Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Three Little Birds: Upcycled Bird Feeders

Our nature walk last week prompted us to try and bring real nature a little closer to home.  We've had our eyes peeled for a good birdfeeder, but haven't seen any under $100 that we like.  So we decided to use old milk and juice cartons to make our own.  For several reasons, this project turned out to be mom-intensive.  Despite asking to paint the carton over and over again, when it came time to do so, Cam wanted absolutely nothing to do with this.  I wanted something to do with it, but had entirely different plans.  That being said, this project is entirely kid friendly, so give it a go,  Here's what you'll need to make ours:

- an empty and cleaned milk or juice carton
- an exacto knife or sharp scissors
- white paint
- bleeding tissue paper
- paint brush (we found sponge paint brushes worked best to fold the tissue paper around the carton)
- white liquid glue (watered down to "paint on" tissue paper)
- mod podge
- stick
- string

Mom first cut the large opening and then painted each one with two coats of white BioColor paint -- sort of as a primer (as you'll see below, this isn't a necessary step).  Once the primer dried, mom tore up small pieces of bleeding tissue paper and gave us each watered down glue to use.  I started out "painting" the pieces of tissue paper on nicely, but then decided I wanted to take them off, which was a cool idea because the tissue paper leaves behind color anyways (and we've done that purposefully before).  But then I wanted to tear the primer off.  And then I wanted to tear holes in the carton.  Mom was attempting to remain hands off and let me do what I want (even though she was muttering, "good f'in thing i primed that sucker twice.  and, btw, i don't even like birds.")

And once I saw that she really wasn't going to intervene, I lost interest.  Mom covered hers with the tissue paper and then I decided I actually did want to do it, so she helped me with mine also.  Even without the primer, it looked cool.  Once they dried, mom put two coats of Mod Podge over them (to help keep the rain from totally destroying them -- we'll see if it works).  Once that finally dried, she cut a hatch mark with the exacto knife for the stick (on both sides of the carton so it went through the front and out the back a bit).  She then made a small hole on either side of the top of the carton and ran some twine through.

We filled them with birdseed and hung them on a tree over our back deck.  Now what's the over/under on how long it takes squirrels to wreck these?  Ahhhh, city living.

Oh, one final thing -- when putting the tissue paper on, I pasted some on my face (right between my eyes) on accident (hey, I get into it).  Although I took a long bath that night, we somehow overlooked making sure it came off.  The next morning I peeled it off.  And I peeled off some of my skin, too.  And the scab after that.  And the scab after that.  Which was AWESOME because we had family pictures and school pictures right around the corner.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), our family pictures got rained out and mom forgot about the school pictures and sent me to school on Monday in a dirty (literally) pirate shirt.  So the front and center scab at least kind of worked with the shirt.  And even though it's not the coolest way to get injured, if you ask, I'll tell you what daddy told me to say: the first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.  In any event, we suggest NOT pasting tissue paper onto your face if you can avoid it.

Scroll to the bottom for links to bleeding tissue paper, Mod Podge, and BioColor at DSS! 

Yo:  We are now Discount School Supply affiliates and the links below to DSS are affiliate links.  If you click on any of these links (or the general DSS link on the right hand side of our blog) and make a purchase, we will receive a small percentage of the sale from DSS.  So do us a solid and help support our arts and crafts habit -- if you are going to buy something from DSS, do it through Not-So-SAHM!

primed and ready

put it on

take it off

"do you think this looks cool, mommy?"

"all finished"

here's moms

all Mod Podged up

ready for some seed! 


and done

20 x 30 Colorations Premium Bleeding Tissue Paper - 100 Sheets 20 x 30 Colorations Premium Bleeding Tissue Paper - 100 Sheets
Our premium art tissue is perfect for making arts and crafts projects of all types.

Mod Podge - Gloss - 16 oz Mod Podge - Gloss - 16 oz
Create groovy crafts in a flash with this 3-in-1 glue sealer and finish! Quick-dries clear on decoupage collages and albums for a glossy polished look. Glues to a variety of surfaces. 16 oz.

BioColor Paint 16 oz. BioColor Paint 16 oz.
BioColor does it all! It's so versatile - use with brushes spatulas or our paint accessories. It spreads and adheres easily to paper plastic wood metal cardboard. It shines brilliantly when dry and won't crack or fade with age! Use for fabric painting sticker art and marbling projects or make multi-colored putty!


Anonymous said...

Great idea, sorry it turned out to be so mom-intensive! How'd they hold up?

Kane and Cameron said...

Thanks, kiwi! It's been raining on and off here all week and there has been some running of colors, but they've held up really well I'd say.