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  • Bird Feeders for Mom

    When my kids were little, they’d ask me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, and I’d tell them, “Just a little peace and quiet.” They laughed…they’re still laughing…

    Give your favorite mom some serenity time by gifting her with one of these fun and eco-friendly birdfeeders (made from stuff you’d normally pitch in the recycling bin). What proud mother wouldn’t enjoy a little time to herself watching the birds visit a feeder that you made with your own hands? There are even parts of both free projects that the kids can help with. Let them do the painting!

    Friendly Bird Feeder

    You’ll need:
    Two clear 2-liter plastic beverage bottles with caps
    1 round carryout salad container bottom
    Household cement
    Drill & bits
    Electrical tape
    Acrylic paint
    Paper towels
    Palette or foam plate
    Flat paintbrush
    Small round spouncer
    Birdseed

    Instructions:
    Allow paint to dry after each application.

    1. For seed dispenser, lightly draw a line around one bottle 9" from bottle bottom; cut top from bottle along drawn line. Refer to Fig. 1 to cut shapes from bottle top. For connector cover, cut a 1-1/4" x 4-1/2" piece from remaining portion of bottle; set aside.

    2. Glue seed dispenser to center of salad container bottom; allow to dry.

    3. For bottle connector, drill an approx. 1/2" dia. hole at center of each bottle cap. Tape tops of caps together. Overlapping ends, glue connector cover around taped caps and allow to dry. Twist one end of connector onto seed dispenser.

    4. To paint flowers on remaining bottle, double load paintbrush with light and dark colors of paint by dipping bristles of a flat brush in water; blot on a paper towel. Dip one corner of brush into one color of paint and remaining corner of brush into second color of paint. Stroke brush back and forth on palette or foam plate until there is a gradual blending of colors at center in each brush stroke. Stroke loaded brush to make each petal on bottle, pulling brush toward you and turning project if necessary. Use spouncer to paint flower centers and dots on bottle. Paint connector cover green.

    5. Fill bottle with seed; twist bottle into connector on dispenser and turn upside down to dispense seed.

    “Cheep” Bird Feeder

    You’ll need:
    4" dia. x 5-1/2"h coffee can with lid
    White spray primer
    White, yellow, red, blue, green, dark green, and black metal paint
    Household sponges
    Paintbrushes
    8-1/2" of 1/4" dia. wooden dowel
    Craft knife
    Cutting mat
    Household cement
    24" of jute twine

    Instructions:
    Refer to Painting Techniques before beginning project. Allow primer, paint, and household cement to dry after each application.

    1. Remove lid from can; set aside. Use a can opener to remove bottom from can. Turn can on its side.

    2. Apply primer to outside of can. Sponge paint half of can blue for sky, then

    remaining half of can dark green for grass. Sponge paint white clouds on sky. Paint blackbirds on sky. Lightly sponge paint green grass. Paint ladybugs and flowers on grass as desired. Paint dowel dark green.

    3. Including rim, use craft knife to cut lid in half. Measuring from straight edge, trim 1" from each half of lid. Glue curved edges to openings of can at each end.

    4. Extending 3" beyond each end of can, glow dowel to bottom of can for perch. For hanger, knot ends of twine together inside can. Glue twine to inside top of can at each end to secure.

    Painting Techniques - Sponge Painting
    1. Dampen sponge with water.
    2. Dip dampened sponge into paint; blot on paper towel to remove excess paint.
    3. Use a light stamping motion to paint project.

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