How Does Your Garden Grow? (Continued)
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How to Make Your Own Birdhouse
Coffee Can Bird Feeder
These are incredibly easy to make—and you’re recycling materials, too! Just cut off the bottom half of a coffee can with a snap lid. Cut a hole in that lid and another snap lid, just off-center and about an inch and a half across. Pass a wire through the can and then snap the lids onto either end. Punch a small hole in the can so that any water that might get in will drain. Decorate the can however you like, with paint or other materials that can withstand the weather. Fill with sunflower seeds and hang!
First, you’ll have to prepare your gourd. Find one that you like and make sure its diameter is 10 to 14 inches and its walls are at least a quarter inch thick. Soak it in hot, soapy water for at least 30 minutes and then scrub it clean. Hang to let dry.
Create the door to the birdhouse by drilling a hole approximately two and a half inches in diameter. Now you’ll be able to reach in and clean out the seeds. Add a small hole in the bottom for drainage and a hole at the top of the neck, from which you can hang the birdhouse with some wire.
Copper sulfate will help to preserve the gourd. You can get this at a local hardware store and follow the directions for how to make it. Soak the gourd in the mixture for 15 minutes and then let it dry. Once you’ve done that, you can paint the gourd however you like, hang it outside, and watch the birds flock to it.
How to Make Your Own Wind Chime
First, assemble your materials:
• a silver-plated serving dish to use as a mounting plate (nothing too big or too heavy)
• forks, spoons, and knives (make sure you like the look of them and that they make nice sounds when they strike each other)
• heavy monofilament line
• stainless steel link chain
• four small stainless steel “S” hooks and one larger “S” hook
• one sixteenth-inch drill bit
• safety goggles
Mark four points—a sharp nail works for this—around the edge of the mounting plate at noon, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. Put on your safety goggles and drill holes with your drill bit where you made marks.
Tie the monofilament line to the plate and the larger “S” hook. Cut the chain into four six-inch pieces and attach one end of each piece to the smaller “S” hooks around the edge of the plate and the other ends to the larger “S” hook.
Drill a series of holes in three concentric circles around the plate. Each circular pattern should have enough holes for each piece of silverware you have.
Drill a hole in the handle of each piece of silverware. Slip a piece of monofilament through the hole and tie a knot. Pass the other end of the filament through a hole in the plate. Arrange your silverware any way you want, but only temporarily tie the piece for now—so keep the knots loose. Do this for all the utensils. Then check the chime for balance, and make sure the utensils will strike each other when the wind blows. This may take some patience and even a few new holes in the plate. When it’s just as you want it, secure all loose knots, hang, and listen to your garden sing!
Jacqueline Heinze is a contributing editor at Scholastic Administr@tor.