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Topic: bird nest supply station tutorial  (Read 19827 times)
Tags for this thread: spring , bird , nest , scrap , pagan , tutorial , craftster_best_of_2011  Add new tag
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« on: March 21, 2011 10:48:36 AM »

Happy Spring everyone!  
I was reading about nest building supply stations that people make, usually out of mesh onion bags or an empty suet feeder, or simply scattering the supplies in your backyard.  I loved the idea of using tiny fabric scraps, fluff and yarn to encourage nest building in my yard, but the suggestions were just not....crafty enough!  So I enjoyed making this over the weekend and wanted to share my idea with everyone.....

Wanna make one too?


-Attractive woven structure of your choice.
(I found a pack of 4 bamboo plates at a dollar store....but any sort of woven basket or wreath should do.)
-Garden shears
-Craft scissors
-tweezers or needle nose pliers
-Yarn needle
-Yarn or twine (natural fibers are best, especially wool)
-bits of fabric, fleece, cotton batting (no more than one inch wide and six inches long...it can strangle or entangle birds)
-Wool roving
-(I didn't use this, but I read that you can use pet hair too...or hair clippings.  Just make sure hairs are short an unable to tangle around birdie toes!)
-Scavenged twigs, dry moss and brush from your yard.  I used flexible twigs, ornamental grass, iris leaves, tufts of dry grass, soft pine branches, etc....just don't pick from any areas that you know have poison ivy!
-Items NOT to use:  dryer lint, long string, fishing line, anything plastic!  
I also read that birds tend to avoid anything colored bright red. Keep in mind that this stuff might all blow in your yard, so if you don't want to stare at bright blue flannel bits in your shrubs all summer, try something that blends in. Smiley

-Lay some of your long twigs and grass around the circular edge of the plate until you like how it looks. Thread your yarn needle with a long piece of smooth twine or yarn.  Tie an end securely onto the brim of the plate.  Sew large stitches around the edge of your plate or basket, covering the branches and securing them to the plate.  These branches are too large for the birds, they serve as "pockets" to stuff everything else.  Keep the stitches large and really spaced out.

-Weave around strips of cloth and pieces of yarn under the stitches, in the branch spaces, or use your tweezers or yarn needle to thread them into the weave of the basket/plate.  Make them secure enough that a soft breeze won't free the materials, but loose enough that a bird could easily pluck it free.  
-Tuck in wool, fluff, moss, etc, and rethread your yarn needle.  Sew on top of that to secure it in, once again with big stitches.  You can make a star design like I did on the top if you want.  Add as much as you want.
-Thread more yarn and tie a long tail on the left and right side of the plate.  Tie it to a tree trunk securely, out of reach of predators (cats, etc.), in a quiet/sheltered area where you can observe from a window.

I just put mine out this morning, birds are supposed to be really nesting in mid march, so go get started now!  
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011 02:57:57 PM by PixieVal » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011 10:58:07 AM »

Happy Spring!

I love this.  Thanks for sharing the tutorial.  I think I might get one started for our yard birds.


Personal swap friendly!  Especially ATCs!
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011 11:04:54 AM »

This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I have a gardening project I was asked to do at my son's school and this will make an awesome addition to it.  Smiley

Ya just can't stop a crafty girl!
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011 11:12:04 AM »

I love the idea of this and the execution if it it really cool!  Great idea!
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011 11:21:35 AM »

This is so cool! I've never even heard of it... like a birdy Home Depot. <3 I'll have to make one for my mom to hang outside her window, she loves seeing the songbirds flit by.
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011 11:22:28 AM »

I LOVE it! I have tons of scraps and a few empty woven baskets in the basement too.

Why not drier lint though? I make my own unscented laundry soap and don't use drier sheets, you'd think the fluff from my drier would be perfect...

Thanks everyone!
This link has more detailed information on nest building supplies...
I've read from a few sources that dryer lint crumbles when it gets wet and doesn't work very well for construction.  I know it sounds strange, I was pretty surprised too when I read that one...it seems like such an obvious choice.

The pic of the supplies is "staged", lol....I actually sat outside in my Adirondack chair with everything at my feet.  Sometimes I would wander around my yard and stick extra twigs and stuff in that I found.  It's also great during spring clean up, if you are clipping old dead perennial stems and leaves or grasses.  Half of the fun was enjoying being outside again!
I think this would make a great kids project too!  Let me know how that goes!

« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011 12:06:24 PM »

So cute! I could do something like this for my parents yard, and put cat hair in it. I have three cats so there is plenty of it.  Grin It would be perfect spring present for my mom, a lot of birds live in their garden and she would love it if some nested there. Smiley

"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worth while?" Death thought about it "Cats," he said eventually, "Cats are Nice
-Terry Pratchett-
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011 01:24:46 PM »

I don't think so....I guess it's something they naturally do in the wild, just scavenge for whatever works. I even wondered about the smell of my own hands on the materials, but I don't think that will affect it. I hear they love horse hair, and they sweep up cobwebs and spider webs with their wings to help line their nests, and use mud to paste it together....they're crafty just like us!   Grin We need a bird expert here! Cheesy

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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011 01:38:17 PM »

This is so clever! I will TOTALLY be doing this later today.
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011 06:11:11 PM »

yes! i wanna make one too!!! fun, fun!
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