Tuesday, 21 February 2012

How To: Make a Glass Globe Bird Feeder

Since winter really took hold, I've been meaning to start feeding the wild birds in the hope that they would hang out and let us look at them. The former owners of this house left a rustic bird feeder and proper bird house out back, installed on the shed. I threw some seed in that feeder, but decided that we need one in the front yard as well.

Once upon a time, we had a thick evergreen conifer growing on the corner of our front lot and it used to attract loads of birds. We loved watching the little chickadees poke in and out of the thick conifer, shaking the whole tree. As it turns out, that tree technically belonged to our elderly neighbour and, much to my dismay (anger), she chopped it down one day. I literally cried. My son was a wee newborn at the time, so maybe my hormones were partially to blame. But sadly, gone were the birds and any remnants of front yard privacy. We do, however, have a regular old tree that would be perfect for some bird friends to hang out in. It's not the same though. Just so you know, neighbour.

This project was inspired by a Design*Sponge post that I read. I made some minor adjustments to their DIY instructions, but it's pretty darn similar. If you want to make one, you'll need:

  • one glass globe (from an old light fixture)
  • rope (nylon is best, but I used twine)
  • clear silicone sealant
  • toothpick/other tool to apply silicone
  • scissors
  • pint of beer
The beer is optional, but highly recommended. I purchased my glass globe from the VV Boutique (a.k.a. Value Village) for $2.99, but you probably know someone who has a few kicking around their basement or shed. After rooting around my tools and such, I found our silicone sealant in a bin - it's an all-purpose, clear silicone rubber made by GE.

So, you'll want to make sure your globe is clean and dry before getting started. Trying to make something stick to a greasy or dusty piece of glass will probably result in utter failure.

I started by wrapping my twine around the "mouth" of the globe just because I like the way it looks. I then tied a knot in the twine at the top of the "mouth".

"You said there'd be birds, Ma."

I then ran the twine along the top of the globe, and kept going all the way around until it met the mouth of the globe on the other side. Then I wrapped a little more and secured the twine in the knot again. Before using silicone to glue the rope/twine in place, cut another piece of rope/twine and tie it to the top twine for hanging the feeder in place. 
Squeeze a generous beading of silicone under all the twine that wraps around your globe. You may want to add a little extra under the hanging piece (I did - the thought of a little birdie being helplessly trapped as the feeder crashes to the ground is a sad, sad thing). 

Before filling your feeder with seed and hanging it up, let the silicone cure for a good 24 hours. The instructions on the tube of silicone will probably say that it sets in half an hour or so, but don't trust them - this is serious bird business, not window sealing.

I think these feeders will look very nice if hung in an evergreen tree, because the contrast will make the bright white globes pop out. Ever since the evergreen massacre over here, I have no choice but to hang mine in a bare tree - at least until spring arrives. Whomp, whommmmp.

Come, my little friends!

A few days after hanging the feeder, we had literally dozens of tiny finch-like birds scrambling for the seed. I'd like to make a couple more of these feeders and see what happens then. 

If you try this project out, please leave a comment - I'd love to see all the different adaptations that are possible with this idea. Cheers!


Chris said...

Very cute. I could see you making more (one for me) using some small green, blue and red glass orbs and hanging them randomly throughout your fir trees in the back yard.

MamaJ said...

I really like that idea! Now I'm on the hunt for coloured glass orbs ...

Home Spun Journey said...

so cute! How did you tie the the knot, though? can you post a How - to? lol

MamaJ said...

The knot is nothing special - just a random tie!