Hand Print Bird Feeder
This Valentines day I walked the store in search of an idea of a hand made gift the kids could make for daddy for Valentines day. As we passed the bird feeder section I remembered the cake feeder we had left at the grandparents house. I promised my son we would get our feeders up at our new house now that spring is just around the corner and the birds are coming back. I went to grab a cage for our seed cakes. On the isle wall opposite us I eyed the clay pots and thought how cute a hand painted pot from the kids would be. I picked up a saucer for the pots, made to catch the water, and there I saw it. A bird feeder, just like the fancy plate feeders I had been eyeing every spring, but never had the tree, or space, at our old town house. This would be ten times better then those expensive feeders, and just as pretty.
I wanted them to make these feeders so badly but just couldn’t think of how we could hang them. The clay would possibly break or crack if I tried to make holes, gluing strings may not be strong enough if we have multiple birds standing on it. Then I moved on to how the birds would hang on the feeder, they would need a stand of some sort. So I moved to where I knew they kept long sticks of all sizes for crafting and woodwork. It all came together. When my mind takes off I just go with the flow. I grabbed the stick, as I would only need the one, some twine, and seeing as I already had the paint, glue and clear coating I took off for home in complete excitement for our Valentines Day craft.
Clay Saucer- size optional, I went by child’s hand size
Wood Dowels- thickness optional
Paint- I used acrylic paint but I’m sure washable paint would work well after a white base is applied to saucer.
String- I used twine for it is strong and holds up well to weather
Clear coat-Most spray paint sections contain waterproof clear coat made for holding up to all weather conditions
Glue- I used hot glue although it is not the strongest, you can go with a super glue or if you know of a stronger type, I just had hot glue on hand.
Paint brushes- Larger paint brushes, about one half to an inch, work well so kids have an easier time covering the full surface of the saucer.
If you happen across different ideas for setting up your feeder I would in no way be offended. I put this together on the spot so I will be giving your the step by step process in which I created them. I wanted sticks for which the birds could stand upon, but didn’t think just cutting and gluing them to the bottom would be strong enough. I decided to twine them together using a method I had once learned to make dream catchers. I tied the end of the twine to the center of the sticks. Next in a counter clockwise direction I wrapped the twine over the top and completely around the first stick, coming back over I moved it over to the next stick and followed in the same manner, wrapping it over the top and all around the stick, continue this pattern one by one around each stick until you form a large enough base for your saucer. There are many different methods to tying two sticks together, feel free to use your own.
Next came the fun part. I treated my saucer plates with a coating of gesso, so as to make the paint stronger and brighter. This step is optional, or can be replaced by a coating of white acrylic if gesso is not already on hand. Next I placed a palette/plate in center of the table full of different colors and let the kids have their fun. After they were finished I allowed their saucers to dry. The kids then picked out their colors for their hands. I painted their hands, and with my help the kids printed their hand prints in the center of their saucers. Seeing as these hang in the trees you could also have them print on the bottoms as well. After their prints were dry the saucers went outside and were placed on some newspaper. Be sure to have a large section covered in newspaper for the clear coating you will be using to spray does travel and you will end up glossing anything within a few feet of your project (I’ve done this in our garage before…with chalk spray paint…oops). Spray the top half of your project, covering some of the sides, but don’t spray too close to the paper or your project will stick. Let dry COMPLETELY, so when you flip over and coat the other side it does not stick. Flip and repeat.
After your project dries completely you can proceed with putting your project together. Take your sticks and glue the twine base to the bottom of the saucer. Next you take your twine and make long loops to hold up each stick. I just did this by holding the twine over the feeder at the length I wanted the feeder to hang and one by one looped the twine around the stick and brought it back up the the end I held until I had each stick looped. I then knotted and glued the twine ends together and wrapped more twine around the ends a bunch of times, tied it off. I then made a loop of twine and tied that around the end, adding glue to reinforce all my knots. I did not want this coming apart as it weathered outside (I live in Oregon…it rains a LOT). If you want to be extra careful you could always glue the twine to the sticks as well but the weight of the saucer and the length of the sticks should be enough to reinforce it.
I am so excited to see our feeders in action. What I love about projects like this is you get to enjoy them long after your project is done. My kids and I love having feeders and getting to see the different birds that come to visit. I can not even begin to describe the excitement my kids are having from the idea of the birds eating off their own feeders that they made. My husband loved seeing their little hands printed on each one, and is excited to get to hang them up for the kids. This is a project the whole family gets to enjoy and I hope you do enjoy it. Thank you for visiting my hub, I hope to keep providing more fun projects for you and your kids. Enjoy 🙂