Friday, February 26, 2016

How about some Yard Birds?

I had a request for a few of my funky yard birds at a place where I sell my gourd art. They were putting up a display for Spring. So, I've been working diligently this week on six new yard birds!

Items used for this project are:

6 pieces of gourd tops that were left over from other projects
6 med. gourds that have curved tops
Proxxon Jigsaw for gourds
Super Glue or equivalent
Assorted Enamel Acrylic Paints and Paint Pens
Outdoor Sealer
Garden Stakes (I used Miracle Grow 3' stakes)

I started out by using my Proxxon Jigsaw to cut the left over gourd tops down to the right size:

I then held a piece of sandpaper over the end of the gourd and rubbed my gourd top piece back and forth to get it shaped to the gourd. I then glued the piece to  the gourd and filled in the crack with Quikwood.

I also used Quikwood to make a beak for the bird. I then drilled a hole in the bottom of my bird and inserted the stake that would be pushed into the ground and hold the "Yard Bird" up. Once I got the parts put together and added onto my "Yard Bird" I proceeded to paint them with different designs.

I then put several coats of sealer on them and these are a few of the "Yard Birds" in their completed state:

These "Yard Birds" which have actually been made from gourds and gourd pieces that can be put out in your flower bed for the Summer. Once the season is over though it is best if you bring them in, wipe them off and seal them again before putting them out in your flower bed for another Summer! I love using my Proxxon Jigsaw for gourds when I work and I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to use one. You really need to check out all the tools at , you'll have a wish list in no time!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Up-Cycle a Soda Can and Make a Fruit Feeder for Birds

I'm having a blast preparing for spring and making birdhouses and bird feeders for our yard. In my most recent Proxxon posts, I built an Up-Cycled Wine Bottle Bird Feeder and a Mid Century Modern Bird House.

Today we're building a fruit feeder using a scrap of lumber and an empty soda can. Baltimore Orioles, Brown Thrashers, Bullock's Orioles, Catbirds, Hooded Orioles, Mockingbirds, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Scarlet Tanagers, and Western Tanagers all love orange halves and this feeder is a great way to serve them up.

Be aware that attracting fruit-eating birds can take time and patience. If you have mature fruit trees or bushes, or if you have seen fruit-eating birds in your yard or nearby, you will more readily attract fruit-eaters. And, Mockingbirds can be territorial, so fruit feeders may need to be placed away from other feeders. With those tips in mind, let's get started.

The Pattern/Measurements

Rough Cedar 1x6 is about 5.5" wide. For this project, you'll only need a piece about 6" long. Start by marking out all the center lines on your scrap. The goal is to cut the biggest circle possible out of the scrap (in this case, 5.5" in diameter because it's limited by the width of the lumber) and to cut out a hole in the center big enough to hold an orange (about 3-4" in diameter).  You'll need horizontal holes through the center of the circles to hold the skewer, which holds the fruit. A small hole at the bottom lets you put a dowel through the piece to use as a perch on both sides of the fruit.

For my geeky friends, here are the facts and the math. A standard soda can in the US is 4.83" high, 2.13" in diameter at the lid, and 2.60" in diameter (D) at the widest point of the body. If you cut off the top and bottom to make it 4 inches high, and cut down the side, you’ll have a piece about 4” x 8.17”. Remember, the circumference of a circle is 2πR or πD. Pi or π is about 3.14159. So, 3.14159 x 2.6" = 8.17"

The circumference of our feeder, a 5.5” diameter circle, is 17.28”. That means half way around the circle is about 8.64”. So, we only need a a strip from the can about 5-6” and we've got about 8" long. Trim it down and it will work perfectly!

Of course, you don't worry about doing the math. Just wrap a tape measure around whatever can you have and you'll see how long a piece of aluminum you can get out of it.

This diagram shows the lines you should draw and the plans for the feeder.

What You'll Need

Steps To Follow 

1) Use the ruler, square and pencil to mark the center lines on the smooth side of the rough cedar. Using the compass, draw the two circles. Mark the hole for the perch. It should be along the vertical center of the two circles and centered between the 3" and 5.5" circles, as shown in the illustration above.

2) Create 3" in diameter hole in the center. 
  1. Drill a pilot hole using the 1/4" bit and Proxxon Bench Drill Press TBM 115 on the perch mark.
  2. Use the Proxxon Scroll Saw DSH/E to cut out the circle. Fit the blade through the pilot hole and then cut around the pencil mark. Sand the finished hole with sandpaper.
3) Use the Proxxon Bench Drill Press TBM 115 to drill a hole through the piece. Be sure the hole is big enough to fit your dowel.

4) Use a Proxxon Rotary Tool with a small drill bit (e.g., 9/64) to drill a hole in each side of the "donut" to slide the skewer through. Be sure you drill deep enough to go in to the inner circle you drew. We're drilling these holes now because it's much easier to handle the piece while it's a square (compared to after you cut the outer circle and make the "donut.")

5) Cut out the outer circle using the Proxxon MICRO Bandsaw MBS/E. When you're cutting large curves, be sure to cut "relief cuts" around the curve. These allow waste pieces to fall away as your cutting, making it easier to follow a long curve. When you're done, you should have a "donut" shape.

6) Sanding around the "donut" with the Proxxon Disc Sander TG 125/E makes it easy to smooth the edges.

7) Test to make sure the dowel and the skewer fit and make any necessary adjustments.

8) Once your confident everything fits, put a little wood glue in to the hole for the perch and insert the dowel through. Wipe the part of the dowel you pushed through clean of any glue residue. Do not glue the skewer in place. You have to be able to slide that in/out to fill the feeder.

9) Seal and protect all parts of the feeder with linseed oil. Rub it in using a cotton cloth (rag). Let it dry completely. While it's drying, you can work on the aluminum roof.

10) Use tin snips to cut off the top and bottom of the can (make finished piece about 4" tall). Then snip up the side of the cylinder. Then trim the length of the strip to about 5-6" long.

11) If you don't want the soda can label to show on your feeder, use a piece of steel wool to burnish it off. This is easiest if you're working under a small stream of water, like in your sink.Remember, the aluminum is sharp, so be careful! You might want to wear heavy gloves while you're doing this, to be safe.

12) Use a corner rounder punch or the snips to round the corners of the rectangle. This will also help sharpen your punch!

13) Find the center of the aluminum rectangle and line it up with the center top of the "donut." Use the staple gun to attach the rounded rectangle around the top half of the "donut." This makes the roof of the feeder.

14) Drill a small pilot hole at the top of the "donut" (through the aluminum roof and in to the wood). Insert the screw eye.

15) Cut an orange in half and use the skewer to hold it in the center of the "donut," hang your feeder and patiently wait for fruit-loving birds to arrive! Dinner is served! Bon Appétit

Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Altered Hand Mirror

Hi everyone Steph Ackerman here today and I've altered a hand mirror.  It's been in my stash for quite some time so I decided it was about time to see what I could create with it.  Because the surface was rough, I used the Delta Sander to sand it before painting. 

Proxxon Detail Sander
ColorBox Crafter's Ink for Ann Butler - Canyon
ColorBox Background Basic Stamps by Ann Butler

Now that the mirror was sanded, I painted on a layer of gesso.  Once the gesso dried, I resanded the mirror to a smooth finish.

Use your favorite paints to paint the mirror any color you choose.  Next, center a stencil on the back of the mirror and use molding paste to create the design.  Allow to dry completely before continuing, then spritz glimmer mist to add a hint of shimmer.
Stamp around the edges of the mirror and along the handle.  Tie ribbons through the center hole and add flowers down the handle.

Etch the glass and glue it to the mirror.  To see how I etched the glass, stop by my blog for the complete details.
I think any young lady would love this in her room don't you?
Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How To Create A St. Patricks Day Wall Hanging With The Proxxon Delta Sander

Hi everyone, Tammy here with an easy St. Patrick's Day decor tutorial! I love decorating for every holiday so when I saw this cute graphic in the Silhouette Design Store, I knew I had to use it for something. My husband is Irish so I think he will like this wall hanging :)

Supplies I used:
Wood plaque 10x14
Chalkboard paint
Toner sheet
Deco Foil
Parchment paper
Silhouette machine
Silhouette "Luck" graphic
Gold Shamrock stickers
Gold leafing paint pen
Xyron adhesive machine
How I made it:
First, I printed out a blank black toner sheet from my laser printer and cut out the "Luck" graphic I purchased from the Silhouette Design Store.
I placed the graphic inside parchment paper with Deco Foil on top of it
I ran it through my lamination machine
I removed the excess foil and ran the graphic through a Xyron adhesive machine to turn it into a large sticker.
Then, I sanded the wood plaque, with the Proxxon Delta Sander, until it was really smooth and ready for paint.
I painted the plaque with chalkboard paint and let dry completely
Then I put the "Luck" sticker in place and used a gold leafing paint pen and gold stickers for additional embellishments.

I love how this project turned out! I would love to see your projects, tag me on Instagram @TammySmithSantana
xoxo, Tammy

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

~"Vintage Days" Dragonfly Earrings~ NEW Proxxon DT Project!!

~Vintage  Days Dragonfly Earrings~

Creating vintage style jewelry is another love of mine and so when I received my Proxxon Drill Press I was ready to get all my supplies and get going!


Vintaj Big Kick Embosser
Vintaj-Sizzix Die ( Dragonfly Pond)
Metal blank ( Brass or copper) disks 
Brass or copper jump rings (  4 3-4 mm)
Fine grit sandpaper
Fancy earwires
Bead dangles ( you can use old jewelry too)

Drill  a hole on each end of the metal blank.I use a piece of masking tape to line up the spots for drilling the holes.

 Using the Vintaj BigKick and sizzix die, emboss each of your metal blanks

  Roughly sand the blanks to distress and bring out the embossing on the disks.
 Gather your supplies and using the jump rings attach the earring wires and the bead dangles to the disks on either ends.

You know have created a beautiful Vintage Style distressed pair of unique earrings using  the Proxxon Drill Press!!
~In Love & Light~

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Wine Bottle Bird Feeder - Up-Cycle a Bottle and Make a Bird Feeder

I love seeing and hearing the birds in our yard. This spring I want to be prepared to make our yard a great neighborhood for our winged friends by providing plenty of houses, feeders and baths. In my last posts, I made a Mid Century Modern Bird House. This time I up-cycled a bottle to make a feeder.

I've seen similar feeders on Pinterest but they looked a bit "rustic" with hard edges and exposed joints. I also wasn't sure how functional the ones I saw were, because I didn't see any that provided for drainage in the seed tray. I knew the time was right to tackle this re-purposing project when I came across an empty gin bottle at an estate sale today (free!) and my new
Proxxon MICRO Bandsaw MBS/E was sitting in my living room, waiting to be used.

I grabbed some scraps of rough cedar 1x6 left over from the bird house project and set to work on a table in our spare bedroom. Most of the bench top Proxxon tools include an adapter to connect a vacuum cleaner, making them great to use in the house. Practically all the saw dust collects in the vacuum! While I worked on the wood pieces, Joe Morgan worked on the metal embellishments.

The Pattern/Measurements

The bottle I used was about 12" tall, so these measurements are based on that. This is a bird feeder, not a fine piece of furniture, so don't worry about being precise.  Here's how I figured out the measurements for my feeder so you can see how you might adjust them to fit the bottle you're using.

Rough cedar 1x6 is about 5-1/4" wide. So, a circle that fits over that would be 5-1/4" in diameter. The half-circle would be 2-5/8" tall.

You need 3/4" from the bottom of the bottle to the top of the feed tray so there's room for the seed to come out.

The feed tray base (without counting the "lip") is 3/4" thick.

So, the length of the back piece is: 18-3/4", which is 2-5/8" (top half circle) + 12" (bottle) + 3/4" (space from neck to tray) + 3/4" tray + 2-5/8" (bottom half circle)

The base trays are 4-3/8" long (from the back piece to the tip of the half-circle). The part that holds the neck of the bottle is 3-1/4" long.

What You'll Need

Steps To Follow 

Read these steps before you begin the project so you understand why they are in this particular order. I found this order really makes this project simple and quick.

1) Using the compass, draw the half-circles at both ends of the back piece and on one end of one seed tray and one end of the bottle neck holder.

2) Draw a line 3/4" inch in from the sides and half-circle of the seed tray from Step (1).

3) Use the Proxxon MICRO Bandsaw MBS/E to cut the curves on the ends of the back piece and on the end of the bottle neck holder.  When you're cutting large curves, be sure to cut "relief cuts" around the curve. These allow waste pieces to fall away as your cutting, making it easier to follow a long curve. 

(4) Use the Proxxon MICRO Bandsaw MBS/E to cut the inside line of the seed tray in Step (2). When you're done, this will look like you cut the letter "U" with 3/4" thick sides out of the rectangle. This will become the lip of the seed tray. Sand the cut with sandpaper. You should still have one seed tray that is untouched.

4) Use the wood glue to bond the tray lip to the feeder tray. Be sure the flat ends of the "U" line up with the end of the feeder tray. Clamp these two pieces and let them dry.

5) Use the Proxxon MICRO Bandsaw MBS/E to cut the outside curve of the tray assembly from Step (4). The Proxxon bandsaw can easily handle this thick piece (about 1-1/2" thick!) and by cutting them when they are assembled, you are guaranteed the edge will be perfect across both pieces.

6) Use the Proxxon Rotary Tool with a small drill bit to drill lots (about a dozen) small holes in the bottom of the seed tray for drainage. I didn't think to do this until after I glued the pieces together. It would be easier to do that now while the piece can lay flat on your work bench. Keep the holes small enough so seed doesn't fall through them.

7) Create a 1-3/8" hole in the bottle neck holder. 
  1. Mark the center of the hole with the pencil. The center is 1-1/2" from the edge and 1-1/2" from the top of the half circle.
  2. Use the compass and pencil to draw a 1-3/8" circle around the center mark.
  3. Drill a pilot hole using the 1/4" bit and Proxxon Bench Drill Press TBM 115 on the center mark.
  4. Use the Proxxon Scroll Saw DSH/E to cut out the circle. Fit the blade through the pilot hole and then cut around the pencil mark. Sand the finished hole with sandpaper.
8) Sand the edges of all the exterior curves. The Proxxon Disc Sander TG 125/E really made sanding the curves easy. It smooth out any jagged parts of my cuts. I held the pieces flat against the sander to get the curves smooth. Then I held the pieces at an angle against the sanding wheel to round the edges of the pieces.

9) Glue the feeder tray and bottle neck holders to the back piece. I positioned the feeder tray so the bottom of the tray was at the start of the bottom half circle. The bottle neck holder position will vary depending on the bottle you want to use. You want this piece to hold the bottle up so that the opening is about 3/4" from the top of the feeder tray. This is far enough from the base so seed will flow out of the bottle, but no so far that it just pours out. I didn't have clamps that would reach that far so I improvised and used zip ties. They held the pieces together until the glue was completely set and worked great!

10) Seal and protect all parts of the feeder (except the inside of the seed tray) with linseed oil. Rub it in using a cotton cloth (rag).  I didn't do the inside of the seed tray because I wasn't sure if the birds would like that oil against the seed they are eating. Let dry completely.

11) Attach a length of metal tape across the top of the bottle and on to the sides of the back piece using a staple gun. You want the metal tight enough to hold the bottle in place, but not so tight you can't slide the bottle out to refill it.

12) To hang the feeder, you can use screws to attach the back piece to a tree or fence, or attach a sawtooth picture hanger to the back.

13) Embellish! We changed the color of the metal tape with spray paint. We had a little owl necklace  and thought that would look great hanging in front of the bottle. So it didn't look so "new," we distressed it some paint to make it look a bit older.

14) Use the funnel to fill the bottle with seed. Then slip the bottle back in to the feeder. If you hang the feeder using a sawtooth hanger, you can take it down, turn it upside down, slide it over the bottle and then flip it right-side-up to hang. If the feeder is attached with screws, just hold your fingers over the bottle opening or put a small piece of masking tape over the opening just until you flip it over and have it in place.

I think this will be a great addition to our backyard! I hope you'll try making one and let me know how it turns out.

Happy Crafting!