In this instructable I'm going to show you how to make a pretty swing bench bird feeder out of scrap materials.
It's an easy and free project that will take you a hour of work (included the time spent waiting fr the glue to dry).
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Step 1: Materials & Tools
- 18 popsicle sticks
- a scrap piece of wood
- a scrap thin piece of wood
(I used the base of a wooden strawberry box)
- a pencil and a pair of scissors
- wood file or sanding paper
- staple gun
- wood glue
- couple of clamps
- staining oil
Step 2: Make 2 Rectangles
First of all in order to make the rectangles, we need to cut 8 pieces from a scrap piece of wood.
You will need:
2x (14cm x 1cm x 1cm)
2x (7cm x 1cm x 1cm)
2x (14cm x 1cm x 0,5cm)
2x (7cm x 1cm x 0,5cm)
Apply wood glue to attach all the pieces creating 2 rectangles; the seat one (that measures 14cm x 7cm x 1cm) and the backrest rectangle (that measures 14cm x 7cm x 0,5cm). Be sure to clamp all the pieces in the right place and let them dry.
Once the glue will be dried you can take a file and sand the backrest rectangle's base as in picture#1. In this way our backrest will be inclined like a real one.
Step 3: The Seatrest
Since this swing bench in the seat will have a screen (which will keep the seeds dry), we need a rectangle frame to hold the screen in place and to hide the staples.
So take the seat rectangle (the thicker one), place it on a thin piece of wood and mark around all the edges. Then use a x-acto knife and a metal ruler to cut it.
(Since I used all scrap materials, I cut out the rectangle frame from the base of a wooden strawberry box, and as screen I used the one that was inside an old swimsuit that I never used)
Place the rectangle frame on the screen, then mark and cut a rectangle a little smaller than the marked one.
Use a staple gun to fix the screen in place on the seat rectangle. At this point I suggest you to hammer all the staples to be sure that none of them is protruding.
Finally we need to sandwich the 2 seat pieces together so apply some wood glue and clamp them in place. At the end you should have any gap like me. (If you cut the frame a little bigger or smaller, and the dimensions of the rectangles are not exactly the same in my case photo#4, you could sand all the edges until they match)
Step 4: The Backrest
In order to make it looks like a real bench swing, we need to create a backrest with a cool design. So I decided to use some popsicle sticks since they already had a nice curved end, they are of the perfect size, and last but not least, they are perfectly identical one to the others.
As you can see in photo#2,I tried different options and at the end I opted for the cooler one.
So I placed 12 popsicle sticks on the backrest rectangle, and I spaced them apart equally. I created the curve by eye pushing up the central popsicle sticks and pulling down the side ones. When I was happy with it, I used a ruler to mark the right length for all the pieces, and I carefully cut them one by one with a pair of scissors.
I applied a small amount of wood glue on each piece, and I pressed them on the backrest rectangle for few seconds. I started with the 2 external popsicle sticks and then I glued the 2 central ones.
Then I glued all the remaining pieces one by one leaving about 2mm of gap.
NOTE: Be sure to glue them on the "longer" side of the backrest rectangle like in photo#1. Only in this way it will be possible to lean it backwards like a normal bench backrest.
Step 5: Glue the Pieces Together
Before gluing the two pieces together we need to glue 1 popsicle stick on each side of the backrest.
Then glue the backrest to the seat piece, and cut the excess of the popsicle sticks on the sides at the right angulation.
Finally clamp well the pieces until the glue dries.
Step 6: The Armrests
Each armrest is made from 3 popsicle sticks cut at the right dimensions.
1st support: Take a popsicle stick and lean it near one on the side of the backrest. Mark a line as in picture, and cut that piece with a pair of scissors. Finally glue it at on side of the seat creating the arm support.
2nd support: Place a popsicle stick on a side, make a mark at the right dimension, and cut it. Apply wood glue and clamp it in place a few minutes.
3rd piece: In order to cut the popsicle sticks for the armrests you have to place it over the 2nd support piece, make a mark and cut a kind of groove to glue it better against the backrest.
(repeat the same process with the other side)
Step 7: Turn the Bench Into a Swing Bench
Once finished the bench you will need to cut 2 pieces of string about 1m each (obviously you can change the length accordingly to the place where you will install it).
Then use the staple gun to fix the string's ends in place under the seat, and on the back of the backrest.
Step 8: Optional Steps
If you are going to hang it under a tree or in a place where it will get wet under the rain, I suggest to apply a couple of coats of protective and waterproof spray paint or oil.
The staining oil that I used it's also protective, waterproof, and stain-resistant.
(If you will hang it in a place protected from the rain like a balcony, you could also avoid to apply oils)
Before the stain I decided to add my nickname on the back burning the wood with a soldering iron.
Step 9: Finish!! Hang It and Wait!
I think that it came perfect! I'm really happy about the result!
All we need to do now is to hang it on a branch, put some bird seeds in the seat-screen, and wait for the birds. If you liked this guide you could also like my other ones on my profile.
Thank you for reading my Instructable. ;)
Feel free to comment and ask if you need to know something!