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Easy DIY HypertufaProject/Make a Decorative BirdFeeder

Updated on February 22, 2017

Hypertufa decorative hanging Bird Feeder

Starling feeding youngster
Starling feeding youngster | Source
Blue tit takes flight from the bird feeder
Blue tit takes flight from the bird feeder | Source
Hungry Baby Starling
Hungry Baby Starling | Source
Pesky little Squirrel stealing the bird food
Pesky little Squirrel stealing the bird food | Source

Ready-mix mortar hanging bird feeder.

Mortar mix hanging bird feeder with attached recycled men's waist belts
Mortar mix hanging bird feeder with attached recycled men's waist belts | Source

Fun and Easy Hypertufa DIY Project using recycled items

A chance find can sometimes result in one doing a project like this one. Creativity is sometimes born. when by chance you happen on that perfect something which you know is just the thing to help you create that thing you have dreamed about making for so long.

The plastic cake stand sitting in the window of a Charity Shop had my name on it even before I had walked across the threshold, The corded men's fashion belts were found a week later in another thrift shop. They are the perfect compliment for my mortar mix hanging bird, feeders.

There are many recipe's for making Hypertufa Pots. For additional strength. you may like to add fibers to the mix or perlite to make it even lighter. There are many recipe's which can be found online. Experiment until you find the one which works best for you.

Plastic Cake Stand

Plastic cake stand with stacking shelves
Plastic cake stand with stacking shelves | Source

Separate layers of the Cake Stand

Separate layers of the plastic cake stand.
Separate layers of the plastic cake stand. | Source

Items required to complete this project

  1. A plastic cake stand which has layers which can be separated from one another as shown below.
  2. Mortar mix which contains cement and sand (10kg)
  3. Cement mix colorant (if required)
  4. Latex Gloves
  5. Spoon for mixing the cement
  6. Mask for covering mouth and nose to prevent cement poisoning
  7. Cooking spray, oil or plastic sandwich wrap which will act as a release agent.
  8. A large plastic mixing bowl
  9. Recycled belts or a piece of rope on which to hang your finished bird feeder
  10. Many home improvement stores carry ready-to-mix cement in bags, They come many different weights and sizes. I used nearly ten kilos for the two layers. The thickness of the cement was approximately half an inch.
  11. Cement mix color (if required)

Things you will need for this Project

Things you will need for this project
Things you will need for this project | Source

Cake stand layers covered in cling wrap

Cover layers with cling wrap or grease with Cook and Spray or Cooking Oil.
Cover layers with cling wrap or grease with Cook and Spray or Cooking Oil. | Source

Note

I did not use the smaller cake stand layer in the end. I felt it was a little too small for my purpose.

Mix the sand and cement as per the packet instructions.

  1. Separate the cake stand layers from each other. Cover the interior of each layer of the cake stand with plastic wrap or alternatively spray with Spray and Cook or grease with cooking oil.
  2. Cover the surface of an old table (preferably outside) with a large black bag and assemble the required items together.
  3. Cover your nose and mouth with a protective mask to prevent yourself from getting cement poisoning.
  4. Put on a pair of latex gloves.
  5. Pour the building sand from the bag into a large plastic container and add to this, the contents of the small bag of cement inside the bag to the building sand.
  6. Combine the dry items thoroughly with a spoon or wooden spatula until they are well incorporated
  7. Pour a quantity of water into a well in the center of the sand and begin mixing the sand and cement together.
  8. Continue adding the water until you have a consistency which is smooth but not wet or runny. Add just only enough to make it workable.


Kitchen Utensils

Avoid using your kitchen utensils when doing this project. If you do, they should not be used again for cooking. Rather wash them and keep them clean and dry for the next project.

Cement Mix and essential utensils

Cement mix and utensils
Cement mix and utensils | Source

Add water to the cement mix

Add water to the mortar mix
Add water to the mortar mix | Source

Smooth out the layers of mortar mix

Smooth out the mortar mix on the cake stand and leave to dry.
Smooth out the mortar mix on the cake stand and leave to dry. | Source

Smooth out the Mortar

Smooth out the mortar using a spoon and then if required brush with a small brush.

I used an old pastry brush for a little texture. Later when the layer was dry I used a small sanding block to smooth out smooth some of the edges and remove a little of the texture. You could if desired incorporate small pieces of mosaic etc.,

I prefer a more natural stone effect.

Avoid covering the top section of the cake stand. Keep it free of cement so that you have a nice clean hole through which the belts can be threaded through.

One layer with the plastic and mold removed from it

Separate the plastic cake stand from the cake stand and leave to dry to a week or two.
Separate the plastic cake stand from the cake stand and leave to dry to a week or two. | Source

Leave it to dry for 24 hours

Allow the layers to dry. 24 Hours and then remove the plastic mold from the base.

Allow the layers cure for a further 1 to 2 weeks before doing anything further to the project.

Place the layers outside under a sheet of heavy plastic and occasionally wet them and leave to dry under the plastic.

When the layers have been fully cured, smooth out any rough edges with a sanding block as I did or simply use them as they are.

Add a corded belt or jute rope to the bird feeders for a natural look as shown in these images.

Attaching the belts

The belts were purchased from a thrift shop for £2 each. I never planned on using belts for this project until I saw them hanging up in a shop. I knew immediately that they would work very well. The color was perfect and the studs added a little interest to the project.

I am quite sure that even the birds in our neighborhood are chirping in wild approval!

The larger of the 2 hanging bird feeders

Getting ready to thread a belt through the larger of the two feeders I made
Getting ready to thread a belt through the larger of the two feeders I made | Source

2 of 2 Hanging Bird Feeders and fabric belts

2 of 2 Hanging Baskets waiting to have the belts threaded through the holes
2 of 2 Hanging Baskets waiting to have the belts threaded through the holes | Source

Threading the efeders

Take the end of one belt through one hole from the underneath through to the top and then back down again.

Thread one end through the buckle and then draw the tie ends evenly through to the top so that the feeders can be hung over a hook or tree.

If you hang it on a branch you may have to thread the buckle when the feeder is still wrapped over the branch.

The underneath side of one feeder

Threading the belt through the hole
Threading the belt through the hole | Source

The top side of a feeder

One of two hanging bird feeders
One of two hanging bird feeders | Source

The underside with the buckle fastened

Close detail of the buckle when it is fastened
Close detail of the buckle when it is fastened | Source

Close detail of the larger layer

Detail of the buckle when fastened
Detail of the buckle when fastened | Source

Close detail on the larger of the 2 hanging bird feeders

Detail of the completed hanging bird feeder
Detail of the completed hanging bird feeder | Source

The completed hanging bird feeder

Thecompleted hanging bird feeder
Thecompleted hanging bird feeder | Source

A few little birds enjoying the hanging bird feeder

Blue tit landing
Blue tit landing | Source
Great tit
Great tit | Source

One Year Later!

One year later and this little Jenny Wren can be seen using the bird table as a pedestal to get to the nest which he is building in the wall of one in my hanging baskets which I made last year http://hubpages.com/living/How-to-Make-Cheap-Hanging-Basket-Liners-from-thick-Woolen-Sweaters

Little Jenny Wren carrying nesting material to the hanging basket.

Jenny wren carrying some nesting material from the feeder to one of my hanging baskets.
Jenny wren carrying some nesting material from the feeder to one of my hanging baskets. | Source

Recycling, is it for the Birds?

Do you try to recycle items which can be used to help birds and animals in nature.

See results

Basic Hypertufa Pots / How to make them

© 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen

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    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 5 months ago from Kuwait

      You are most welcome dear! ☺

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 5 months ago from Kuwait

      You are most welcome! ☺

      Looking after birds in this way, is a great deed and work of appreciation. God bless you!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 5 months ago from Norfolk

      Thank you @SakinaNasir53 I appreciate your stopping by to comment. Glad you liked this idea:)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 5 months ago from Kuwait

      This is amazing! I just love the idea. ☺

      Great job with the detailed tutorial. Love your hubs Sally! So creative! ☺

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 11 months ago from Norfolk

      Glad you liked the bird feeder. The birds and pesky squirrels are still enjoying their feeding tables. I think they are pretty content with their lot.

      Thank you so much for the taking the time to comment and also for sharing this hub.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 11 months ago from United States

      Wow, this is ingenious. I was supposed to attend a hypertufa workshop about making pots but missed it. I think, though, they used molds. This looks much "neater" than a mold. And it stands up to a chubby squirrel! Wonderful. Shared.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 13 months ago from Norfolk

      Eiddwen

      Thanks Eddy you are very welcome.

      Sally

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 13 months ago from Wales

      A great hub and thank you so much for sharing Sally . We love feeding the birds so this will be very useful.

      Eddy.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 21 months ago from Norfolk

      DDE

      Hi Devika,

      So nice of you to stop by. You have been missed. So glad you like the images. Thanks too for the vote up and useful.

      Best wishes,

      Sally.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 21 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The photos are amazing! Voted up and useful!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      MartieCoetser

      You are welcome, I hope you enjoy making yours.

      Sally

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      What a brilliant idea, Sally! I have just the place to hang out a bird feeder. Thanks for the tip :)

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      D.A.L. I am so pleased to hear that you liked this one. I enjoyed doing this one and I loved taking the photos of the chick feeding. I also hope that you health is improving!

      Thanks for the vote up interesting, tweet and share. All are much appreciated.

      Sally

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 2 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Sally fantastic article and a great money saving tip. Great that things can be made in this way. Love the shot of the Starling feeding the chick. Voted up,useful and interesting,tweeted and shared.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Suzie HQ

      Glad you enjoyed this one. I think that best thing about this feeder is that it has given me the opportunity to photograph the birds which visit the garden. It has been amazing, especially with all the little chicks beginning to hatch.. Watching the birds has become quite addictive. I am able to put my tripod up outside the kitchen window and when I spot something interesting I can remotely click the camera. It has given me so much fun. You might be able to put one outside your window on a bracket!

      Thanks so much for the vote up +++++ all the way!

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Sally,

      Wow, what a fantastic idea, one that is new to me! I never heard of this before but adore it. You are so gifted in making things, re-purposing and being so darn creative! Well done love the one you did and excellent instructions and pics making it so doable. Love to try this and even for those of us without the space for a bird feeder( I am in an apartment and very restricted with what I can put up) what a great gift idea! My brother has a big garden with some trees and plenty of space so they would love this! Thanks again, votes Up +++++ all the way!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Diana Lee

      I don't envy you having bears in the neighbourhood. I can't imagine coming across one of those. Safety comes first and I think you are wise not to feed the birds when they are likely to come scrummagin'.

      Thank you for the visit and the vote up, it is appreciated.

      Sally

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 2 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I love this idea. I feed the birds in the winter months, but because of our bear population these past couple of years I can no longer feed them come spring. Birds are very fun to watch. Voted up.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      vocalcoach

      So glad you enjoyed this DIY Project. I very much enjoyed writing and photographing it. Thank you so much for the share and the high praise.

      Sally

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Outstanding DIY project for Hanging Bird Feeders. Your photos are vivid and a big help for seeing each step along the way. Will share and thank you Sally.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Ilonagarden

      I think even a child could make this one and the birds are enjoying it too.

      I appreciate your visit and the comment, thank you.

      Sally.

    • Ilonagarden profile image

      Ilona E 2 years ago from Ohio

      This was quite a unique way to make garden hypertufa. I've seen a number of instructions, but his one looks as easy as promised for a bird feder!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Faith Reaper

      I am so pleased you liked it, as much as I loved doing it, especially the photography. Those greedy little critters have stolen my heart.

      Editors Choice would be nice - especially for this one as this is one of my favorites:) HOTD - well, we can only wait and see.

      Thanks so much for the very special comment, thanks so much for the Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing, it means a lot to me.

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Sally, this is a great project, so creative! This is right of my alley, with the repurposing, recycling and/or upcycling ...no matter what it is called, I love it. I do like the aesthetically pleasing aspect of using the belts, plus the recycling aspect even more.

      I must say, your photos are great, especially that first one. You caught a perfect shot there!

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      Looks like another Editor's Choice/HOTD in the making here

      Thank you for sharing this creative project!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      AudreyHowitt

      If you enjoy watching and photographing the birds which arrive on your feeder it will be well worth it. I am getting so much pleasure from watching their coming and going's.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment.

      Sally

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Very cool project! I am dying to try this out!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      FlourishAnyway

      Glad you like the bird feeder. I confess I am not only crafty but thrify too, I love recycling things. Why pay for new when you don't have to? :)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it as always.

      Sally.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      You are one crafty lady, Sally! The birds must love you! Excellent instructions as always and I like the recycled/upcycled nature of this.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      AliciaC

      Glad you enjoyed this tutorial. I enjoyed doing something different from felting and I am enjoying photographing the birds on their new feeder. I hope to post some photos as soon as I can.

      Your visit and comment are appreciated, thank you.

      Sally

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      torrilynn

      I did enjoy doing this project and the birds are enjoying using their feeder. Thank you for taking the time comment.

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a great project. I love your creativity! "Hypertufa" is a new word for me. I appreciate the education and the instructions for making the lovely bird feeder.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 2 years ago

      This seams like a cool and fun thing to do, in order to pass time. Really great instructions that you have in this hub as well. nice work. Best of wishes.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Dolores Monet - I guess there are many recipe's, some include fibers and some Perlite or Vermiculite. I think the next time I experiment I will use these substances. I am sure they will make the mortar stronger and also lighter in weight. A family member makes some beautiful vessels with them and recommends adding them to the building sand and cement.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment. It is appreciated.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I love the birdfeeder. A couple of years ago, I was making stepping stones from cement molded with large leaves. So I know that it can be fun to work with. But I thought hypertufa was cement with something else added. I did that too but it all fell apart.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I would had made this bird feeder if there aren't any black crows here! I can't see any sparrows nor pigeons around. Only black crows hunting for my hangers!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      mary615

      The weight of the concrete had no effect on the cake stand molds and the concrete feeders were easily removed after twenty-four hours leaving the molds ready for use for another occasion. The belts are very strong and could be substituted with leather ones should they perish. Jute rope used in boating would look aesthetically pleasing and could be replaced as they age. I am afraid that wire has no aesthetic appeal for me. I am also keen to use recycled items when I can, even if they don't last as long. I very much appreciate you taking the time to comment and for providing some of your own valuable experience for us to share.

      Thank you for voting this UP etc. and for sharing it.

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I have made many bird feeders using cement, but this is a new one for me! I can't help but wonder if the weight of the concrete would break the plastic of the cake stands?? May I suggest using thin wire for a hanger rather than the belt? I'm thinking the belt will decay after a while. I had that experience when I made plant hangers from jute.

      Voted this UP, etc. and shared.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      randomcreative

      I have to agree, the feeder does has some aesthetic appeal and as a first project it think it turned out rather well. I very much enjoyed putting this project together.

      Thanks for visiting this Hypertufa project.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      What a unique bird feeder! I love the aesthetic. Thanks as always for putting together such a detailed tutorial.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      MsDora,

      Lucky you, you are going to have a treat watching them come and go. A pair of blackbirds had three little ones two weeks on our verandah after making a beautiful nest at the top of a ladder which had been stood there for a few days. Sadly the wind came and blew the nest and the little ones onto the verandah floor just a week after they were born. I notice that she began another nest elsewhere a few days later. Life can be so cruel and the little birds often need as much help as we can give them in order to survive. You could consider making a little dish for water for them. You could add a waterproofer to that bowl, bought from a hardware store.

      I hope you have lots of fun creating your feeder.

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Birds made a nest in my hedge last week, and I actually thought of getting a bird feeder. Have to look again at this one. Voted Up!

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      aesta1

      Nice to know that you enjoy the birds as much as I do. The squirrels can be pesky little nuisances and as a result I stopped feeding them peanuts. I now let the neighbours feed them nuts whilst I try to give the birds something which does not encourage the squirrels. I guess I like looking at them but they can be such greedy little devils

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

      Sally

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Glimmer Twin Fan

      Glad you enjoyed this project. I certainly did and I know that our little-feathered friends in the garden are enjoying their new feeder. Hypertufa is a great word. I love it.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by to comment.

      Sally

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a great idea. We are at the Cottage now and the birds are just having a feast at our feeders. We do spend a lot on bird feed as the squirrels share them, too. But in early Spring, they do need some help.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      I love this project. What could be better than recycling and feeding our feathered friends at the same time. I also love that I learned a new word today! Hypertufa. Thanks!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      DJ Anderson

      Super comment. I love that you enhance the quality of my hubs just by gracing them with your presence.

      The little beggars are the ones responsible for making me do this project. The darn Starlings are eating us out of house and home. The little red breasted Robin got sick of sharing so I thought I would give him his own patch, hence this upmarket bird table, made especially for him and his more delicate friends to share. Oh yes, I am familiar with those fancy taste buds, they have me making them homemade fat balls filled with peanut butter, bird seed, suet and oats but who cares. they bring me so much pleasure.

      I hope you have a wonderful week DJ

      Sally

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      billybuc

      Lovely to think of you having your weekends off Billy and I do recommend that you stick to your guns and continue in the same vein. I won't mind. I should have waited until Monday to publish this, but I knew that it would not have the time.. This was a fun project and I hope yours turns out as well as mine did. This one definitely has some sex appeal and looks so very nice in my little garden.

      Thank you for your continued support, Billy, it means a lot to me.

      Sally

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      My goodness, Sally. You must have some highfalutin birds in the UK.

      Have you thought this through? This means that you are going to be

      expected to feed the little beggars, every day! I have seen this before.

      You start out being really nice and give them some bird seed. Then,

      after a week or so, they want water 'because the seeds are dry'.

      The next thing you know, they will be knocking on your door asking for

      crumpets and tea. They can be demanding little critters........kind of reminds me of small children. When my kids were really small, I had to put locks on all the doors. And, damn! They always found their way back into the house! :-)

      Super hub!

      Have a great day, my friend!!

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I rarely comment on weekends nowadays, but I'll always make an exception for you. You are so clever with your ideas. We are in the process of building another aviary for our backyard and this idea will fit in quite nicely. Thank you for such a practical solution.

      bill

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      purl3agony

      Hello, Hypertufa is the word used which covers this craft rather than cement which remains is not left on the containers. The containers are removed leaving the cement base behind. You could make containers, boxes etc., to house your plants and reuse them next time. The containers are retained and used again next time. I appreciate the comment and the visit. Thank you so much

      Sally

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Sally - I've never heard of Hypertufa feeders, but I love the idea of recycling objects into feeders for birds. When I was a kid, we used to make bird feeders out of plastic soda bottles at school. However, the squirrels would eat through them in no time. I assume covering your items with cement will remedy that problem. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing another great hub!

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      poetryman6969

      Glad you enjoyed this one enough to keep it and my goodness, learned a new word! This was a very rewarding project to do. The birds discovered it this morning, but I have yet to get a photo release from them!

      Thanks for the vote up. Your visit is valued and appreciated.

      Sally

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Very crafty. Voted up. I like the detailed instructions. I think this one is a keeper.

      I learned a new word too: hypertufa. Bonus points!

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