My mummy loves watching birds in her garden and she has this tree full of flowers and 4 bird feeders. Unfortunately one of the older bird feeders isn't looking so well anymore, so I decided to make her a new one. She really likes it and so do the birdies. The whole project took about 35 hours to complete and if you fancy having a go here is how ;)
- glue stick
- 3 x 3mm MDF (mine were 305mm x 305mm MDF sheets)
- wood glue
- roughly 300 lollipop sticks
- roughly 40 x 18cm wood coffee stirrers
- steel wire
- 1 hinge
- 5 x 3.0x12mm wood screws
- wood filler
- wood paint (gray, green, white, lime green, red, black)
- jigsaw + modelling jigsaw
- mitre block + hacksaw
- small chisel
- dremel + sanding attachment
- 3 large rubber bands
- paint brushes
Step 1: Cutting
Print out the template provided and glue it onto MDF with a glue stick. Cut out larger pieces with a jigsaw and windows and door with a modelling jigsaw. File and sand the door and windows.
Step 2: Base
Make yourself a jig for the inner pyramid using a piece of wood, lollipop sticks and a few screws. Glue the pyramid together with wood glue and let it dry. Drill 4 holes in the bottom piece and feed the steel wire/wires through. Make sure that the holes and the pyramid are slightly off center, so that you will have enough space for the balcony later on. Drill another hole in the top of the pyramid, feed the steel wires through and glue it onto the base.
Step 3: Walls
Place the hinge in between the two back pieces and mark positions for the screws. Shorten the screws to the required length with a junior hacksaw and screw in. Attach the two quarter circles to the back flap with wood glue. Glue all walls to the base and secure with clamps whilst the glue dries.
Step 4: Lollipop, Lollipop
Put a bunch of lollipop sticks into the mitre block and cut off the ends. Cut a few of them at an angle for the corners. Cut the sticks as required and glue them on the walls starting at a corner.
Step 5: Oh Lolli Lolli Lolli
Carry on gluing and cutting lollipop sticks as required. When you get to the hinge remove the flap and cut the sticks into a required length. Hollow out the back side of the lollipop sticks with a small chisel, glue in and secure with clamps. Glue some sticks to the back flap and let them dry. Cut into required length with hacksaw and screw the flap back in. Carry on as before.
Step 6: Sanding
Sand the bottom openings with dremel (wannabe dremel in my case) with the small sanding attachment. Sand the protruding sides of the sticks at an angle, so that you can glue the roof on top of it. Make a small loop with the wire and secure with a few knots.
Step 7: Roof
File a couple of small groves in the roof pieces for the wire to go through. Glue the two roof pieces to the top of the walls and secure with rubber bands. Cut and glue coffee stirrers to the edges of the roof. Carry on gluing lollipop sticks to the roof. For the two large pieces of the roof I decided to layer the lollipop sticks and the smaller roof was done in a same way as the walls. Attach another couple of coffee stirrers to the very top of the roof where the lollipop sticks join.
Step 8: Balcony
Glue together 3 coffee stirrers twice, secure with clamps and let them dry. Cut them into 3 roughly 8cm pieces and glue in with the balcony.
Cut a few stirrers into approximately 2.7cm long pieces. Glue 10 smaller pieces in between 3 stirrers, 2 for the top and 1 for the bottom (leave a gap about 3mm wide between the edge of the bottom stirrer and the ends of the short ones) secure with clamps. Attach the railing to the balcony edge with wood glue and secure with a rubber band. Do the same for side and bottom railings. Secure with clamps or rubber bands wherever you can.
Step 9: Filling
Push the wood filler into any unwanted gaps, for me this was mainly on the roof and railings, but I applied some into the larger gaps on the walls . Let it dry. Once dried remove any leftovers with a small chisel and or knife and sand over.
Step 10: Ledge
Take each of the 4 ledges and sand the edges at an angle. Glue them around the base and secure with a rubber band. Drill holes around the base for the water to escape when it rains.
Step 11: Knob
Glue together 5 lollipop sticks and let them dry. Cut off the end and sand it into a more pleasant shape. Drill a hole into the lollipop stick end and the back flap. Glue and screw the knob in. Rid the feeder of any dust.
Step 12: Painting
I've made a couple of bird feeders in past and both times I used exterior lacquer. Even though the finish was beautiful, it would only last a year due to the weather. So this time round I decided to try something different and bought a few samples of the garden furniture wood paint in different colours. I'm not sure how long it will last, but at least should be easier to repaint if / when necessary.
The painting is not difficult, just do it in whatever colour you fancy and be prepared to give it a few coats.
Step 13: Windows
Paint the windows and the door with the colour of your choosing. Once dried, roughly mark the position of the windows with a pencil and paint in with a black paint. Attach with wood glue.
Step 14: Details
At this point I was quite happy with the result, however the sides and back looked a little dull in comparison with the front so I decided to paint a few plants climbing up the side walls and the back of the house for decoration.
Step 15: Home Sweet Home
At the end I thought maybe a little mat would be nice so I painted that as well. It was completely pointless since this would not be visible once the birdies make themselves at home and cover the base in shells but never mind, I thought it was a nice feature. :D