Our maternal Grandparents, who now reside in Heaven, were the King and Queen of recycling long before it became a part of our social culture. But back then, when we were kids, it wasn't necessarily referred to as "recycling" - my Grandparents just called it "being practical". In their love-filled home, nothing ever went to waste - and I mean nothing!
You see, my Grandparents grew up in the 1920's and times were tough. My Grandmother came from an all Irish family and family lore has it that our Grandmother's Great-Great-Great Grandparents came over from Ireland because they were banished by their parents. As all poignant love stories go, he was a Gentleman and she was a farmer's daughter. Needless to say, his parents were horrified at the union and shipped them off to America with only a feather bed to call their own. One day, I will sit down with Ancestry.com and check out the legend, but until then, it's a cool story, don't you think?
My Grandfather's side also immigrated into the United States, but they were from Poland. When we was growing up, his family members still spoke fluent Polish and he used to tell us stories about how he had to speak it at home in order to communicate with his older relatives. Somewhere along the way, Pop-Pop met Grandma and they fell in love - and the rest is history.
However, since they both came from families with limited means, they knew that they wanted more for their own children - and set about "being practical" right from the get-go. When developments started to be built on Long Island - they bought a "very practical" Mother-Daughter house for $22,000. I still laugh over the purchase price of their house! They paid off their mortgage many years before they passed away, and gifted the house to our Uncle and our Mom; thanks to their "practicality", their children will always have a mortgage-free home to live in for the rest of their lives. Isn't that amazing?
But, I digress, so back to my original story. As kids, we definitely thought our Grandparents were weird. I mean Grandma saved everything and everything had its place. She wasn't a hoarder by any means because she actually used everything she saved. If there was an empty glass condiment jar, it got washed and reused to store buttons, paper clips, bobby pins, nails, crayons, etc. If there were scraps of fabric leftover from one of Grandma's many sewing projects, they went into the scrap bin to patch clothes or for us to use when we were learning how to sew. And those round blue tins that the cookies she loved came in - yep, they were reused too - to hold millions and millions of buttons and coins. As I said, they were the King and Queen of recycling.
So it's not all that surprising that I've become more and more like our Grandparents as I get older. And I really enjoy finding ways to reuse something that is no longer deemed necessary to others. This is where the inspiration for many of our crafts comes into play. So how on Earth does this story circle back to our Recycled Bolthouse Bottle Birdfeeders?!
Well, we drink a lot of Bolthouse juices and smoothies around here. On any given day, there are at least 3, 32 ounce bottles, in all different flavors, opened and half-empty in our fridge. Every member of our family has their favorites, but our tops include: Passion Orange Guava (which my kids love screaming out in the grocery store in a ridiculous voice), Strawberry Banana, Blue Goodness®, and Amazing Mango®. With all of these bottles kicking around in our recycling bin, I thought there had to be something else I could do with them.
So this is how the Recycled Bolthouse Bottle Birdfeeders came to be. This Kids' Craft is definitely a craft for little ones to do with their caregivers, or for an older child to do with supervision. The recyclable plastic bottles are pretty thick - I needed to use my craft scissors to puncture through the bottle - and this is just too tricky (and dangerous) for little hands to do.
However, little ones can also get in on the fun - my crew loved seeing how a flat piece of paper turned into a makeshift cone (aka: a funnel) to pour the birdseed into the bottle opening, they were in charge of running back and forth to the mudroom to get cups of seeds, and they also picked out where the birdfeeder would go (in the middle of a thick shrub that has a partial opening that can only be seen from the playroom window - I'm not kidding!).
RECYCLED BOLTHOUSE BOTTLE BIRDFEEDERS
Step 1: Wash your bottle thoroughly with warm soap and water; rinse and dry.
Step 2: For each wooden spoon, you will need to make two holes to poke the wooden spoon all the way through the plastic bottle. The first hole should be slightly lower than the second hole so that the spoon will tip ever-so-slightly downwards to enable the birdseed to flow onto it. (See main picture above.)
Step 3: Using a craft scissor, carefully poke through the first circle into the bottle. Once the scissor is through the bottle, cut out a rectangle that is the same width as the widest point of your spoon. This is where the spoon "head" will sit in the bottle and collect birdseed. You will need to cut out a small triangular area on top of this rectangle to allow the birdseed to fall onto the spoon.
Step 4: Before cutting out your second hole, stick the end of wooden spoon through the first hole to make sure that your second hole is lightly above your first entry hole. I did this outside so I could see through the bottle. Once you've made sure your alignment is correct, remove the spoon, and carefully poke through the second circle into the bottle. Once the scissor is through the bottle, simply twist the scissor round and round to create a smooth hole. You may need to insert a slightly bigger scissor to increase the dimension of the hole based upon how big your wooden spoon is.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 2-4 for the second wooden spoon.
Step 6: Using your craft scissors, carefully create two holes up by the neck of the bottle using the "poke-twist-and-turn" method described in Step 4. These holes will be where you thread your twine through the bottle so it can hang from a branch.
Step 7: Cut a long enough piece of twine so that you can hang the bottle with ease. Then thread your twine through the neck holes and insert the wooden spoons into their holes. Using a funnel (or a piece of paper), carefully fill the bottle with birdseed. Replace the cap and hang somewhere special!
Do you have a recycled bottle craft that you would like to share? Have you made something similar? Then by all means, please leave the link in our comments section below so we can drop by your blog and take a look-see!