DIY Bird Feeder

I am so excited to be competing in So You Think You’re Crafty and even more excited and honored that my audition craft took first place. Now, I am going to show you how to make your own.

There isn’t a whole lot of supplies that you need for this.

  • Drill and standard drill bit (if you are choosing to use a melamine bowl and plate like I did)

If you want to use ceramic or porcelain bowls and plates, buy a drill bit designed to drill them

  • Bowl and Plate (mine came from Target at less than $2 each)
  • Large carriage bolt, I used 10″x 5/8″

I would have used an eye bolt if I found one of the size I needed, but I didn’t, so I couldn’t

  • Three washers that will fit your bolt
  • Three nuts that will fit your bolt
  • Glue (I like to use CA glue)
  • If you use a carriage bolt like myself, you will also need some nylon cord

The trickiest part of making the bird feeder is drilling your holes.  Plastic has a tendancy to crack, chip and break.  I will show you how to avoid that.  Take a block of scrap wood and place it directly under where you are drilling.

Even with the block of wood, because the bowl and plate isn’t perfectly flat, you might have a bit of chipping, but that shouldn’t be a problem.  You are just trying to avoid cracking the plate or having a large blow out.

See, even mine chipped.  Not a big deal, it won’t be seen.  Once you drill the holes in the center of your bowl and plate, it’s time to assemble your piece.

Place a washer on your bolt and then bring your bolt up through the bottom part of your bowl.

It will be very wobbly, so you will need to sandwich the washers around the bowl with glue.  The order goes, washer, glue, bowl, glue, washer.

Then you will take a nut and thread it a few inches down.  Your plate will sit directly on top of this nut.

Place your plate on the nut, then thread another nut so that the plate sits between the two.  Hand tighten them so your plate doesn’t move, but not so hard that you crack the plate.

Then place another washer and another nut on your bolt.  This step is only necessary if you used a carriage bolt like I did.  If you found a large eye bolt, your assembly will be in reverse.

I will show you the the reason for the stacking of the nuts and washers on the top.  Did you ever do make lanyard keychains/bracelets out of the plastic cord as a kid?  I hope so, because that is how you are going to make your loop.  So, cut yourself two pieces of nylon cord about 2 feet long each.

First, tie a simple overhand knot (the first knot you make when tying a shoe) with each piece of cord.  Make sure the knot is around the middle of the cord.

Then you start doing a lanyard knot (technically called a crown sinnet knot) over the top of the washer, but make sure your overhand knot stays tight while doing so.  If you aren’t comfortable with your overhand knot, glue it before proceeding to your crown sinnet knot.

I found a great animation on how to do the crown sinnet knot…so if you don’t understand how to do it, please visit Animated Knots by Grog to check it out.

Once you have created a few inches of the crown sinnet knot, take two strands of cord and make some loops like so.  You will then take your two remaining strands of cord and tie an overhand knot around the base of your loops.

Pull it very tight.  You don’t want it to come loose.  Then, cut the excess cord off.  Cut close to the base of your knot

You will need to burn the ends of your nylon cord.  This will cause it to melt and expand a little.  This will make sure your cord doesn’t unravel and your knots won’t come out.  The above photo shows burned cord ends on the right, and unburned ones on the left.

All you have left to do is go fill your bowl with bird seed, hang it outside and wait to see what feathery friends come to visit.  It took less than a day for my first feathery friend to discover the new bird feeder.  Once that happened, I’ve had regular visitors ever since!

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