A quick and easy bird feeder made from a tin can and sisal rope.
Sisal Rope Bird Feeder – Our time at the beach this summer finally came to an end this past weekend. Sadly we packed up and went back home but not before I had a chance to make this cute little bird feeder. Over the past number of weeks I’ve seen an incredible array of wildlife and lots of beautiful birds including hummingbirds, sandpipers, hawks, owls, grey herons and the most awe-inspiring bald eagles (see below for some of the bird photos I took this summer). One day we even witnessed an eagle scream down from the sky, dive into the water after a seagull that was floating in the ocean, grasp the seagull in his talons and fly away with the it – this was only about 75 feet away from us. The size and power of these birds is something you really have to see to believe.
Obviously this sweet little bird feeder isn’t meant for the eagles but there really is a huge variety of birds that live near the beach that would love this feeder. This is a simple project that kids could easily help make. It only took about 20 minutes to make the entire thing.
- Clean tin can – keep the lid (I used a large tomato can)
- Sisal rope
- Piece of metal for post (sorry, I don’t even know what I used, it was just a scrap I found in the garage)
- Glue gun and glue
- Take the tin can lid and bend it in half.
- Take the metal for the post and glue it down so that there is enough room for the birds to perch while they eat.
- Insert your can lid so that it fits nicely over the metal piece you just glued in and is just inside the opening of the can and glue into place making sure there are no openings for the seed to fall through.
- Find the top middle of the can and glue a long piece of sisal rope (about 2.5 ft) from top to bottom of the can so that you have 1 ft on either side of the can hanging off (you’ll tie this together at the end) – this will be the part that hangs from the hook or tree.
- Now, starting at the top of the can, slowly glue down the sisal rope from one end to the other by going around the can in a circular motion until you reach the bottom of the can. Cut the rope and glue in ends.
- Cut a piece of rope the exact size of the front of the can and glue on around the top/front edge to help give a nicer finished look to the feeder.
- Tie the two 1 foot piece ends that are still hanging to the sides together in a knot.
- Fill with bird seed and hang from a hook or tree.
Birds on southern Vancouver Island – photos by Jamey Ekins.
Jelleyfish bracelet tutorial with free printable template.
A while back, I tried to teach Noelle how to make friendship bracelets. I used to spend hours making these when I was a kid. It didn’t go overly well with Noelle. I’m not sure if she was still a bit too young or she just wasn’t interested. Determined to find something easier for her to make, I found some Pinterest posts on how to make woven bracelets (I wanted to give credit to one great post in particular but it’s a broken link now). I got out an old cereal box and some embroidery thread and sat down to test it out – it worked! Inspired by this super easy friendship bracelet idea, I created a simple template that you can print out, glue onto some light cardboard (cereal boxes or pasta boxes work well), cut out and you’re ready to go.
Oh, and I have no idea what the real name is for these sorts of bracelets but Noelle and I named them Jellyfish Bracelets because as you’re making them, they look like jellyfish (see photos below).
- Light cardboard box that you can cut up (cereal, oatmeal or pasta boxes for example)
- Download Template
- Embroidery floss – Up to 7 colours
- Any jewellery findings if you want to make it removable, otherwise just tie the bracelet right on your wrist
Click to download – Printable Jellyfish Bracelet Template
- Download the printable template and print onto a piece of paper
- Cut out one of the circles from the paper and glue onto a piece of your cardboard (make sure to get the edges of the circle covered really well with glue). Let the glue dry completely. (If you aren’t patient enough to do the whole glue thing, you could just copy the template design directly onto the cardboard with a pen).
- Now cut the cardboard with the paper glued onto it around the edge of the circle to where the tips of the arrow heads are. Cut a slit in each line that has the arrow head, about the same distance as the line itself. Use the sharp end of your scissors to poke a hole in the middle, approximately the size of the circle.
- Now grab your embroidery floss and cut either 7 or 14 pieces (2 of each colour) all 18″ long for adults or about 14″ for smaller kids. I find that doubling up the floss (using 14 pieces) is thicker and goes a bit faster.
- Knot together all the embroidery thread at one end so that there is still a little tail of ends.
- Careful thread the ends of all the thread through the hole so that the knot is on the back side of your template/cardboard. Put one piece of each thread (2 pieces per slit if you’re using 14 pieces of floss) into each slit so that it’s snug into place – see Photo A.
- Now, turn the template so that the empty space is pointing to your chest. Count 3 slit spaces to the left from there (approx. the 10:00 pm position if it were a clock). Take that piece(s) out of the slit and place into the empty space that is facing your chest – see Photos B and C.
- Turn the template counterclockwise so that the empty space is again pointing to your chest and repeat step 7.
- Keep your thumb gently over the hole in the middle to make sure that the bracelet remains in position while you’re moving the threads around. You’ll also want to run your fingers through the threads underneath the template from time to time to prevent the threads from getting tangled.
- Eventually you’ll start seeing the bracelet appear underneath once you get going – see Photo D. Keep going until you’ve reached your desired length. Tie off the end and finish off as you please (I added some clasps so my daughter’s bracelets so she could take hers on and off but you can keep things simple and just tie the two ends of your bracelet together).
Looking for more great kids stuff: 10-minute superhero costume, printable robot colouring page , DIY I spy game, good karma cards, family movie night tickets, blank faces coloring pages, indoor fairy garden
Thanks for reading!
Follow this tutorial to create your own jellyfish bracelet.
Printable Robot Coloring Page For Kids.
Printable robot coloring page – Over the past week or so I’ve been on holidays and I’ve had the good fortune to spend that time relaxing at the beach. For so long I’ve been waiting for some spare time to spend sketching and doodling. I started with nature sketches of all the treasures I found while beach scavenging. The drawings turned out beautifully and I really enjoyed the challenge. My daughter saw me working on my sketches and asked that I draw something for her but something that was “fun like the blank faces coloring page” – definitely my most popular post to date. My nephews were also out visiting at the beach and I was inspired by the boys so I thought I could make something they would all have fun coloring. I sketched out a variety of robots and then let the kids pick out their favourites. Here are the 12 robot finalist for your coloring pleasure. Enjoy!
Download the robots coloring page here.
Looking for more great kids stuff: Jellyfish Friendship Bracelets, 10-minute superhero costume, blank faces colour page, DIY I spy game, good karma cards, family movie night tickets, 3-minute bubble maker
Printable Robot Coloring Page
Printable first day of school sign.
As the Staples commercial goes, it’s almost “the most wonderful time of the year.” Summer has already flown by and the first day of school is almost upon us. I adore the summer but there’s something so nice about the structure and routine of starting school again (that’s saying a lot coming from me as I usually hate routine). Last year I spontaneously made a Grade 1 sign early in the morning for Noelle to hold for her first day of school photo. I kept the file so that I could just change the number for her Grade 2 photo and all the rest from that point forward. Since I already had these made I thought it would be nice to share. Just download, print and capture another memorable day in your child’s life. These printable signs are from Kindergarten all the way to Grade 12 (yes, I know that using these signs for the next 12 grades will never likely happen but here’s to dreaming).