Finch Feeder


*Terra Cotta Polymer Clay
*clear straw just under 3/16" diameter
*20-22 gauge gold wire
*3/8" round cutter…Kemper tool or something of that size
*tacky glue
*celery seed
*stamping tool of some sort, optional for the top of feeder
*large sharp pin
*pencil with a never used eraser

A few hints before making feeder…
~I use a Corelle dinner plate to roll the clay out. Then I don't have to move the cut outs and they can be baked right on the plate. They do not loose their shape.
~It is just as easy to make several at a time as just one.
~Cut clean through the clay completely.
~Use sharp pointed tweezers for "hands" in making anything this small.

Getting started
*Roll out the terra cotta clay to a 1/8" thickness.
*Cut one circle using the 3/8" round circle tool.
*Cut another circle using the straw that you have for the cylinder of the feeder. This will be the lid.
*Peel up any excess clay around circles.
*I also make an impression for the top of the lid with a leather design stamping tool. You can stamp any design on the top if you wish…optional. Making the impression will make the lid slightly larger than the top of the straw so it is helpful to do this. If you do this, stamp before baking.
*Pierce a hole in the center of the smaller circle while on plate with a pin. It needs to be the size of the wire that you are using for the hanger. Twirl the pin around until you have the opening size of the wire. {you cannot do this after baking, as the clay will break}
*Slightly dampen the top of the eraser with water onto a damp washcloth. Press it into the very center of the larger circle making an impression deep enough that the sides of the clay start to rise a bit. That makes the dish for the bottom of the feeder.
*Bake according to package instructions and cool.
*Cut the clear straw into a 1" length. It is very important that you make both ends of the straw straight across and even. {Cut with sharp scissors}
*Lightly spread glue into the center of the larger circle right up to the lip edge.
*Place the straw end into the glue.
*Pour an excess amount of celery seed into the straw and let it overflow onto the "dish".
*Shake off excess amount. Let dry.
*Make a hanger for the top by rolling the wire around a toothpick forming a circle. Cut off excess on one side, leaving only a 1/16" straight wire down from the circle. {see illustration}
*Dab a little amount of glue on end of straight wire and insert into the terra cotta lid with the hole in center. Secure in place.
*Dab a small amount of glue around the top edge of the straw, enough for the lid to adhere. {I stick the tip of my finger in glue and gently dab onto top of straw.} Secure the lid to the top of the straw. Let dry.
*Cut 3 gold wires to about 5/16" length.
*Visually divide the straw into thirds. Start in the center and pierce a hole into the center of the straw and then being exactly straight and even, run though to the other side and pierce through. {You MUST be exactly straight and even, otherwise the wire will be at an angle. If you don't do it right the first time, you can do it again because an extra hole won't show.}
*Now add two more holes on opposite sides of the center hole. These also must be straight and even and divided up even from the center hole. Gently with tweezers, hole the wires and push them through the holes and all the way through to the other side. {see illustration}
*After you have all three wires in, clip them off with nail clippers to about ½" in length.
*You can secure them with a dot of glue under the wire and next to the straw if you wish.
*I use 'S' hooks to attach the feeders to the houses.
*Okay, make that Finch! And, no, I don't have instructions for birds.

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submitted by rosebuds


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Last modified: September 06, 2001