DIY Bird Feeders – How to Make a Bird Feeder

DIY Bird Feeders
There are tutorials available for all of these bird feeders.

With the weather cooling in many parts of the country (I’m still waiting here in Texas, but it will happen eventually.), it’s time to think about our feathered friends. Construct one of these DIY Bird Feeders and make it a little easier for birds to find nutrition.

I think all of the examples are elegant. These bird feeders will not only make the birds happy, you’ll enjoy them too. Who doesn’t like watching birds in their garden? I bet you also know someone who would appreciate one of these for their garden. Make one as a Christmas gift. That’s what I’m thinking of doing. I have wine bottles on hand, so I’m leaning toward that design. I also have terracotta pots that I could re-purpose. All of these great designs use recycled materials.

Here’s your key to the DIY Bird Feeders:

  1. DIY Bird Feeder using a Melamine Bowl and Plate
  2. DIY Wine Bottle Bird Feeders
  3. DIY Bird Feeder from a Flower Pot
  4. DIY Tea Cup Bird Feeder
  5. DIY Tea Cup Hanging Bird Feeder
  6. DIY Acorn Bird Feeder (site unavailable as of June 2014)

DIY Bird Feeders for the Kids

If you want a project you can work on with the kids, consider Bird Seed Feeders.

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Free Thanksgiving Crochet Patterns

Free Thanksgiving crochet patterns can be found on the Internet. I selected these nine because I thought they were some of the best in the bunch. It’s not too late to crochet some coasters (see #2 and #5) or a bottle cozy (#9). If you crochet quickly, you may be able to complete one of the other projects. See the key with links under the images.

thanksgiving crochet patterns

  1. Crochet Fall Wreath
  2. Gobble Coaster (Ravelry)
  3. Crochet Turkey Hat
  4. Turkey Placemat
  5. Crochet Turkey Coasters
  6. Acorn Garland (no longer available 12/22/13)
  7. Thanksgiving Gobbler Hat (Ravelry)
  8. Going Nutty Purse
  9. Bottle Cozy (no longer available 12/22/13)

I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. I suggest you eat, drink, and be merry. Life is too short not to have seconds of pie!

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Sock Yarn Scarf Pattern

Some time ago, I knitted a hat using sock yarn. I have long wanted a matching scarf, but not the typical, long, rectangular scarf.

I found this sock yarn scarf pattern on Ravelry (skipped the edging instructions) and the result is that now I have a soft, warm triangular scarf that matches my hat, including the pom-poms.

sock yarn scarf pattern

Hats and scarfs made with sock yarn are very soft. I think it’s more than the yarn fiber that makes the scarf feel cuddly. I also think the tiny size of the stitches (size 2 needles used) have something to do with it. While it may take awhile longer to knit a garment with sock yarn, it is well worth the time and effort. The sock yarn I used: 3 skeins of Premiere Yarns Serenity Sock Weight Prints.

I really like how long, triangular scarves wrap. I like the cowl-like neck and the tapered ends. Think about adding this type of scarf to your collection!

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Crochet Mandala for Halloween

I wanted a table topper to go under my Halloween tree, and that’s when I came up with the idea of a crochet mandala. I crocheted 13 rings (since 13 is a “scary” number) in orange and black and finished with a scalloped edge.

crochet mandala for Halloween

Here’s the crochet mandala pattern you can follow to make a Halloween table topper:

Materials:

  • 4.00 mm (G) hook
  • Orange and black yarn – I used what I had on hand – an acrylic blend.
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in any loose ends

Notes:

There are different methods (carry-through method, jogless, etc.)  for starting news colors when crocheting. I ended each ring with a slip stitch and tied off the yarn. Then I wove the tail in when I added the new color. Choose the method that works best for you.

Instructions:

Begin with an adjustable ring.

  1. Work 12 dcs into the loop (12 dc)
  2. Work 2 dcs in each dc around (24 dc)
  3. [dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (36 dc)
  4. [dc in next 2 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (48 dc)
  5. [dc in next 3 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (60 dc)
  6. [dc in next 4 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (72 dc)
  7. [dc in next 5 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (84 dc)
  8. [dc in next 6 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (96 dc)
  9. [dc in next 7 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (108 dc)
  10. [dc in next 8 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (120 dc)
  11. [dc in next 9 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (132 dc)
  12. [dc in next 10 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (144 dc)
  13. [dc in next 11 dcs, 2 dc in next dc] repeat around (156 dc)
  14. Finish off.

For border trim:

Add slip knot to hook. Join yarn to ring anywhere with a sc. Then ch1, skip 2 stitches, 6dc in dc, ch1, skip 2 stitches. Repeat around. Weave in any loose ends.

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Cardigan Knitting Pattern – Easy to Knit Cropped Raglan Sweater

cardigan knitting patternThis cardigan knitting pattern from Lion Brand (also listed on the Ravelry site) is easy to make using Aran / 10 ply (8 wpi) yarn or something very similar. The cropped raglan cardigan pattern suggests using Lion Organic Cotton. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solids, Heathers & Twists (099 Fisherman). I picked up the yarn at JoAnn. You can get information about the gauge, needles, and more on the Lionbrand site and also on my Ravelry notebook page for the cardigan.

sweater1I really like the raglan shaping using eyelets (yarn overs). It adds a nice decorative detail.

The cardigan is worked back and forth on a circular needle (per my gauge test – I used size 8) in one piece from the neck down. Ribbing is picked up and knit along front edges to finish (size 7).

I like this pattern so much, I’m thinking of knitting another cardigan in a dark color. One always needs a white/ivory sweater and a black sweater in their wardrobe.

 

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Crochet Masks and Hats for Superheroes

Here are five crochet masks and one hat for those who want to be superheroes or want someone in their family to be a superhero for Halloween. Superheroes are found in literature, comic books/graphic novels, and in the movies. This gear represents heroes familiar to most everyone. You’ll find a key to the crochet patterns below the images.

crochet masks and hats for superheroes

  1. Thor Hat (Ravelry account required)
  2. Tolkien Dwarf or Viking (Ravelry account required)
  3. Batman Mask (two links) Pattern and Revisions/Updates
  4. Baby Ninja Turtle (Ravelry account required)
  5. Mad-Eye Moody Mask
  6. Captain America (Ravelry account required)

Crochet is so versatile. One can “sculpt” just about anything if they know a few crochet stitches and some shaping methods.

You still have time to crochet a mask as part of a Halloween costume. Get started today!

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Pumpkin Knitting Patterns

pumpkin knitting patternAutumn is here. Finally! Fall is my favorite season. I love the crisp air, the autumn colors, wearing sweaters, replacing sandals with shoes and socks, sleeping with the windows cracked, hearty soups and stews, and pies – especially pumpkin pie.

Autumn is also the perfect season to knit, wear knits, and decorate with knits. Here are six pumpkin knitting patterns (four are free and the other two are priced under $5.00). There are other patterns “out there in cyberspace,” but I thought these were the best looking.

All knitted pumpkin patterns are on Ravelry (login user name and password required).

Here is a key:

  1. Autumn Pumpkin
  2. Great Pumpkin
  3. Mini Felted Pumpkin
  4. Tosca Pumpkin
  5. Halloween Pumpkins
  6. Fall Pumpkin

 

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Pet Barrier – Make It Yourself

If you’re like me, you love pets, but you don’t like their hair and dirt all over the house. I wanted a solution! I looked at pet barriers in specialty pet catalogs; however, I didn’t find any tall enough to keep cats secluded to an area. Cats can climb or jump over almost anything.

Since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I started searching for materials that I could use to build my own pet barrier. I went to Home Depot and found everything I needed to build this 57.5″ tall x 135″ wide pet barrier.

pet barrier

If you want to build a pet barrier for your home, here is what you’ll need:
Trellis

  • Measuring tape – measure the area where you want to add your barrier. Remember, you’ll want the barrier to stand on its own; the total width of the pet barrier has to be larger than the width of the area you’re covering. You want a “folding screen.”
  • Trellises – these come in varying heights, widths, and patterns. Find what will work best for your project. I wanted something the cats could not climb through or jump over. I purchased 6 trellises that had legs.
  • Jigsaw – I used the Jigsaw to cut the legs off of each trellis. The blade has to be longer than the width of the leg.
  • Screwdriver – a power screwdriver is best. The job will be completed more efficiently with a power screwdriver.
  • Hinges – I used 3 hinges to attach one trellis to another. You want enough hinges to keep the pet barrier standing and make it easy to Hinge for Trellisfold. Also, you want hinges with at least 3 holes (for screws) on either side of the hinge. This will ensure that the hinges won’t pull away from the trellis.
  • Slideglides – I have wooden floors; therefore, I wanted something that would make it easy for me to adjust the pet barrier and protect my floor. After sawing the legs off each trellis, I added two slideglides to the bottom of each trellis panel.
  • Curtain hooks (used to hold back curtains) – I used these to hold the entire screen in place. Cats are smart. They quickly learned that they could push open the pet barrier with their noses or paws. I had to outsmart them and this solution worked. I attached the curtain hooks to wood molding. I could have attached them to the wall as well. If I had done that I would have used wallboard anchors.

slideglide

Once you have all of your materials and tools, you’re ready to build your pet barrier. It’s not complicated! The most important thing for you to do is make sure you attach the hinges as I’ve illustrated below. Don’t make the mistake of putting them all on the same side.

diagram

As I said earlier, I used 3 hinges to attach one trellis to another. I concentrated the hinges more toward the center rather than putting a hinge at the bottom, one in the center, and one on top. (You can kind of see this in the image at the top.) I used the measuring tape to distribute the hinges evenly across the entire pet barrier.

Well, that’s about it! I wish you success in your effort to build a pet barrier. It’s worth the time, money, and effort – your house will be cleaner and that will give you more time to yourself.

My kitties have a kitty door to the backyard and they run in and out of their special area all day long. I’ve heard no complaints.

curtain-hook

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