Let me go back to where this idea began. My love and I decided to check out a place called Wild Birds Unlimited, a really neat shop specializing in bird feeders, seed, baths, houses, and tons of other fun outdoorsy things like fountains and hanging whirligigs (it's a magical place to walk through and yes, I did just say whirligigs). We went in to purchase gifts for our grandmothers, and we did end up finding the perfect mother's day presents for them. But we also found lots of things we wanted. If I had the money, I'd drop hundreds there. But on this trip, I found one small item I had to have. It's squirrel food!
It was $7 for a pack of two corn logs. The only ingredient is "dry mature sweet corn flour", but it's really compressed. The squirrels haven't done a whole lot of damage to the one that we've had out for almost a month. But here's the problem: There were holders for these logs at the store, but they weren't particularly cute and they were a little pricey. There is a hole drilled in the middle of the logs, so we just wrapped ours in wire and hung it from a string. It doesn't look very attractive, but the squirrels don't seem to mind.
It makes me so happy to see them goin' to town on their new treat, but it's such an eyesore! I have a small balcony, and I think that anything taking up space should at least look nice. So I made up a craft project using materials I already had available.
Here is what you will need:
-3 bamboo grilling skewers
-14 marbles, stones, or glass gems in complementary colors
-fishing line or strong beading string
-craft wire (should be flexible for wrapping)
-super glue or other strong adhesive
-corn logs (if you want it to double as a squirrel feeder)
*Not all materials are pictured
1.) Wrap your stones in wire. Make a loop at the top and wrap the wire around itself. Wrap them as if you were making them into pendants. Make sure the wire is tightly pressed against every contour of the rock or they might fall out.
2.)Lay your bamboo skewers in a row and arrange the stones however you prefer them. I wanted mine to form a diamond shape, so I placed 4 on the top skewer, 6 on the middle, and 4 on the bottom.
3.)Using a long piece of fishing line or thin string (1-2 feet), tie a knot around the bamboo skewer. Wrap it around itself at least 10 times. Place your first stone on the string, attaching it to the bamboo skewer. Then continue to wrap on the other side of the stone. Wrap until you are nearly out of string, and then hold the string tightly and glue the entire wrapping of string across the back of the skewer. Use plenty of glue, covering every string and also on either side of the skewer. Hold the string tightly in place while the glue dries.
4.) Once the glue is secure enough to hold the wrapping (this is why I like super glue- it absorbs quickly), release the end of the string and trim near the glob of glue. Burn the excess string so that it singes up close to the wrapping. Add a dab of glue to the singed end. Repeat this with every stone until they are all securely wrapped and glued to the skewers.
5.) Allow the skewers and stones to dry for a while. You should have used plenty of glue, so it is a good idea to just let the glue harden before proceeding. Half an hour or so should be plenty if you used super glue.
6.) Trim off the ends of the bamboo skewers. You should leave about an inch of extra space on each end.
7.) Cut two long pieces of hemp twine. Tie your skewers together. If you want a diamond shape, you will have to arrange the skewers and the twine so that it will hang correctly. Make sure the sides are even with each other or the skewers be crooked while hanging. Tie the two strings together on the bottom and top.
8.) Glue the knots in the hemp. Make sure you rub the glue into the fiber and use plenty where the knots meet the skewers. Allow glue to dry.
9.) If you want yours to be a squirrel feeder, tie a keyring to the bottom strings of your suncatcher. I used a figure-8 keyring for easy removal. Hang your wire-wrapped corn log from the keyring. If you do not want the hungry-squirrel attachment, you will still need to hang something to weigh down the strings enough to form the bottom of the diamond. You may wish to wrap another stone and dangle it from the bottom. Other ideas are
- old cd's glued together so that it's shiny on both sides.
- pine cones
- a small hanging planter
- metal chimes