PEANUT FEEDER FOR THE BIRDS

This project was a lot of fun! It primarily used recycled items: two dry-cleaner bags, two bouillon cube lids, and two of those long, plastic-coated twist-ties which are used to attach products to their packaging. The only thing that I had to add was a small square of metal hardware “cloth”(about 1/4 inch holes), which I had leftover from another project, and some black paint. I cut enough of the “cloth” to form a tube which would fit snugly inside the lid and attached the edges together so that it remained a cylinder. I painted this with black, non-toxic, acrylic paint designed for metal. I know most of you are wondering about the dry-cleaner bags! These were used to raise the level of the bottom so that the peanuts would not stay in the bottom where the birds could not reach them. Dry-cleaner bags melt when heat is applied to them. I twisted one of them into a rope and made a flat coil in the bottom of one of the lids and applied heat to it with a heat gun until it melted down some. I cut the second dry-cleaner bag into small sections and then placed it into a greased, dome-shaped mold. (You can make a mold out of tin-foil if you do not have anything the right size or use the bottom of a soda can, which has a dome-shaped indentation.) I heated the bags and used a pencil to press them down as they melted. It takes quite a bit of the bag to make a fairly small, hard, plastic shape. I fused the dome-shaped piece to the the coil in the bottom of the lid and then heated an ice pick to poke a couple of holes through all the layers to allow water to drain off. The dry-cleaner bag that I had just happened to be nearly the same shade of blue as the lids, so it matched, but this is not necessary since it is not really seen when the feeder is full. Finally, I twisted two of the twist-ties together and joined them to the top of the feeder to form a handle, and the feeder was ready for filling! This project could be made easier for children to put together by skipping the melted dry-cleaning bags and gluing a smaller spice lid inside the bottom bouillon lid. While it’s flat surface will not push the peanuts to the outside edge like the shaped dry-cleaner bag would, it will keep them elevated out of the bottom of the feeder where the birds can get to most of them.

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