Coconut shells are generally thrown into trash bin, after consuming the coconut-meat.

The following is an attempt to re-purpose the trash (Coconut shells) to treasure.



I frequently notice that the coconut shells are just thrown into trash bin after consuming the coconut-meat. These shells are very hard & sturdy but too small to be used as food-serving bowls.

Inspired by various INSTRUCTABLES that are published on www.instructables.com , I attempted the following project to make use of the trashed coconut shells.

In this instructable, the words & expressions "coconut shells" refer to the two half pieces of the total coconut shell that look like bowls.

Step 1: Materials & Tools Required

Essential Materials:

1. Coconut shell consisting of two half-shells like bowls.

2. Bamboo twigs or any other durable twigs having a hollow inside.

3. Flexible (metal) wire having a diameter not more than the hollow of the twigs.

4. A rough white paper.

5. Pencil.

Optional Materials: (If you want to attach sunshades also)

1. Three small pieces of coconut shell that are nearly like a bent-rectangle

2. Glue.

3. M-Seal (any sealing material).

4. Polish / paint(s).

Tools required:

1. A knife. (I used an arc-knife) should be used by experienced and able persons only and not by children.

2. Sand paper.

3. Drill (or)

a domestic stove & a sharp iron rod like a very long spike (which is capable of being held and heated-to-red on the stove for making small holes to the coconut shells). Should be used by experienced and able persons only and not by children.

4. Nosed-pliers.

5. Hand saw.

Step 2: Basic Design

1. Draw a basic design which is simple to begin with. You can make your own creative design.

2. All sizes/lengths depend on your choice and design, even though sizes have been mentioned elsewhere in the Instructable.

3. However, the height of of the total design may be around 2 to 2.5 times of the width of the coconut shell.

4. Of the two half-shell-bowls, one is having a natural hole for rooting purpose. That bowl shall be used for top portion of the design.

Step 3: Sanding the Coconut Shells

Since my main motto is "Trash to Treasure", I collected a pair of trashed coconut shells.

1. Using a knife and a Sand paper, peel off the fiber-skin of the shell pieces

2. Notice that there is a by-product of this activity- fiber dust. The peeled off fiber dust can also be used effectively by mixing with potting-soil in a planter. I just poured the fiber dust into one planter.

Step 4: Prepare Bamboo Twigs

1. I collected 4 such trashed wire pieces as already stated motto was "Trash-to-Treasure". I used trashed flexible wire.

2. Straighten the flexible wire (if not already straight) reasonably, such that it can pass through the hollow of the bamboo twigs.

3. If you are using a new flexible wire, you have to cut 4 pieces of flexible metal wire having a length of about 7-8".

4. Take three bamboo twigs of about 6". Remember that the length of flexible wire should be more by 2" when compared to the twigs. Or alternatively, the twigs should be shorter by 1.5" or 2" when compared to the wire pieces.

5. Pass the flexible wire through the hollow of the bamboo twigs as shown in the image.

Step 5: Mark Points Where Holes Shall Be Made on the Shells

1. Take a piece of rough paper. Keep the half-shell on the paper and draw its out line circle on the paper.

2. Mark three points in 60 degrees each on the outline-circle, such that they make an equilateral triangle if jointed.

3. keeping the half-shell on the paper, mark the points on one half shell.

4. Keep both half-shells together and mark the three points prominently/ legibly.

Step 6: Make Holes on the Half-shells

1. Working with sharp objects like drill is always dangerous and prone to injury. It is very essential that you should use all necessary safety equipment like glasses, gloves etc during this project. Expert's supervision is essential. Children must never attempt this.

2. I made small holes, three on each of the half-shells using the heated sharp iron rod. The Iron rod was heated to red on a kitchen stove (This is very very dangerous and burn prone) and while it is red-hot, it is poked into the shell-wall to make small hole. You can use a drill.

3. The user must be very cautious and careful as it is not at all suggested to use hot rod without any safety equipment.

4. Also I measured the naval point of the top half-shell. It is prudent to find its naval point for making hole instead of arbitrarily making a hole for hanging. Try to balance the top-half-shell on the tip of a pencil and mark the naval point on trial and error method.

5. Make another small hole at the marked naval point for hanging purpose.

Step 7: Attach the Bamboo Twigs to the Half-shell

1. Using the nose-pliers, bend the flexible wire projection (piece outside the twig) like a hook and insert it into the hole of the half-shall and bend/twist it such that the twig and half-shall are bound together. All the three twigs shall be bound to the half shell in the three holes.

2. Similarly, the other ends of the twig-wires shall be attached to the other half-shell.

3. Take care that the twigs are inside the shell and not outside.

4. After the three twigs (having flexible wire inside) have been tied to the shells from inside, the basic shape is ready.

5. Then take another small twig and insert the fourth piece of flexible wire and insert through the top hole for hanging purpose. make a small knot inside and outside also so that the wire is firmly attached to the head of the feeder.

6. The twigs at all ends should be tightly fastened so that the feeder & lower bowl do not swing/shake wildly when a bird perches on it.

Step 8: Make Sunshades for the Feeder

1. Steps hereafter are purely optional.

2. Collect another piece of coconut shell and cut three rectangular pieces (of size 2.5" x 1.5") from it using a hand saw / drill / nose-pliers. To confess I have used a hammer in fact, to break the shell into pieces and collected three pieces as shown in the image. The sizes of the pieces can vary to suit to the size of the main shell.

3. You should be very careful while using knife.

4. Peel off the loose scrap on the pieces using sand paper. Don't use knife. it may slip as the pieces are too small to use knife effectively.

Step 9: Glue the Sunshade Pieces

1. All three pieces of sunshades shall be glued to the top half-shell (inverted bowl) just between each pair of the holes through which the twigs were tied/fastened.

2. As the surface contact between the sunshade and the top half-shell is a very thin line, to give more strength to the sunshade, I used a sealing material.

Step 10: Give More Strength to the Sunshade

1. To give more strength to the sunshade, I applied sealing material like m-seal.

2. As there are different types of sealing materials are available, it may not be prudent to generalize the procedure here.

3. you have to follow the instructions given on the package to apply the sealing along with the line where the sunshade and the top-half-shell are joining to make it sturdy & durable.

Step 11: Adding Perches & Polishing

I have not done the following. It's your choice:

Attaching perches

1. You may also attach three perches under the three sunshades for the birds to sit upon and enjoy the food.

2. You need three small sturdy pieces of twigs. Bamboo twigs may be slippery and therefore may not work. The twigs should have some rough texture to give a good grip to the birds. The length of the perch depends on the bird you want to feed.

3. make an even cut of twigs and attach them to the lower bowl of the feeder using glue and m-seal (I have not done it).

Painting / Polishing:

1. This step is purely optional and depends on your taste and the outcome of the previous steps.
2. You can apply clear wood polish, both inside and outside of the half-shells as well as bamboo twigs. 3. Alternatively, you can paint them with colors of your choice. 4. I prefer clear polish to retain its original texture & color.

Step 12: Finish

1. Hang the feeder that is accessible to the birds around.

2. Keep some food everyday in the lower bowl of the feeder.

<p>That's a really neat way to reuse it!</p>
Thank you so much.

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