How to Make a Decorative Concrete BirdFeeder
Fun and Easy Hypertufa DIY Project Using Re-cycled 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.
Items required to complete this project
- An which has layers which can be separated from one another as shown below. acrylic 3 tier cake stand
- Mortar mix which contains cement and sand (10kg)
- Cement mix colorant (if required)
- Latex Gloves
- Spoon for mixing the cement
- Mask for covering mouth and nose to prevent cement poisoning
- Cooking spray, oil or plastic sandwich wrap which will act as a release agent.
- A large plastic mixing bowl
- Recycled belts or a piece of rope on which to hang your finished bird feeder
- 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.
- Cement mix color (if required)
I did not use the smaller cake stand layer in the end. I felt it a little too small for the purpose.
Mix the Sand and Cement as per the Packet Instructions.
- 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.
- Cover the surface of an old table (preferably outside) with a large black bag and assemble the required items together.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a protective mask to prevent yourself from getting cement poisoning.
- Put on a pair of latex gloves.
- 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.
- Combine the dry items thoroughly with a spoon or wooden spatula until they are well incorporated
- Pour a quantity of water into a well in the center of the sand and begin mixing the sand and cement together.
- 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.
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.
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.
Leave 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!
Threading the Feeders
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.
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.
Recycling, is it for the Birds?
Do you try to recycle items which can be used to help birds and animals in nature.
Basic Hypertufa Pots / How to make them
© 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen