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Monday, July 5, 2010


Green Kids.  No, I don’t mean green with envy or what your kid looks like right before he hurls his cookies.  I’m talking about environmentally conscious kids.  Our kids are often the driving force in making us think green.  Crafting is a great way for the entire family to enjoy a reuse/repurpose/recycle activity beyond separating the glass, plastic, and newspapers for curbside pick-up.  So coax the kids away from the wii and spend an afternoon crafting.  Today I’ll show you how to make a milk carton birdhouse or bird feeder.  Check back often for other family crafting activities.


clean, empty half-gallon milk or juice carton
compass and pencil
hammer and nail
1/8” dowel or twig, 3” - 4” in length
wooden bead to fit dowel or twig
craft knife
weatherproof white acrylic primer
weatherproof acrylic paint in colors of choice
weatherproof acrylic varnish
tacky glue
scraps of colored paper
3 spring type clothespins
narrow plastic cording (the kind for making lanyards)
dry pasta, popsicle sticks, buttons, cereal, etc.

1.  Lightly sand carton.

2.  Glue the carton closed, holding together with clothespins until glue sets.

3.  With hammer and nail, make two small holes in top flap for hanging loops. (Adult should do this.)

4.  Using compass and pencil, draw a 2-1/4” circle centered approximately 2” above base of carton on one side.  Using craft knife, poke a small hole 3/4” below circle.

5.  Using craft knife, cut out large circle.

6.  Poke dowel or twig through small hole.  Secure by gluing wooden bead onto dowel inside the bird house.

7.  Apply a coat of primer to carton and dowel.  (Twig can be painted or remain unpainted.)  Paint in desired colors.  Allow to dry between each coat.  (Note: if using roofing materials that require painting, glue them to top of carton before painting.)

8.  Glue dry pasta, popsicle sticks, buttons, cereal, or other materials to top of carton for roof.

9.  Cut shapes from colored paper and glue to sides of birdhouse.  Other materials may also be used (pictures from magazines, stickers, buttons, pasta, ribbon, scraps of wrapping paper, colored yarn dipped in glue, etc. Use your imagination!)

10.  Apply several coats of varnish to entire bird house for protection, allowing to dry between coats.

11.  Thread plastic lacing through holes on top for hanging.

12.  Birdhouse can become bird feeder by filling with birdseed.

What are you doing to make sure your family thinks green?  Let's hear from you. Anyone who posts a comment this week will be part of the drawing to win a book from out Friday Book Club guest author. 

Also, Lois Winston, my author, has several designs in the August issue of  The Cross Stitcher. Check out her "America the Beautiful" sampler, "Life is Measured" pillow, and "Parrots" designs. -- AP