, I’m delighted about the opportunity to get together with friends and loved ones. Yep, it’s time to party! And we birds of a feather can flock together by celebrating both the holidays and the birds at the same time! Here are a few tips for making your party a special treat for your fellow birders and birding organization:
Use the cardinal as your source of inspiration for your decorations (i.e. linens, napkins, dish wear, invitations, etc.) to tie in the traditional reds of Christmas.
Serve bird theme appetizers (i.e. spicy wings and deviled eggs) and cookies pressed from bird shaped cutters to keep the theme going strong.
Host a white “emu” gift exchange and ask guests to bring gift items that are bird themed.
Play your favorite bird movie in the background or show the entire movie as your featured activity (I suggest Fly Away Home with Jeff Daniels and Dana Delaney – beautiful cinematography and a touching feel good story).
Provide DIY garland strung with ingredients the birds will love (i.e. popcorn, raisins, berries, and nuts) for your guests to use to decorate one of your outdoor trees; this will make for fun birdwatching during a daytime party.
Provide bird seed ornaments as party favors to send home with guests for the birds in their backyards.
Hit two birds with one stone by hosting a holiday party for your fellow birders or birding organization. By following these simple tips, your party is sure to be a feather in your cap!
If you have girls in the house and like to recycle, this project is ideal. Lol. It’s also a perfect project for the kids to do indoors when the weather isn’t cooperating outdoors. But you’ll have to save up your empty toilet paper rolls for this one. (I keep mine tucked away in the bathroom cabinet for when I need a project to keep me busy.)
Use a light weight sandpaper to remove excess paper or glue from the roll.
Pour some store-bought birdseed into a wide baking pan or dish.
Coat each paper roll with creamy peanut butter using a butter knife.
Roll the peanut butter-coated paper roll in the birdseed to cover.
Stand rolls on a sheet of foil or parchment paper for 24 hours to set.
Thread colored yarn, string, twine, or ribbon through the paper rolls.
Tie or knot ends to make the hanger.
Hang outside and enjoy!
The great thing about peanut butter is that it will keep for a few months before it goes bad, so you can make these a few weeks in advance for holiday or hostess gifts. Simply place the feeder inside a plastic sandwich baggie and adhere a decorative holiday sticker to the baggie. A collection of these in a decorative bowl or basket will dress up any holiday table or counter space.
I struck gold! I found a set of 12 miniature wood bird houses on sale and I just knew I could do SOMETHING creative with them. So, I shoveled out the cash and brought ‘em home.
Once home, I just stared at them, obsessing over my dilemma – do I make cutesy artsy decorative bird houses? Or do I make cutesy artsy decorative bird feeders?
After a few days I decided… cutesy artsy decorative bird feeders! Just take a look, and this was easy peasy.
FIRST, I removed the price sticker from the bottom of the miniature bird house.
SECOND, I coated the bird house with creamy peanut butter, using a butter knife to get into the small areas.
THIRD, I coated the bird house with a bird seed blend, including their favorite black oil sunflower seed. I set the house on a piece of tin foil and left it alone for 24 hours.
FOURTH, I added more peanut butter to select locations on the bird house for securing fresh cuts of juniper, including the berries. I left it on the tin foil for another 24 hours; the peanut butter served as an adhesive for the sprigs of juniper.
FIFTH, I discovered a HUGE ERROR on my part…
My SECOND step should have been drilling small holes into the roof of the bird house to thread string or colored ribbon through for hanging. Oops! This should have been done BEFORE I coated the house with creamy peanut butter.
My husband laughed when I showed him my error, “That’s okay, we can use the drill and still add the holes, but yes, it’s better if you can remember to that first next time.”
Lesson learned, and STILL I am thrilled with the way it turned out. After all was said and done, this little project cost me less than $5.00 each. Nice!
Now, another major dilemma… do I keep these for myself and put them in MY backyard for MY backyard birds? Or do I give them away as holiday hostess gifts or Christmas presents for SOMEONE ELSE’S backyard birds? Ugh! The agony!
If you love grapefruit and are a recycler at heart, you’ll love this easy project for attracting birds to your backyard. Cut a grapefruit in half and eat the juicy part by scooping out the fruit with a spoon. But don’t throw away the rind! Recycle instead.
Scoop out any remaining fruit with a spoon to form a small bowl.
Use a sharp knife to punch four small holes into the sides of the bowl, toward the top and equally spaced around.
Thread string or twine through the holes, running down and under the bowl for added support; knot at the top to make the hanger.
Fill the grapefruit bowl with bird seed or your favorite suet mixture.
Hang your feeder outdoors and enjoy!
HELPFUL HINT: Make sure your four holes for the string or twine are far enough below the top of the bowl to keep the string from tearing through the rind.
Colorful and aromatic, the birds just love these! Hang a grouping of these feeders to add more color to your tree or yard and intersperse the grapefruit feeders with some made from oranges, which also work well for this project.
I finally broke down and ordered some bird houses! I’ve spent so much time and energy attracting birds to my backyard paradise with feeders, that I neglected to add a few nesting houses. I had ordered a wren house and a cardinal house and I couldn’t wait to put them up. I was so excited when they arrived.
Then a friend asked me, “You are so creative; are you going to paint and decorate them?”
Hmm. I hadn’t thought of that, but I do like to decorate my bird feeders. Why not decorate a bird house?
Suddenly, visions of spilled paint, a messy clean-up, and hours of drying in between coats ran through my head. I wondered if I was really up to the task.
Toxic paints can be poisonous to adult birds and their babies
Dark colors in sunny areas can attract too much heat for the babies
Whew! That was enough to deter me from painting. With my luck I would have been the dope that got it all wrong and put my birds in harm’s way. Nope. Not happening in my backyard! Plus, I wasn’t really in the mood for that big of a project.
But I do like a pretty garden and yard. So, I opted for soft colored silk flowers, which I attached to the bird house using florist wire. And I had all of the supplies already on hand. Gotta love that!