since fall has officially arrived, i decided to make autumnal nature the theme for this month’s projects. sometimes i wish i could be a squirrel so i could stow away a giant collection of acorns, seeds, nuts, etc. in my little home inside a tree. when i stow a collection like that in my house it just gets kind of messy and spiders start living there, but that’s another story. ironically this week’s diy is actually sort of anti-squirrel, but they do just fine by themselves so i thought i’d give the birds some love. the wooden bowl for this feeder not only makes the perfect acorn cap, but it’s slippery so squirrels can’t hold onto it (hopefully). i wanted to put it out immediately, but unfortunately it’s pouring rain in oakland, so you have to see it in ‘faux nature’ for now. this is actually a great rainy day project though, or something fun to do with your kids.. have fun!! -kate
CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!
1. wood bowl (these are from ikea)
2. bird seed mix
3. soda bottle (get a size where the base fits inside your bowl nicely. you can also use a terracotta pot for this.)
5. sisal rope
6. gelatin (1 packet)
7. pam or any cooking oil spray
1. wash and dry your empty soda bottle and cut 4″ up from the base off with scissors.
2. drill a hole in the bottle cape that you can fit the rope through.
3. spray the inside of the bottle with the cooking spray. this allows the birdseed mold to slide out easily.
4. slide a length of rope through and leave 5″ poking out of the cap and 12″ coming out of the other opening.
5. make the gelatin according to the directions using ice cold water so it will gel quickly.
6. add bird seed a little at a time to gelatin and mix together so seed is completely coated and start to bind together. this mold used about 2-3 cups of birdseed and a half packet of gelatin. don’t use too much gelatin or the birds won’t like it as much.
7. use one hand to hold the rope in the center of the bottle and use the other to pack in the birdseed around the rope. keep pushing the birdseed in and packing it down firmly while keeping the rope in the center of the bottle. fill to the top and pack down again.
8. when the mold is done put it in the fridge for a couple hours to set. then take out and let it dry for a couple more hours.
9. while mold is drying and setting, drill a hole in the center of the bottom of your wooden bowl.
10. when mold is hard and set, tap the bottle gently to release it. taking off the bottle cap will help and you can gently push from that end while pulling from the other end to release the shape.
11. knot the rope at the bottom and snip off extra. place a knot and inch or two up form the top of the birdseed base and slide the wood bowl on upside down. knot again right above the bowl and then make a large knot at the top for hanging. snip extra rope.
NOTE: while researching this project i also found a recipe for a healthy “glue” that uses eggs instead of gelatin. it requires placing the molds in a low temp oven, so if you want to try this recipe i suggest using clay pots for your base instead of old plastic bottles. here is the link for that recipe: http://www.theaviary.com/seedbell.shtml