Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tool Time Tuesday...Bird Nest Material

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today's Tool Time encompasses many things...hardware store finds, scrap fabric, thread, yarn, batting, dog hair (yes, I said dog hair), recycling, nature and helping little birdies. Wow, that's a lot in one post, but this is an easy one.

This is a mesh "purse" I made for all the birds who are starting to chirp away now that spring is just around the corner. All the goodies in the mesh purse are there to help the birds build their nests. There are many sites out there that will explain the items birds need to build their nest, but I found one link that was helpful. Click here for the link. Scroll down on that page until you reach the Nest Material section.

Here are the items you'll need...
  • wire mesh or chicken wire...found in hardware store or in my father-in-law's garage!
  • 2 pieces of thin wire to "sew" the edges closed
  • wire cutters
  • and all your scrap sewing items...thread, yarn, fabric strips, batting
  • I also added our dog Annie's hair (which they recommend). It all came out of the dryer vent after I washed her cotton blanket. I know dryer lint is not recommended, but this is seriously just all her hair because that's all I washed. Dye free detergent and no dryer sheets were used

The edges of the wire mesh had sharp points...

just snip those off with your wire cutters.

Now they're nice and smooth. Sand if necessary.

You can make your scrap bag in any shape, so the starting measurements can be any thing. This is just a rectangle piece that I had.

First, I folded up the bottom to form the purse.

Next, fold over the top flap, like an envelope.

This is the thin wire I used to "sew" up the side seams.

Start at the bottom corner.

Twist the wire to attach it to the mesh.

Just weave the wire in and out through the mesh and pull tight as you go along.

Here is the whole side sewn up. Repeat on the other side as well to form the "purse".

This is the view from the top with the flap open, looking in with both sides sewn up.

I looked through all my old buttons for a closure.

Wire the button to the front.

and add a ribbon to wrap around the button to keep the pouch closed.

Now fill it up with all your sewing scraps!

Twist the ribbon around the button.

Add another ribbon to hang the pouch from the tree.

I also added a stick and cotton batting which I forget in the original list of materials needed.

I poked the stick through the mesh. It's the perfect perch for the birds to rest on while they are taking out the materials they need to build their nest.

Now it's all set to hang outside for our feathered friends.

Don't forget to add all your beautiful cotton quilting scraps. With all that fabric, you'll have the prettiest bird's nest around!

This area of our yard is always full of bird's nest, so I hope these little bird purses filled with their building materials will help.

The temperature is in the 20's tonight! This post is one more way to...
Think Spring, Think Spring, Think Spring!!
Dont' forget to join the Sew Darn Crafty Link Party...show off YOUR projects and there's a give away too. Click here to join in on the fun!
Have a wonderful Tuesday,


  1. Oh this is awesome. I'm definitely going to be making one of these this week!! I usually just set the stuff outside in a little basket, but this would be so much cuter! Thank you for the tutorial.

  2. What a great idea! I love that you put fabric scraps in there...you're gonna have some purdy nests around there:)

  3. That is soooooo awesome!!!!! Love it!

  4. I was thinking about this yesterday as I was squaring up the edges of fabric to cut strips. Our woodpecker started drumming on the chimney yesterday- a sure sign of Spring! And right on cue, here he is snow!

  5. This is the time of year when I trim my five daughters' hair, too, so I include that in what we set out for the birds. This looks like a fun & simple way to set stuff out and maybe keep it out of the cats' reach. :)

  6. This is a great idea to do with the kids, adults doing the cutting. I had read a blog where the dog owners collect the dog hair from brushing with one of those vaccum brush thingys and put it out for the birds. I make rag quilts from denim, but always shake them outside so the birds have nesting material, so when you are washing your rag quilt shake it outside!!

  7. I love this! I usually brush the dog outside in the spring and let the hair flyaway for the birds to collect.

  8. Hi Karen,
    I love your idea about the bird's nest. However, I do have a problem with people using THREAD to stuff their nests with. Threads can get caught on the baby birds feet and tiny wings and when the rest of the baby birds are ready to fly out and leave the coop (so to speak) some may be caught up in wrapped and tangled thread and are left there to either starve to death or are taken from other flying creatures and even those sneaky cats if the nest is low enough, believe me.... I have witnessed this before from homemade nests.
    Thank you for your time.
    bird lover

  9. This is wonderful. I usually just hang remnants out in the bushes. I am going to tell Bob and I know he'll have one made and hung out by Friday. Thanks

  10. This is such a clever idea. Thanks for sharing it. Be sure to give us a progress report on how much/quick the birds use it. I like this!

  11. Very cool! This would be great for a scout project!

  12. Great idea. I usually stuff everything in an extra suet feeder. I got such a kick one year out of watching the sparrows nesting on the front porch. He would fly in with a really bright piece of cotton and she would fly right back out with it! Apparently didn't suit her decor!

  13. This is so cute, Karen!!! I love it. What an incredible idea. My daughter would love to put one of these together for our yard.

  14. Thanks for sharing this! I just got back from the hardware store myself. I am making one for our family and for two of our friends!

  15. Just wanted to let you know you inspired a project for my kids and I :) I posted about it on my blog, thanks for the idea!

  16. Its important to say here that you should not have anything that is too long. baby birds often get strangled in long nesting cords, threads, yarn, etc. Please keep strand lengths to 5 inches ( 13 cm) or less.

    I learned when I worked at a nature center, and along with the Audubon society. the adult birds do not know the difference...they will grab anything,,,but cut all the longer stuff short.

  17. I just LOVE this, Karen!!! Such a great thing to do...

  18. Oh my gosh! I've got so much scraps...I could do this easily and use a suet feeder to save time....cute idea...I'm gonna do this come spring....thanks so much for sharing...Mel

  19. I am going to try this again, I did it last year and the birds never took anything but I did not put it in anything, I just laid it in the bushes which I saw in a different post. I love watching the birds and we have a lot of them in the bush in the yard by my sewing room window.


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