Welcome to the Crafty Corner! Join us the third Tuesday of every month for fun craft and project ideas courtesy of your host, Nicole Wenger! Today Nicole teaches readers how to create Embroidery Hoop Birdfeeders. We hope you enjoy, and will look forward to seeing you on many a Tuesday to come!
Spring Prayer by Ralph Waldo Emerson
“For flowers that bloom about our feet,
For tender grass so fresh and sweet,
For song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank thee!
For blue stream and blue sky,
For pleasant shade of branches high,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven we thank thee!”
My childhood during the spring season was nothing short of magical. Outside my mother’s kitchen window are tender-hearted memories of crocuses and tulips pushing up from the snow encrusted ground. Memories of tree buds ready to burst with excitement, and the sound of the dawn chorus welcoming morning’s early light.
Birds in particular have always held a special place in my heart. Their brightly colored feathers, the endless energy of flickers and woodpeckers drumming on chimney tops, the sweet songs echoing throughout deep woods, and the freedom to fly far away are just a few of the reasons why I loved birds as a child.
I was an adult before I had the opportunity to hold the tiny body of a wild Black-capped Chickadee. I felt its restless heart beating against the palm of my hand and the soft silky plumage between each finger. Looking into her deep brown eyes, I was humbled by her divine Creator and every detail He’d designed into her being.
Over the years, my passion for birds has passed on to my children. Every spring we plan a special “Welcome Home” gift for our beloved friends. We hope this month’s craft will inspire you to take a closer look at the birds outside your window.
I usually search the thrift stores for embroidery hoops. For this project a plastic colorful hoop is fun. Applying paint to a wooden hoop will add color and splash. Seed-eating birds don’t care how decorated the hoop is, but the kiddos always enjoy a little bit of paint.
Materials: Embroidery Hoop (wooden or plastic), beads, fishing line or hemp, window screen, hook, scissors, and bird seed.
Lay a piece of window screen under the embroidery hoop. Measure an extra 5 inches around the hoop and cut. Treat the screen as fabric and place between the two hoops. Tighten the hoop and cut away the remaining screen. Measure three to four pieces of fishing line to the same length. Tie the fishing line under the hoop and through the screen. For this project I used four lines. Using three lines in the shape of a triangle works well too.
Once the lines are tied, start beading. There are many different items to use for beads (colored plastic beads, wooden beads, buttons, pasta, bottle caps and much more). We used plastic beads for this feeder. My son, Grant, counted the number of beads on each line and arranged his colors and shapes to fit his own patterns.
Depending on your child’s attention and age, stringing the beads may take a couple of sessions. I enjoyed watching my kids design their own patterns and talk about each color and shape.
Each line is colorful and unique!
Once all the lines are filled, tie the ends together. Make sure to adjust the lines for stability and balance or you could have a lopsided birdfeeder. Fill the feeder with seed. We use Black Oil Sunflower seed.
Find a place to hang the feeder. If a bird feeding station is not already established, always hang the feeder near trees or shrubs. Birds need a place to perch and fly to when not feeding. If this is the first feeder in the yard, be patient and allow up to two weeks for the birds to find it.
This is Grant’s birdfeeder! Isn’t it beautiful?
What crafty ideas are you creating to welcome back spring?
Nicole Wenger is the mother of two spunky boys and the wife of her best friend, Chris. She is the founder and director of Science Quest: a science education company which introduces students, parents, and teachers to interactive and affordable science learning. Nicole is the Preschool Director and the Director of Development at The Garden School. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Bridgewater State University and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies/Conservation Biology with an emphasis in Ornithology from Antioch University. You can keep up with Nicole, her family, and their adventures in home education, crafting, birding and loving the outdoors at http://www.loveandlearning.typepad.com.