Friday, April 25, 2008

Blue Jean Windsock

My second entry for "Ugliest Craft I've Ever Made"! In case you're curious, the first entry was the Ugly Blanket I knitted last year.

I decided to make this windsock because we've been having a problem with birds flying into our sliding glass patio door. After we moved in last summer, I put out feeders in the backyard. I had a ground feeder with mixed seed, a hanging feeder with sunflower seed, a hanging finch feeder with thistle seed, and a hummingbird feeder. Originally I had all the feeders at the edge of the patio but when I discovered that some of the doves were flying into the glass I moved everything except the hummingbird feeder out into the yard. Unfortunately that didn't solve the problem so I got rid of the feeders that the doves could use (the ground feeder and the hanging sunflower seed feeder). However that hasn't completely stopped them - they still show up every day and pick at the seeds dropped from the thistle feeder!

So instead of trying to keep the doves out of the yard I thought I'd try to keep them from approaching the glass by hanging a windsock in front of it. I've had little luck finding windsocks locally (not fashionable anymore, I guess) and even if they were available I doubt that cheap nylon would last long with the strong Arizona winds. My grandmother has made windsocks out of old blue jeans before so I thought that would be my best bet.

Project Name: Blue Jean Windsock
Time Taken to Finish: 2 hours
Materials Used:
-old pair of blue jeans
-matching thread
-plastic cylinder 3-4 inches tall, about same circumference as the upper thigh of one leg of the jeans (maybe an empty bleach bottle or 2-liter soda bottle with the top and bottom removed)
-1/4" metal eyelets
-reflective decorations
-fishing line
-fishing snap swivel
Special Tools Used:
-sewing machine
-eyelet tool
What I Did:
-Cut one leg of the jeans off, perpendicular to the outside hem and as close to the crotch as possible.
-Drilled 4 holes in the plastic cylinder for the eyelets (didn't put them in yet).
-Placed the cylinder inside the jeans leg, folded the fabric over the plastic cylinder, and then hemmed the cylinder inside the jeans.
-Cut holes in the jeans to correspond with the eyelet holes in the cylinder. Attached eyelets.
-Cut the rest of the leg into ~1" strips, stopping about 2 inches away from the hemmed-in plastic cylinder.
-Sewed reflective decorations onto every other strip and in the space between the bottom of the cylinder and the top of the strips.
-Tied one end of 4 lengths of fishing line into each eyelet and attached the other ends to the fishing snap swivel.
-Tied a longer length of fishing line to the other end of the snap swivel. Put a hook in the patio ceiling and hung up the windsock.
What I Liked About the Project: It was easy and will hopefully save some birds.
What I Didn't Like About the Project: Not the prettiest thing to look at, but it's in my backyard so no one's going to see it!

A hummingbird visiting my feeder

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