10 Minute Dollar Store Bird Feeder

10 min dollar store silver platter bird feeder

Mother’s day is right around the corner and I’ve been contemplating gift ideas for my mom this year. Like the majority of people I know, they’re working on a budget and my story is no different. I want to give her something that she’ll adore, but let’s be real it has to be reasonably priced.

Even though she deserves her own yacht in the Mediterranean.

It being spring and all I decided that a bird feeder would be the best way to go. Here are Some Reasons Why

1. Homemade gifts are freaking awesome when you are trying to save $$$.
2. This project is super easy.
3. There are hardworking bird moms that need easy weekday meals just like us.

Real talk people, real talk. Anyways my mom and I enjoy being outdoors and observing nature so it fits. I went to the Dollar Tree and found a super cute oval silver platter that would make a superb bird feeder.

I traveled to Walmart and picked up some thin twine so I could hang up the bird feeder. Obviously the silver platter was only a $1 plus tax. The twine ran me just under $4 if I remember correctly.

I spent under $6 dollars for this! Six dollars! It would be hard to find a half way decent bird feeder at a thrift store for that price.

Dollar store silver platter and twine

This bird feeder turned out perfect. It took 10 minutes of my time to make, if that. If you’re in need of a Mother’s day gift idea or gift idea in general, here’s how I made mine.

Tools for the Dollar Store Bird Feeder

Platter-mallet-mechanic pick

I used a mallet and mechanic pick for this bird feeder. An awl is another great option for hole punching. I had a mechanic pick on hand so that’s what I used. The dollar store platter was thin enough to easily punch holes in to string my twine through.

Punching Holes

This part was a little scary because I didn’t want to destroy this silver platter. The silver platter was cheap and I was nervous that any amount of pressure might awkwardly dent it. However, I gave it a try anyway and to my surprise it turned out just fine.

Punching hole with mechanic pick

I centered my pick and hit it with the mallet making one hole on each side of the platter.

Bird feeder platter with holes punched

Stringing the Twine Through the Platter

I started on the long end first. I ran the twine through the top of the platter and ran it underneath to the opposite end and pushed it up through the top again.

I used the second piece of twine to do the same thing on the shorter side. The twine made a cross pattern underneath to support the weight of the bird seed.

I didn’t measure the twine. I kept pulling the twine through until I had a length I liked.

Stringing through the top of the bird feeder platter

Twine through all 4 sides of bird feeder platter

Making a Loop to Hang the Feeder

I made sure the bird feeder was level before tying my knot. I grabbed all 4 strings and tied them together, leaving a couple of inches of string to make a loop with.

Knot for bird feeder loop

I left roughly 5 inches of extra twine after my knot. I held the knot and slid my fingers up 3 inches over the remaining twine and made another knot. Ta-da! Instant loop.

Bird feeder double knot loop

Please excuse the kitty butt photo bomb.

Dollar store silver platter bird feeder

I added some seed to give it an official bird feeder look. *Dinner bell rings in background* Come and get it birds!

Dollar store silver platter bird feeder with seed

Dollar store silver platter bird feeder

Trying to find the perfect gift for Mother’s day isn’t always easy. Go the easy and inexpensive route this year and make a dollar store bird feeder. I know my mom will love this, and yours might too!

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Outdoor Mason Jar Chandelier

Outdoor mason jar chandelier

Spring is here and the family and I are starting to spend more afternoons outdoors so I thought it would be nice to spice up our backyard with some new decor. I’ve been wanting an outdoor chandelier for some time now, one that we could hang in tree and lay a picnic blanket underneath.

I’m in love with the farmhouse look just like the rest of Pinterest is right now, so I already knew the look I was going for. Mason jars and rope would be involved for sure.

Mason jars would be a great addition to this idea for lighting since they are so versatile and have that woodsy feel. The rope would give it that rustic edge I was trying to achieve.

I planned to use battery powered tea light candles to prevent the possibility of burning the rope. Although real candles would look amazing!

My plan was to keep it cheap so I headed down to my local Dollar Tree and Walmart to pickup the necessities.

What I Used for my Outdoor Mason Jar Chandelier

I bought the hula hoop and tea lights at the Dollar Tree. They had hula hoops in a few different sizes, but I went with the smallest one I could find since it would be easiest to work with. The tea lights were two to a pack so my total spent was $4 plus tax.

The mason jars came in a pack of 12 for a little over $10. I’m sure I’ll come up with something else to do with the other six. Tiki torches maybe?

Anyways, I made sure to purchase the wide mouth variety. I didn’t want to have trouble pulling my hand out after placing my tea lights.

I also bought the rope at Walmart for under $8. I still have a decent amount left for other projects. I already had a glue gun and glue sticks on hand so no extra dollars spent there.

I spent $22 total which isn’t too shabby considering I only used half of the mason jars and had 14 feet of rope leftover. My cost is covered on other spring projects now. Thumbs up to that!

Mason Jar Chandelier Starter Kit

Wrapping the Hula Hoop in Rope

I cut my rope in sections of 3 or 4 feet so I wouldn’t have to toss the entire rope bundle around while I wrapped and glued it down. When I started, glued the rope as I wrapped it around the hula hoop.

After awhile I wanted to save my glue and speed things up so I glued 6 or 7 inches worth and then continued to wrap it around without glue until a few inches from the end of my rope.

Then I glued the remaining rope down as I wrapped to keep my entire section of rope in place. This helped me save glue and time, and also hold everything in place perfectly.

Gluing the rope to the hula hoop

Wrapping the hula hoop

Here’s the hula hoop completely wrapped in rope.

Outdoor chandelier base wrapped in rope

Look closer. You like where this is going don’t you?

Outdoor Chandelier wrapped in rope

Preparing the Mason Jars

This part turned out to be really easy, however, I was somewhat concerned if I could put a hole in the lid without ruining it. I planned to tie a knot in the rope after putting it through the lid. I figured that should secure it fairly well and it did!

First, I used a screw driver to put the hole in my lid. I centered the screw driver and pressed down until I indented the lid.

Once I had my center point marked, the “not so safe part” started. I held the mason jar down securely and made small jabs repeatedly with the screw driver until it broke through the lid. Definitely not safe, so be careful if you go about it this way.

Screw driver used to add the hole in the mason jar lid

I only held the screw driver up about 3 inches away from the lid during this process and it took a good number of jabs before the lid gave way. Like I mentioned before, my way is a little sketchy on safety protocol so if you know of a safer way please try that way instead.

Mason Jar lanterns with holes in lids

Turning Mason Jars into Pendant Lights

The next part consisted of measuring and tying a knot in the rope after putting it through the lid. After tying the knot and securing the lid I measured the rope about 14 inches from the top of the mason jar.

Tied knot in mason jar lid

Turning mason jars into 14 in pendant lights

Attaching the Mason Jar Pendant Lights

I held the pendant light rope up against the hula hoop and measured 6 inches in length. I didn’t want my pendant lights hanging too long so I thought 6 inches was a decent length.

Hanging mason jar pendant 6 in from base of hoop

Next I grabbed my glue gun and started gluing the rope down.

Wrapping rope around pendant base

The length around the hula hoop was 80 inches. Since I was hanging 6 mason jar pendant lights, I divided 80 by 6 and figured proper spacing would be about 13 inches apart.

Mason jar pendants spaced out 13 in apart

After I attached all the pendant lights, I cut 3 sections of rope at 27 inches in length. I wrapped and glued the ends and was ready to make my loop.

Tying the outdoor mason jar chandelier ropes

I twisted and folded over the remaining two strands of rope into a loop. Then I wrapped and glued the third piece around the ends.

Loop for chandelier

Here is the completed Outdoor Mason Jar Chandelier! I’m so glad I took the time to work on this project. It’s exactly what I envisioned.

Completed Outdoor Mason Jar Chandelier

I waited til dusk to add the tea lights.

Completed Nightime Outdoor Mason Jar Chandelier

Nighttime view of Outdoor Mason Jar Chandelier

How great would this look with fairy lights?! I wish I could’ve got my hands on some earlier. If I do, I’ll make sure to update this post with the new look.

Mason jar with tea light

If you liked my outdoor mason jar chandelier project make sure to stop by my pinterest page to see my pins and other inspirational backyard projects.

Let me know what you think. Would you prefer real candles, battery powered tea lights or fairy lights?

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How to Build a Wire Basket Organizer

How to build a wire basket organizer

I like easy. Easy is my favorite thing to do. And when adorable home decor projects are easy, it’s a beautiful thing. This simple wire basket organizer is just that.

In an earlier blog, DIY Natural Wood Shelves, I had a few pieces of scrap wood that had the potential to be something great, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them.

A few weeks prior I picked up some really cool rose gold wire baskets at Walmart for under $2 each. I originally planned to sit these on shelves and use them for storage, but I thought about how awesome they’d look attached to a piece of scrap wood.

And so it began, the scrap wood wire basket organizer project.

Tools You’ll Need

Sanding Your Scrap Wood

Grab your piece of scrap wood and sand it down. My wooden plank had slight chain saw marks so I used an 80 grit paper to smooth it down. This part is optional. I decided to sand and coat it with poly to match my other shelving.

Sanding wood with 80 gritChoose a Sealant

I used polyurethane since I wanted a shiny top coat. If poly isn’t an option, I heard that coconut oil works as a great sealant too.

The difference would be the shine and the way the two sealants are applied. Obviously poly is super shiny and the coconut oil is only slightly shiny. Poly is painted on and coconut oil is buffed on like a wax. A brush or cloth could be used for coconut oil application.

If you choose poly make sure it dries for the recommended amount of time. I dried mine overnight just to be sure.

Picking the Wire Baskets

I mentioned earlier that I picked up these rose gold wire beauties at my local Walmart for uber cheap. Yay! I love a good deal. I mean I’m no Walmart fanatic, but these were a great steal for under $2 bucks each.

Rose gold wire baskets

I’m planning to use more rose gold throughout my laundry room and it made perfect sense to use these guys for my wire basket organizer. This is going in my laundry room by the way…now lonesome socks will have a place to hang out until a match comes along.

 Attaching the Wire Baskets

I started out by laying my baskets side by side across the piece of wood. Once I had them evenly spaced, I pre-drilled small holes where I wanted my screws to be.

Laying out wire baskets

Pre-drilled holes for wire basket organizer

I removed my baskets and drilled in the screws. I had to make sure I didn’t drill my screws in too far because I wanted my baskets to have enough edge to hang from.

Mounting the Wire Basket Organizer to the Wall

For this part I held the nearly finished organizer to the wall with a leveler on top. I wanted to center it between the two wall studs and avoid slapping it up there lopsided. I lightly marked the wall with a pencil and then marked the edge of the wood in the same location so I could line up the wall screws with the D-rings.

Holding organizer level while marking studs

Make sure the wall screws are about 1.5″ to 2″ long so they can support the wooden plank.

These are the D-rings I used for the back of the wire organizer. I knew I needed something sturdy enough to keep the organizer in place and these D-rings do the job.

D-rings for hanging wire basket organizer

I used my drill to screw in the D-rings. Now I was ready to hang my wire basket organizer!

Hanging my wire basket organizer

Love, love, love! Look at those colors!

Here it is, baskets and all. Now this is a storage fix that’s simple, beautiful and useful!

Completed wire basket organizer made from raw scrap wood

Excuse my pile of freshly washed clothes hiding. Actually I think I have a few single socks I could throw in there right now.

Wire Basket Organizer Made from Raw Scrap Wood

I think I’ll be adding one of these to my kitchen next for storing fruits and veggies. Where would you use a wire basket organizer in your home?

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DIY Natural Wood Shelves

pin natural wood shelves

Natural wood shelves have been a secret obsession of mine for some time now. I love the effortless beauty of raw wood and the warmth it brings into a home. This was the perfect project for us to tackle due to the fact that our backyard is practically a mini forest.

Shelves in general are a great way to fill up an empty wall space and get organized. Plus, we had plenty of lovely cedar trees to choose from.

I knew it was only a matter of time before I started a project involving wood shelves in our home and I’m glad we did because they turned out amazing!

So here’s how it went down.

Slicing and Dicing Our Cedar Tree

Since this project was basically screaming to be done, we dove right in and got it done. The hubs busted out our monster of a chain saw and connected the chain saw mill attachment and sawed away.

I wanted thick shelves, so he cut the planks on the 1.5″ setting.

cutting cedar planks

Measure Twice, Cut Once

All I needed was 2 planks from this log since it was so large. My goal was to make 3 shelves, each at 26 inches long. These babies are going into my laundry room that’s currently under construction.

The next step was the cutting process. I measured the 26 inches I needed and marked it with a pencil for an accurate cut. We used a table saw to do the dirty work.

raw cedar shelves

The Sanding Process

I decided to sand the chainsaw marks down for a smooth surface by using our super convenient mouse palm sander. I used 80 grit sandpaper.

The higher the sandpaper number, the finer the grit. The lower the sandpaper number, the grit is more coarse.

For example, if the wood is really rough it would be best to use a 40 or 80 grit sandpaper to easily remove large indentations in the wood.

sanding cedar 80 grit

Use a finer grit such as 120 or 220 to get a smooth polished feel after the initial sanding. I, on the other hand, only used 80 grit and the result was smooth enough for me.

There were a few slight chainsaw marks left, but I liked the look so I stuck with it.

sanded cedar plank 80 girt

I also sanded all the edges for a rounded worn look.

rounded cedar plank edges

Sealing our Cedar Shelves

The natural color of cedar is way too pretty to stain in my opinion, so I opted for polyurethane finish to seal my shelves. I used the clear Minwax brand with a 2″ synthetic bristle brush.

Minwax clear polyurethane

Excuse my can. Its been used and abused.

Make sure to dust and wipe the wood down before applying any type of sealant.

The last thing you want to deal with is getting your brush gunked up with loads of wood dust and messing up your smooth finish.

cedar shelves with polyurethane

The color came out so rich after applying the poly. LOVE.

Once the shelves dried, I sanded lightly with a 220 fine grit block and reapplied the poly. I only coated the bottoms with one coat of poly because who cares?…I didn’t. I was ready to slap these beauties on my wall. I have no patience. That’s one thing I’m still trying to master.

All done!

cedar planks with 2 coats of poly

Mounting Our Natural Wood Shelves

This was probably the scariest part for me. Not counting the chainsaw part because chainsaws and I don’t get along. I like my limbs attached to my body.This project wouldn’t have happened without my husband’s help.

I hate the leveling and drilling aspect of this because I feel like I just plain out suck at it. If I could eyeball everything and have it turn out perfect I’d be golden. Anyways, back to reality.

Tools You’ll Need for Mounting Shelves
  • Stud finder
  • Leveler
  • Screws
  • Screw driver

I decided the best way to do this was to mount my brackets to the wall first. So I grabbed my stud finder and went to work.

stud finder

The red light on the stud finder supposedly indicates the “edge” of the stud. I used my pencil to lightly mark the edges of the stud from both directions.

Next I placed the leveler on top of the bracket to make sure I screwed it in properly.

wall bracket with leveler

I’m not sure if this is the best technique for installing shelves, but it worked for me.

I measured the space I wanted to have between my shelves and continued on my way until I had all my brackets in place. Then I put the icing on the cake when I attached my cedar shelves, Viola!

installed natural wood cedar shelves

I present to you my beautiful natural wood shelves with my final touches.

Complete natural cedar wood shelves

Fill me in on your latest project using raw wood or shelving you’ve been aching to attempt!

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