Berry Picker From Scrap

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This Instructable was a totally spontaneous idea. There was no planning and no preparation behind it. It was made on the spot with hardly any material, just what we had around us. It turns out to be such an effective little device that I feel it's worse sharing the idea.

Last week-end, during a picnic with friends the kids spotted a blackberry bush and sure enough, as soon as they got our approval (we checked that it was really some blackberries!) they were all happy bunnies picking berries. Unfortunately, it’s late in the season so they were not the first one. People and birds had already picked the front rows, but there were a lot of big berries left in the middle, a bit out of reach and protected by the thorns. This is how the idea of making a berry picker can out. We took some empty bottles (ketchup, mineral water, etc) and fashioned some berry pickers. The end product is very effective and very compact. It’s now in my backpack for our next trip in the outdoor!

The idea was so simple that before posting this Instructable I searched to see if anybody had already done it. I found various designs but none as simple as this one. All the other designs require some special material (PCV pipe, heat gun, pliers, razor blades, etc) that you won’t necessarily find in your backpack when you are in the outdoor.

Step 1: Material

For this Instructable all you need is a plastic bottle of some sort.

Tip 1: Choose preferably a bottle made of hard plastic like a ketchup bottle. It will give more strength to the picker. A bottle of mineral water will work as well but will be more fragile.

Tip 2: Choose a bottle with a large top so you can get the berries out by unscrewing the cap.

Tip 3: Choose a small bottle so it can get in and out of the bush easily.

You will need a small knife to carve the bottle. But I guess, if you are out in the outdoor you are most likely to have one.

Finally, you will need a strip of cord or string. Alternatively, some rubber bands or some duct tape to fix the berry picker to a wooden stick.

Note: Since this was a spontaneous idea, I didn’t think of taking some photos on the spot to show all the steps. So for the purpose of this Instructable, I rebuild entirely the berry picker using a similar bottle and did a proper set of photos. For the sake of clarity (and not making any preferential advertising) I also removed the label of the bottle.

Step 2: Building the Berry Picker

The concept is very simple. First, you need an opening in the bottle large enough to get a berry inside. Whether it’s a circle or a square it really doesn’t matter.

Then you need a small hook to help cut the berry of the branch. Think of a ‘W’ shape, like two small teeth. To illustrate that I draw some outlines on the bottle. Just cut the outline and you are done.

The plastic is surprisingly sharp so you don't need a fancy shape to cut the berry.

Step 3: Assemble the Berry Picker

Now all you need to do is to attach firmly the bottle to a stick. Just make sure it won’t slide of the stick when you pull, as it can get caught on some branches or some thorns.

Step 4: The End Product in Action

Your berry picker is ready. Now the next step is to find an instructable on blackberry pie!

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    89 Discussions

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    Logan302

    3 years ago

    Very neat and effective. Thanks for sharing.

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    Curt1972

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Just build one of these today and had my children picking oranges from a tree. Simple and fun for everyone! :)

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    BenCC

    4 years ago

    I just made one from your design but I made just 1 single V in the front. Love the idea thanks for sharing and can't wait to try it!

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    eranox

    4 years ago on Introduction

    What a great idea! There are some blackberry bushes on the shore of the lake where I kayak. I'm going to build one of these and lash it to my paddle so I can snack without having to go ashore first!

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    JM1999YPF

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Leatherman definitely did a better job on the pliers didn't they!?

    I own a handyman and my brothers, sisters and dad all have leathermans, I think in total we have like 9 different types of leatherman!

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    YPFJM1999

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Both brands are excelent and have their strong and weak point function of the use someone wants to make of it. Overall there is so much choice it's hard to resist not getting another one!

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    JM1999YPF

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I personally prefer the leatherman for only two reasons:

    Stronger pliers and one-handed opening knife, they are the only two things the swiss army lack IMO.

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    collimoo

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Ingenious - will try it next year when we harvest those hard to reach sloe berries temptingly out of reach, high up in a thorny tree behind a barricade of brambles :-)

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    YPFivver

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for you nice comment! I'm happy that you like it. If you find a way to improve it, just post your version here like others have done.

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    ivverYPF

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    You inspired me for rosehip picker, you can do very expensive oil from rosehip, one liter cost about $200, google it and I bet you'll find it interesting :)

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    YPFivver

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    You will need a strong plastic for that because as far as I remember rosehip are tough to pick. They don't come as easily as blackberries!

    Thanks anyway for the tip on rosehip oil. I didn't know about it but found some interesting videos in Youtube.

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    RichM1

    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is awesome!! The best berries are always the ones you can't reach for fear of becoming an extra in Snow White!

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    jemurray976

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Mind blown! Freaking genius! As a kid growing up I followed the berry seasons and had my secret patches I would harvest. If I had one of these I would have been berry king of the neighborhood!

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    YPFUncleEd

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    So much for just a plastic bottle, I'm really appreciative!

    My assistant as well!

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    YPFjemurray976

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your nice comment. It's never too late to go back berry picking, but now you might find lots of people walking by with a plastic bottle cut up!