Last night I finished my Christmas gifts.
Didn’t all go as planned.
But I improvised.
I’m such a Nerd when it comes to Christmas.
I make all of my own gifts.
Only buying stuff for those who aren’t worth my time.
Or my brother, who would just shove whatever I made him under the bed because he has an attitude the size of the North American continent (so I opt for video game-the smart choice).
This year, I was floundering as what to make everyone.
Until I was on the pot at my parent’s house.
There sitting in the magazine basket by the toilet paper was a Birds and Bloom magazine.
One of the “feature” articles was how to make your own handmade bird feeders.
I thought, “What the hell.” And opened the glossy pages to P.42.
There was the cutest bird feeder I have ever seen.
It was made out of a china teacup and a saucer.
I had my idea.
Now just giving my favorite people a homemade bird feeder, which can also double as a candle holder, seemed kind of empty.
I needed some additional flair.
So to the craft blogs I went!
And there I found a gem.
Solar powered mason jar lights.
And they are super easy to make!
All you need is:
Small mason jars.
Outdoor mod podge
And $2 solar light posts from Menards.
Now with those cute bird feeders, it tells you to drill holes in the saucer and plate.
Well, I tried that.
It didn’t work.
I don’t think I have the right drill bit for it.
Need one of those ceramic ones.
So instead, I used glue.
I superglued everything together.
Turned out beautiful.
So now I’m packaging them all together.
Each person will get a cute bird feeder and two solar light jars.
I had so much fun making these wonderful crafts, I believe I am going to be selling them on Etsy.
Share my joy with the world.
And no, I’m not so mean that I’m not going to tell you how to make these wonderful gems.
The Bird Feeders:
So I went to Good Will and picked out teacups and saucers that I thought were pretty.
I also bought my forks here. Spoons do not work out so well. Their bowls are extremely hard to roll. With the forks you just have to bend the tongs (buy one for each feeder you are making).
Then I went to a craft store and bought a thick band of galvanized wire and a thin roll.
I don’t think the actual sizes matter, just as long as you have thick and thin sizes.
Then I picked out three colors of beads that I thought went well together.
And if you aren’t handy with a drill, you will need some industrial strength ceramic glue.
If you are using the drill method you will need nuts and bolts to hold the cup to the saucer. You will need to drill a hole through the center of your saucer, in the center bottom of your cup, and one hole opposite the handle of your cup.
Now you’re ready!
To start, you will want to make the center “V”.
I made all of my “V’s” different sizes.
You cut the length you want for the center “V” from the thick wire and roll the ends in spirals.
Then cut two four-inch and one 6 or 7 inch straight piece from the thick wire.
Bend one end of each wire (to make a hook), add a bead to the middle, and bend the other end.
Repeat for the rest.
These will be your connectors.
Then cut another piece from the thick roll about 8 or 9 inches long and roll it into a spiral. This will connect your “V” to the fork.
Now it’s time to use the little thin wire.
I cut my loops about 12 inches. You will need to cut two. One for each side of the cup.
Take one of the wires and fold it in the center and make a loop. Twist the ends together to hold the loop.
Next place it on the handle of your teacup and wrap one end around the handle towards the cup.
Wrap the other wire end away from the cup. I left two inches or so on this end to make a spiral.
Adds a little cuteness.
Now. If you have drilled holes in the cup, you will need to make a loop with the other wire, just as you did the first one and put one end through the hole. Wrap it around the other end snugly. With the extra wire, make some more spirals.
If you are using glue, place a generous amount of glue on the bottom of your cup. Then lay your second piece of wire on the saucer so that one end lays in the center of where you will be gluing the cup.
Place your cup on the saucer so that it is sitting on top of the wire.
You will want to make sure the wire lines up with your handle of your cup so that it balances when it’s hanging.
Press your cup down and wait for it to dry.
Once dry, you will want to glue the rest of the wire to the cup.
I bent mine up and held it against the glue with a toothpick until it was dry enough to bend the wire over the lip of the cup to hold it in place.
Once that is dry, make your loop and spirals just like the other side.
Next you will want to add beads to your “V”.
I added a bead every two or three wraps.
So wrap your wire around and around and around your “V” adding beads wherever your heart desires.
You will want to do the same thing to your fork.
Start a few millimeters away from where the handle connects to the bottom of the fork.
You will want to make this wire a little longer than the other one as you need extra wire to make a hook at the end.
I made mine double the length…so 24 inches long.
Wrap the wire around and around adding beads here and there and when you get to the end wrap it around a few more times until the wire rests in the back.
Now you will want to weave the wire in and out of your previous wraps to anchor the wire.
I still haven’t perfected this technique as it comes out different each time.
Now you should have one large loop sticking at the end (since your ends should be attached to the wire wrapped around the fork).
I twisted these to make one wire and left a small loop at the end.
You may choose to twist it all the way and then bend the end into a U-shaped hook.
Next you will need to add your connectors.
Add the two small ones to the spirals at the end of your “V” and then connect them to the loops you made on your teacup.
Next connect the larger one to your “V” and then to the large spiral.
Now you will need to bend the tongs of the fork upward to create a hook.
Once you have done that, you can connect the other end of the large spiral to the fork.
You have now made your very own cute bird feeder!
Although, since I glued mine, I am hanging it inside from the ceiling and putting a small tea light inside.
Don’t want the darn thing to break after all that hard work.
Now to make the solar light mason jars:
So once again the materials you will need are:
Small mason jars.
Outdoor mod podge
And $2 solar light posts from Menards.
Next pour about a 1/4 cup of Outdoor Mod Podge onto a plastic plate and add 5 – 7 drops (depending on how light or dark you want your color) of food coloring. I used McCormick’s Neon Food Coloring.
Mix it together with a paint brush until it’s completely blended.
Then paint it on!
Let it sit for a minute or two.
Take a paper towel and crumple it up. Dip it into the Mod Podge mixture and stipple the jar until you get the desired look.
I placed my jars upside down on little plates since I’m messy at these sorts of things.
And don’t be frightened if your jars look like this initially. I know I was. Eyes wide. Wondering what the hell I did wrong.
But it’s okay, they do mellow out as they dry to look more like this:
Now that the jars are done — time to add some light!
I picked up these little solar lights at Menards for $2.00 a piece. Super cheap.
I took the post off and left the clear plastic one to give weight to the top.
This way it wasn’t sliding or shimmying off the jar.
I cut two pieces of wire to make my handle. I wrapped each piece around a few times and hooked them around each other so that each side had an end of the wire. Then I twirled them together in the middle to make a handle. (Make sure your wire is wrapped really tight around the glass).
Then to make mine a bit more festive, I wrapped some red sparkly ribbon around the wire handle and added a ribbon around the jar.
Now go to a dark broom closet or bathroom or crawl under your bed (just watch out for those dust bunnies, they may not take too kindly to the light) and be in awe!
I’ve seriously made about 20 of these so far.
And I think I’ll stick to birdy feeders and jars.
Cause knitting + me = disaster.
Sorry small dogs of the world.
You will just have to be naked for a few more years….