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Balancing Garden Buddies (Welcome Spring)

Balancing Garden Buddies

Add some character to your family's garden bed or front yard with these crafty critters that bob and sway in the spring breeze. The base is made from an easy-to-bend aluminum ruler.

Materials

  • 2 (2 1/2-inch) flat-bottomed wooden eggs (available at craft stores)
  • Paper towel
  • Egg carton
  • Drill and bits in sizes 3/32 inch and 1/8 inch
  • 36-inch (½-inch diameter) dowel
  • 3 (¾-inch) metal screws, size #4
  • Acrylic paints and brushes
  • 2 bamboo skewers
  • Permanent markers
  • Outdoor sealer (we used Delta Ceramcoat Exterior/Interior Varnish)
  • Scrap wood
  • 36-inch aluminum ruler (available at craft or home improvement stores)
  • Screwdriver

Instructions

Nest the eggs upside down, surrounded by a piece of a paper towel, in the egg carton (this will help keep the eggs stable while you work). Using the drill and the 3/32-inch bit, drill a ¾-inch-deep pilot hole in the bottom of each egg and in one end of the dowel. (Tip: To make it easier to attach the pieces later, run a screw into each of the pilot holes, then remove it.)

Decorate the dowel and the eggs using the acrylic paints. To paint the eggs, turn over the carton and poke two skewers through the bottom, then set the eggs on the skewers while you work. When the paint is dry, add fine details with permanent markers

Brush the birds and the dowel with three coats of the sealer, letting each coat dry completely (an adult's job).

To protect your work surface, place the scrap wood under the ruler, then use the drill and the V-inch bit to make two holes, about 2 inches apart, at one end of the ruler.

Bend the ruler into the shape shown and attach the birds using the screws and screwdriver.

Place the ruler on the dowel and adjust it until it balances. Mark the balance point on the ruler. Using the scrap wood to protect your work surface, drill a V-inch hole at the balance point. Attach the ruler to the dowel with a screw, leaving it slightly loose so that the ruler can move in the wind.

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