We made this scarecrow birdfeeder last autumn. It’s a good way to recycle some of the things you may already have lying around your home and turn them into something useful, just in time to help the birds store energy before the long winter or migration.
Tristan was 3 1/2 at the time, and the person we were childminding at the time was 10, so it’s a versatile project for a large age range. If we’d had enough supplies on hand I wouldn’t have minded making one myself! Depending on how you’d like to manage your time, this could be done in an afternoon, or in little stages over a few days, as we did it.
For this scarecrow birdfeeder you will need the following:
- An empty water or drink bottle (I used 500ml bottles, but you can use any size you’d like)
- a wooden spoon, an old weathered one from the kitchen drawer that needs replacing is great
- funky foam, felt, or other thick or stiff fabric
- permanent markers
- scissors and a craft knife
- craft glue
- a screw-eye
- ribbon or twine
- rubber bands (for holding the pieces in place while the glue is drying
- birdseed (of course!)
This is how we made our scarecrow birdfeeder:
1) Remove the label from your chosen bottle, wash and let your bottle dry
2) Cut a rectangular hole on the front of your bottle, just above the line where the ‘feet’ of the bottle are. This rectangle should be horizontal and be just wide enough for the business end of the wooden spoon to squeeze through. It should be wide/high enough to allow the bird seed to freely flow out of the bottle and onto the spoon for the birds.
3) Make a small ‘X’ cut on the back of the bottle where the handle of the spoon will slide through when it is placed handle-first through the front rectangle. See if the bottle is balanced, if not you may have to cut a bit off the handle of the spoon if it is too long.
4) Make the hat. Cut out a round piece of foam or felt for the hat. Ours was 18cm in diameter with a hole in the centre about 3cm across. Make a cut from the outside straight into the inside circle. You will have to cut out a pie-shaped wedge from the circle to make the hat fit around the neck of the bottle. You can decide what size works best for your bottle. This is what my template looked like:
5) Cut a small fringe around the outer circle of this hat and then use the permanent markers to draw a design on the hat, if you desire. Glue this onto the bottle, and apply glue to the edge to hold the pieces together when it’s wrapped around the neck of the bottle. I used rubber bands and paper clips to hold things in place while the glue dried.
6) Cut a strip of foam approx 8cm wide, and long enough to fit around your bottle to use as a mask. For our bottle this turned out to be 22.5cm. If you’d like you can make a small crescent shape into the bottom, starting about 1/4 of the way in from one side, and finishing about 1/4 of the way from the other end. Then glue this onto your bottle, just under the ‘shoulders’ of the bottle. You may have to use a rubber band to hold it in place until the glue dries. This is the template we designed for the hair fringe:
7) Take some scrap pieces of foam in any colour you’d like (or have) and cut them into triangles/circles/ovals, etc to make the eyes, nose, and mouth of the feeder. You can embellish these with your markers to give them more character. Glue these pieces on once the previous bits have dried.
8) Poke a hole through the bottle cap and twist the screw eye through securely. Add a piece of ribbon or twine through this eye and tie in a knot, and then make a bow, if you’d like it to look fancy. This is what you will use to hang the feeder.
9) Push the spoon through the mouth and out the back of the bottle, and add your bird seed. Replace the bottle cap firmly onto the bottle, and hang in your garden and watch to see which birds will come to your new feeder!
For more fun activities, browse through our fall activities and nature activities for kids pages.