Last week, the milkman delivered a free sample of Orangina. The children were excited. They liked the idea of fizzy orange. A rare treat. I liked the idea, but not as much as I liked the shape of the sample bottle. It was just perfect.
I waited until the children had divided the sample between them and then I sprang. Whisking the bottle away before it could be turned into a science bottle, as one of children suggested. I was going to use it for a wet felting project. If you follow me on Instagram, then you will have already seen the results.What you need to make a felted bird feeder
* wool to felt – I used a mixture of jacobs sheep and merino
* soap – I love the olive oil soap
* old pair of tights – just need one leg
* hot water in a bowl or jug
* an interesting bottle, or something similar, to felt around.
A quick guide to making a felted bird feeder
- Wrap the wool around the bottle, so it covers the whole bottle. Use a bit of the water to dampen it and start to hold it together. The more layers you add the thicker the walls of the feeder.
- Put the wool wrapped bottle carefully into the toe of the tights.
- Dunk the whole of it into the bowl of water to soak it, and lift out.
- Use the soap to rub all over the bottle.
- Using your hands, rub the wool to felt it. This will take a while and become very soapy.
- Repeat steps 3 to 5 until the wool is felted.
- Take the bird feeder out of the tights.
- Make an arched slit and pull out the bottle. This will become the opening for the feeder.
- Wash the soap completely out of the bird feeder.
- optional: to felt the feeder more, pack it with something like a tennis ball or netting to keep the shape and put it back in the toe of the tights. (make sure that whatever you put in the feeder will survive the wash and not damage the washing machine) Tie a knot in the tights to keep it from slipping out and put in the washing machine. I throw it in with an ordinary wash and set the temperature to 40°.
- Once washed, remove the feeder from the tights. Remove the tennis ball, etc and dry the feeder.
- Add a loop at the top for easy hanging.
One of the advantages of the felted feeders is that they can be thrown in the wash when they need it. They will change, but that is the beauty of something organic.
I hope the birds will like the new feeder. I’ll certainly try and get a photo when they do. We’ve run out of bird seed, so I used a seed ball. The opening was too big. I’ve added a bit of twine to reduce the size of the gap. It looks pretty good hanging in the hawthorn. I’m keen to make a few more in different colours. I think they will look fun hanging around the garden. What do you think?