I find the 99¢ Only store is a great place to wander around, buy $10 worth of stuff and go home feeling like I got to go on a little shopping spree, without feeling guilty for spending money I don’t have. Ya it may be just cheap stuff, but I find that those little shopping sprees inspire me to
make crap create stuff. I’d never consider gluing a $10 plate to a $10 vase, but a $1 plate and vase? Ya, that’s for the birds… literally. I glued a $1 plate to a $1 vase and made a little bird feeder. It’s no great work of art, but it’s cute and it was fun to make. Plus, I got to go on a little shopping spree.
This post is not meant to be a tutorial, just an explanation of how I made the bird feeder…
I had the Gorilla Glue and the Krylon Crystal Clear Spray already. I got the acrylic craft paints on sale for 49¢ (regularly 79¢) each at Michaels (The colors I use were green, brown, orange, yellow and black). I got the PVA glue, the vase & plate, the colored florist stones (2 bags), the craft brushes and the charger plate (below) at the 99¢ Only store. The plate of cookies ended up being a big part of this craft project. I don’t suggest making something like this without them. The ones in the picture are chocolate chip, but oatmeal raisin would work too… nah, it has to be chocolate chip.
I got the charger for another project, but it was great for holding the glass plate and making it easier for me to see what I was doing. I roughly dabbed a circle that covered 1/3 of the inner part of the plate – the color is half black and half brown mixed together.
I used just the brown on another 1/3 of the inner part of the plate to make a ring that overlapped the inner circle. I also dabbed this part on as well.
Then I dabbed on the orange to make a small circle that overlapped the pure brown circle. Not 1/3 like the others, just enough to peak out from behind the pure brown layer.
Then I used up the rest of the black/brown mix I made to completely cover the whole circle, including the orange part. Leaving 1/3 of the inner part of the plate unpainted.
I then used the yellow to make the first layer of petals. I brushed up from the outer most edge of the plate to just past the edge of the large dark brown layer. I overloaded the brush so it would be thick and streaky. With so many layers I had to use a light touch so the paint wouldn’t rub off, overloading the brush really helped and it looked nice and textured.
I then went over the yellow with the orange, using the same overloaded brush technique. All the layers dried so fast that I really didn’t have to stop in-between adding more layers, until I got to the orange layer. I made it extra thick and then let the whole plate dry for about 30 minutes before I measured and marked for the base.
I used a ruler and sharpie pen to mark out where I needed to glue the vase. I measured the vase and the plate, did the math and ended up with the X. I put the vase over it and traced. It’s hard to eyeball when the paint makes the center of the plate not look like the center, so definitely measure. The gluing on part was awkward enough without guesswork.
The vase that I choose was light anf I needed weight so it wouldn’t tip over. After I measured and marked for gluing the vase to the plate, I put a little PVA glue in the bottom and dropped in a few florist stones. I got green glass so it would look kind of like the stem of the sunflower but other stuff would have worked like marbles or even just small rocks.
After every half a dozen or so of the stones I dropped in, I drizzled over a bit more of the PVA glue. The glue drys clear and helped make the base a little more stable.
When I got to the top I couldn’t find the right stone to make it flat, it had to be flat for the plate to rest on with no gap or the stones might shift if the whole thing fell over.
I tried the glue’s sealer cap, the thing that’s on when the PVA glue hasn’t been opened yet. Luckily mine was brand new and the cap was a perfect fit. If it hadn’t been, I would have used folded paper or cardboard and painted it to match the brown/black part of the plate.
I filled the glue sealer cap thing with Gorilla Glue and then went around the edge of the vase with it. It ran a little but you can’t really see that area of the bird feeder so I didn’t fuss with it. I just put the whole vase on the edge of the counter, held the plate over it and looked up under while I lowered the plate down to where I had marked it.
I put it out of the way of crazy curious cats and then put a big can of tomatoes on top of it to weigh it down while it dried/hardened. Gorilla Glue takes just a few hours, but I left it for 5 hours. When I took the can off and turned it upside-down it felt really solid. I took it out and put it in a box with the plate down and the vase part sticking up. I sprayed just the painted plate part with the clear coat. I did two coats, letting it dry for half an hour in-between, and then overnight after the final spray. The next day it was sealed and water-proof enough so that if it rains or gets splashed when I water the plants, it will be fine.
I originally dug a little hole to sink an inch of the base into, but I didn’t like the way it looked. I grabbed and old wooden triangle I was using for a plant pot holder, tried it out, and did like the way it looked. Then when I was filling and leveling the spot for the bird feeder, I accidentally stepped on the wood triangle and broke it! I need to glue it back together, but I just keep forgetting and the birds haven’t complained about it, so meh.
It does seem a bit of shame to cover the plate with seeds after spending time painting it, but I always intended it to be a feeder and not a bath. I had a good time making it, it fits in with my crazy lady garden theme, the birds like it and Snappy Jim looks happy about too.