VINTAGE CUP & SAUCER BIRD FEEDERS
By Leopatical on March 06, 2013
VINTAGE CUP & SAUCER BIRD FEEDERS
What a lovely way to welcome our fine feathered friends into our yards and gardens and have a spot of tea with them.
I found an article years ago in a magazine (I believe it was BIRDS & BLOOMS) on how to make bird feeders out of old cups and saucers. I thought it was too good to be true! I didn't think birds would really swoop down and sit on the side of an old china cup and have lunch. I thought they had to eat on the run...or fly as it were. So I filed the information away for use at a later date.
Well, the date finally came some time later, when I found I had quite a collection of cup & saucers, and wondered how I could use them...you know, instead of just looking at them on the shelf. So I remembered the article I read somewhere, sometime, of somebody's. (Note to self...create file for articles, so I can refer to at later date). I couldn't find the article anywhere, so I just came up with my own solution (which I'm sure is close to the original).
First, I have to find a cup & saucer that "fit" together. You know? The cup needs to sit into the indent created for it. Sometimes, if you rotate the cup on the saucer, it will fit much better.
I then took my husbands drill, a ceramic drill bit to cut glass, and set the cup up-side down on the counter and found the center of the bottom of the cup. I use water to keep the drill bit cool while I drill through the bottom of the cup. Just put about a tablespoon on the rim of the cup and check it every now and then. When you're drilling, be really careful and DON'T RUSH IT!
I also use a folded up paper towel to catch all the water drips and also the fine grains of the cup filings.
I've not lost too many cups, but I have lost a few. Mainly because the bit gets too hot, I press too hard on the drill, or the cup was just too fragile or had been damaged in the first place.
I've also found that different cups drill differently. Ceramic cups, like the ones you made in clay class? Yep! They are sooo easy to drill. Like a hot knife through butter. The older cups, like the old resteraunt type that are a little heavier? They seem to take a little longer, I'm sure because of the depth and the makeup of the ceramic. Fine China drills rather quickly and for that reason, may break easier because you're through before you know it! The ceramic cups that have been "fired" are the hardest to get through, and take the longest to drill.
After the cup is drilled, I put it onto the saucer to find the right fit. It seems that you should be able to just drill right into the center of the saucer and then the cup will line up right? Not always! So this little trick seems to work better... at least for me. After the cup is centered and positioned on the saucer the way I want it, (right side up of course) I begin to drill the saucer, right through the hole I've made in the cup. After I've got a pretty good start on the saucer, I remove the cup, again use the water in the bottom of the saucer and drill the hole all the way through.
I use a 1/4" drill bit and 1/4" threaded rod. I found I can buy threaded rods at our local Home Depot in various lengths or just buy the 6' rod & cut it into 2' lengths.
To assemble, I place a 1/4" nut about an inch down the rod, add a washer, then the saucer, cup, another washer and finally another nut. Depending on the depth of the cup, some of them have a wing nut so I can easily take the cup & saucer apart for cleaning.
After assembly, add the birdseed of your choice for your area, and set out into your garden or yard. It is so delightful to watch the birds come fly in and sit on the rim and have a spot of tea among the blooms.