Craft Ideas For Grandparents

Grandparents Making Crafts

Growing up, my paternal grandparents both enjoyed birds of all types, religiously watching the windows for anything that fluttered by with plumage. When we would visit them, the days were always joyfully packed full of crafts that my grandparents had kept on the schedule. Without a doubt, these projects always had something to do with their beloved birds. From Birdhouses to Popcorn Garland, my sister, my brother and I would hunker down and create crafts with my grandparents which left us with our favorite memories.

A birdhouse is a great craft idea for Grandparents!
A birdhouse is a great craft idea for Grandparents! | Source

Crafts Ideas for the Elderly to Choose From

Today I hope to offer you some craft ideas I shared with my own Grandparents. You will learn how to make a Birdhouse in 5 easy steps, create a Windowsill Bird Feeder Tray, as well as learning two ways to make Simple Bird Feeders for your own backyard. Each craft project will bring its own fascinating memory for you to cherish.

Here is the list of Bird Related Craft Projects:

A. How Grandpa' Makes a Birdhouse in 5 Easy Steps

B. How to Make an Simple Windowsill Tray Bird Feeder

C. How to Make Grandpa's Easy Nectar Bird Feeder for the Backyard

D. How to Make Grandma's Popcorn Garland Backyard Bird Feeder

Finished Birdhouse

Hang your finished birdhouse and watch as the birds set up house!
Hang your finished birdhouse and watch as the birds set up house! | Source

How Grandpa' Makes a Birdhouse in 5 Easy Steps

What you will Need to Make Your Birdhouse

  • ½'' (1.25cm) thick wood (pine is suggested)
  • Handsaw
  • White carpenter's Glue
  • Hand drill with a small (nail-sized) bit, and a 1'' (2.5cm) bit
  • 1'' (2.5cm) coated nails
  • Hammer
  • Varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • Eye screws or nails
  • Wire (for hanging)

Step #1- Cutting the Wood Pieces to Size

An easy to follow size chart for measuring the pieces of wood needed to make your birdhouse.
An easy to follow size chart for measuring the pieces of wood needed to make your birdhouse. | Source

Project Assembly Instructions

1). Precut the wood into pieces that Measure as follows:

  • 1 floor: 2½'' X 2½'' (6.25cm X 6.25cm)
  • 1 roof: 3'' X 3'' (7.5cm X 7.5cm)
  • 2 side walls: 3'' X 6'' (7.5cm X15cm)
  • 1 back wall: 2½'' X 6'' (6.25cm X 15cm)
  • 1 front wall: 3½'' X 6'' (8.75cm X 15cm)
  • 1 hanging strip: 1'' X 10'' (2.5cm X 25cm)

2). Drill the hole in the front wall

  • Drill the entrance hole (the birdie front door) 1'' (2.5cm) in the front wall. Place the hole in the a little above the center of the wood piece.

3). Drill air holes

  • With the small bit, drill 5 or 6 small air holes at the top on the back wall wooden piece. Space them evenly across the board. Now, drill 5 more holes into the floor piece so the birdhouse will have some drainage.

Picture by Picture Birdhouse Assembly Instructions [click to see full sized]

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Drilling the front door for your birdhouse and holes for air and drainage.Drilling the holes before nailing prevents the wood from splitting. The glue helps to secure the bond, and waterproof the birdhouse joints.Glue and nail the sides to the floor and back assembly. Then from the inside of the box, nail on the hanging strip.  Nail and glue the edges of the sides and floor. Then center the roof onto the top of the box's preglued edges then nail so that the roof overhangs in front.
Drilling the front door for your birdhouse and holes for air and drainage.
Drilling the front door for your birdhouse and holes for air and drainage. | Source
Drilling the holes before nailing prevents the wood from splitting. The glue helps to secure the bond, and waterproof the birdhouse joints.
Drilling the holes before nailing prevents the wood from splitting. The glue helps to secure the bond, and waterproof the birdhouse joints. | Source
Glue and nail the sides to the floor and back assembly. Then from the inside of the box, nail on the hanging strip.
Glue and nail the sides to the floor and back assembly. Then from the inside of the box, nail on the hanging strip. | Source
Nail and glue the edges of the sides and floor. Then center the roof onto the top of the box's preglued edges then nail so that the roof overhangs in front.
Nail and glue the edges of the sides and floor. Then center the roof onto the top of the box's preglued edges then nail so that the roof overhangs in front. | Source

How Much Do You Know About Backyard Birds?

4). Assemble the box

  • At each stage, my grandparents would have us drill starter holes for the nails using the drill. Then hammer in the nails to hold the pieces in place. This helped to prevent the wood from splitting and cracking.
  • Stand the back wall upright. Lay a bead of glue along one edge, and then nail one edge of the floor to the side of it.
  • Glue, then nail, the sides against the assembled back wall and floor.
  • From the inside of the box, nail the hanging strip down the outside of the back. Make sure to position it so it extends above and below the box. Twist an eye screw into each end (this is where the wire will attach the birdhouse to the tree).
  • Nail the front wall onto preglued edges of the sides and floor.
  • Run a bead of glue along the top edge (where the roof will be placed) at the the top of the box. Center and nail the roof on so that t covers the top completely, but overhangs the front door.

5). Completing and hanging your birdhouse

  • Varnish or paint your birdhouse. There was one strict rule my grandparents had when it came to painting or staining the birdhouses; only use natural colors!
  • To hang your birdhouse, run the wire around a pole or tree trunk (about 6' or 2m from the ground) and then run the wire through the eye screws several times to support the house.
  • Or, you can nail the birdhouse to a wooden post (about 6' or 2m from the ground) using the hanging strip and nails.

What you will Need to Make Your Windowsill Tray Bird Feeder

  • ¾'' (2cm) plywood or planks
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Handsaw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Two 1-foot (30-cm) "L" brackets with screws
  • Birdseed

Picture by Picture Windowsill Bird Feeder Assembly Instructions [click to see full sized]

Simple Picture by picture instructions for a windowsill bird feeder assembly.
Simple Picture by picture instructions for a windowsill bird feeder assembly. | Source

How to Make a Simple Windowsill Tray Bird Feeder

1). Choose the right window

  • My grandparents were always sure to choose the window carefully. It was always one that offered shelter and had trees close by (a balcony will work if you live in an apartment). Anywhere that the birds can perch is good.

2). Cutting the board

  • Cut a board a little longer than then length of your window and 1 ft. (30cm) deep.

3). Front edge strip

  • Cut a strip of wood the length of the first board and 2'' (5cm) wide. Nail it to one edge of the board.

4). End Pieces

  • Cut two end pieces 1 ft. X 1 ft. (30cm X 30cm) and nail them in place as shown.

5). "L" Brackets

  • On the bottom of the feeder tray, screw the "L" brackets 2'' (5cm) from each end.
  • My grandparents always helped us with attaching the "L" brackets. We would screw them into the wooden base of the windowsill.
  • Scatter your birdseed on the tray, and wait for the feathers to arrive!

Grandpa's Orange Nectar Bird Feeder
Grandpa's Orange Nectar Bird Feeder | Source

What You Need to Make a Citrus Nectar Bird Feeder

  • Oranges
  • Sharp Knife
  • Skewer (any sturdy long pointy tool)

How to Make Grandpa's Easy Nectar Bird Feeder for the Backyard

Orange Nectar Bird Feeder

This will attract hummingbirds, orioles, and other nectar feeders using the freshness of citrus fruits!

  1. Grandpa' or Grandmother would help us cut an orange in half.
  2. Then we would lay the orange on the cutting board cut side down.
  3. Poke a small hole in the orange's skin using a sturdy skewer or any pointy tool.
  4. Slide the orange onto a tree branch, or place the orange halves on the tray of your Windowsill Tray Feeder (see above).

This Orange Nectar feeder brings in birds of all kinds, but the most prominent feathered visitor will surely be those quick winged buzzing hummingbirds.

What You Need to Make a Popcorn Garland Bird feeder

  • Popped popcorn
  • Fine Needle
  • Polyester thread

Grandmother's Popcorn Garland Bird Feeder is the easiest craft of all!
Grandmother's Popcorn Garland Bird Feeder is the easiest craft of all! | Source

How to Make Grandma's Popcorn Garland Backyard Bird Feeder

This tempting treat was my Grandmothers favorite. So easy, but this twisted garland really brought the birds close to the house for a tasty treat. Use plain popcorn— even that stale or soggy popcorn from the night before works great. Grandmother taught us not to waste things!

  1. Thread a fine sized sewing needle with polyester thread and knot it a couple of times at one end.
  2. Carefully push the needle through the center of the popcorn kernel and pull the thread through until the knot touches the popcorn. Be sure to leave a little distance between each piece. For extra nourishment, my grandparents would have us alternate fresh cranberries with the popcorn.
  3. We would then wind the popcorn garland around a near by tree and step back and watch until the birds found it. Once they did, they returned to this feeder time and time again.

What You Think Really Does Matter!

Have you ever made crafts with your Grandparents, or Grandkids?

See results without voting

Before You Run Off to Make Your Craft Ideas for Grandparents...

Remember this; Raisins Are as Good as Worms!

When Winter Freezes the Worms Underground, what are the worm-eating birds supposed to do? Robins, who just love to eat worms, can't get to them once the hard cold ground has frozen for the winter. I remember that my Grandparents always came to the Robin's rescue during these cold months with a hand full of raisins. They would sprinkle a few around the fence top or other flat surface. These raisins kept the birds going until the warm weather arrived freeing those tasty worms!

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Comments for "Craft Ideas For Grandparents" 23 comments

princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 4 years ago

I am forwarding to some of the elderly folks I know. It will definitely bring a smile on their faces. And who knows, one of them may very well start tinkering with the idea of making Birdhouse for the garden!

Princesswithapen


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

ChatKath!! I just love seeing you in the HubHood, my friend! Your father sounds like a really wonderful person. I hope you find many hours of joy making and then watching your backyard feather guests. Thank you for brightening my day! (smiling big) I appreciate that you shared your thought here!

Huge HubHugs~


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 4 years ago from California

Wow, like you were reading my mind! My Father has been making these incredible little bird houses in his shop (with my niece & his granddaughter BTW)and the minute I saw, I wanted to make one myself! These ideas are right on cue k9 - I just needed a little guidance ;-)

There is nothing like the sound of birds to welcome spring!

Thanks so much for sharing this, voted up and useful!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

nifwlseirff~ I love cockatoos with their beautiful feathered crowns. I agree, they can be rather assertive birds! The only birds I can remember my grandparents having issues with were the bluejays and crows. They could really scare off the song birds when they would float in for a snack. With the Citrus feeder you will more than likely draw in hummingbirds! They just can't resist the stuff!

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts today!

HubHugs~


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Alissaroberts~ Thank you for leaving your comments. I truly appreciate your remarks. Thank you for the "up" votes, every little bit helps!

HubHugs~


nifwlseirff profile image

nifwlseirff 4 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

I adore your illustrations! I used to feed cockatoos (and any other bird who could brave the cockatoos), but they took a liking to ripping the wood around the verandah to pieces. I'd love to see some hummingbirds!


alissaroberts profile image

alissaroberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

Love these craft ideas! I'm sure these projects will make wonderful memories for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. I also love that you added your own drawings! Job well done - voted up, useful, and awesome!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Lady_E~ Thanks so much. I am always happy to see you had made it by and shared your thoughts.

HubHugs~


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Great ideas - it will keep them busy and motivated.

Thanks for the photos.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Thanks rebeccamealey~ I was a bit concerned that it would turn out too cheesy, but at the same time I wanted a retro feel, the whole grandparents theme and all...;) Thank you very much for the kind comments, I am grateful for your time!

HubHugs~


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I love your drawings. It really gives it (the Hub) a uniqueness that photos would not have. Very clever.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Global-Chica~ I miss NY, but have grown accustomed to California. I am so stoked that you enjoyed the hub, and that you find the instructions to be clear! It was a sweet romp with a few really great memories. Thank you for the wonderful remarks, I am grateful for the support.

HubHugs~


Global-Chica profile image

Global-Chica 4 years ago from New York, NY

K9keystrokes, what a wonderful hub you put together! I grew up in an apartment in NYC so I never had the pleasure of birdwatching from my window, especially in the backyard but your hub makes me want to try this because it gives so many awesome ideas to attract birds and such clear instructions that I think that the next time I go with my parents to our summer home in upstate NY, I'll give the Popcorn Garland Bird feeder or the orange feeder a try. Thanks for the idea!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Teresa~ You are so nice. Thanks for the wonderful feedback on the hub. I am thrilled that you liked the illustrations! They were quite time consuming, but fun to draw. I would love to know how any of them turn out should you decide to make one.

Interesting that your iPad had trouble with the quiz,...maybe something to mention to the HP staff if it happens regularly? Thank you for your votes, I appreciate the support very much.

HubHugs~


Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

K9keystrokes, fantastic hub. Your illustrations are wonderful and the thumbnail images for enhancing the instructions are a very nice touch . For some reason your quiz questions did not appear for me. Maybe a problem in using my IPad to view your hub. In any case I loved all of these projects and will definitely be putting them into use.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

ChaplinSpeaks~ Thanks so much for your enthusiastic review of the hub. I sure do appreciate the comments, it makes all of the work worth while!

HubHugs~


ChaplinSpeaks profile image

ChaplinSpeaks 4 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

Wow! What an amazing Hub! Awesome ideas, clear step-by-step instructions and beautiful drawings. Thank you for sharing.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Hi mary615~ Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts on the hub. To answer your question, yes. I did do the illustrations myself. I wanted that retro feel, which was residing in the "fond memory" section of my brain. Thank you for the votes! Very nice to see you here today btw.

HubHugs~


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

You really did an outstanding job with this Hub. I'm wondering: Did you illustrate the drawings yourself? i voted this UP, etc.etc.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

theclevercat, I am so glad you enjoyed the hub. I like Grandpa's Orange Feeder best because it's so simple, that just about anyone of any age to manage it. Thank you so much for sharing your comments.

HubHugs~


theclevercat profile image

theclevercat 4 years ago from Massachusetts

I really like this. The craft projects are not too time-consuming and I especially like that they relate to each other.

I never knew that about the raisins. I'm going to try this in the spring, along with the orange feeder! Voted up and beautiful.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

LOL! How funny...don't worry Cara, it is NOT an easy quiz! My grandfathers backyard during the fall and spring would look like a sea of oranges and popcorn. I seem to recall that jelly was in the mix somewhere as you mention. They would also spread penut butter and birdseed all over fallen pine cones and hand them from the trees. It was quite a sight for a little kid to take in. Thank you so much for stopping by!

HubHugs!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

Clearly I know NOTHING about birds since I only scored 1/5 LOL! I LOVE your illustrated steps, the quiz and the little extra tips. I've actually heard of the orange feeder and was going to try that this spring. I also heard to put grape jelly with the orange because the orioles love it.

My uncle has Hummingbird feeders in his yard and there are so many of them (2030 at a time). They buzz by yours ears and are not afraid of people at all. It's really neat to watch.

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