February 24, 2009

Crazy For Trimmings, Birds!

Okay, so I never throw out any of my fiber, yarn ends, fabric scraps, etc. Just cannot do it. I even have a hard time throwing out the threads cut from sewing projects. Selvedges...don't get me started. Trust me, I have little ziploc bags filled with these treasures in every project bag and drawer. Sometimes, I actually use them. It makes nice stuffing for little softies and pillows.

In the spirit of being green and lending nature a hand, I found this little idea. Can't remember where. You know those smallish mesh bags that those winter tomatoes come in? The very red little tomatoes that we are somehow convinced will "taste like a tomato" in February, or those green mesh bags that they put over the wine bottles, so that they don't smack around in the bag. The larger meshed bags will also do. Well, you take all of your endings of thread, yarn, fiber, and small fabric trimmings, and you stuff them into the bag. When it is full (it looks so pretty), hang it up in a tree or like me, an empty hanging basket hook on the porch. The birds will take string and fluff from it and will make sturdy nests for their spring families. Yeah, I know, I was skeptical too. My husband and the kids thought I was certifiable.

That is until, the day Ian came into the kitchen and said "you need to come and look at this large hawk in our tree". Now we've seen birds in the yard before, many varieties, finches, blujays, crows, sparrows, humming, cardinal...not a hawk, not this close! I instinctively looked at the hanging net. Guess what? It was empty! Just a few days before it was bulging and full with just a few strands hanging down. I am positively giddy. My relationship with birds hasn't always been pleasant. Let's just say the Montessori classroom I taught in didn't use cages during the day for our "pets". And of course, there was the time we "babysat" the African grey parrot, "Oliver" for our neighbors. He could mimic a full dishwasher cycle, cell phone rings, and a whining, back talking teen perfectly. Oh, and he did a near perfect Cary Grant. Did I mention, we also had an ice storm that week and no electricity and the daughter, son-in-law, three grandchildren (one a newborn, with colic), and my parents staying with us. I ramble.

Somewhere around our home, are some pretty styling birdnests. We usually find a few abandoned nests in the summer, hopefully they will be in color...I know, you need to see a picture! I'll keep you "posted". No pun intended. Meanwhile, this is a great project for the kids in your house...even if they look at you strangely!

P.S. I have a new update to my Etsy Store


  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea, the image, the thought of it....we are so alike...I almost cheered when I saw the picture...of the empty webbing....I would have NEVER thought you were crazy...miss you so much...I am bringing my scraps when I visit...

  2. Lauren,
    I truly was surprised that it was empty so quickly.
    I put another up this morning! I hope we find an abandoned one later this year. I think Luke would love to bring it in for "show and tell"! Can't wait for your visit!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing this idea and the wonderful story! I wouldn't have thought it would work either, but am glad to be wrong!

  4. yes, we're going to make these tomorrow! my drawers are also filled with selvage & stuff i can't bear to toss. the kids will get a kick outta this.

  5. just a note: natural fibers work well for this, but synthetics are to be avoided.

  6. oh; your local pre-school will prolly be grateful for fabric and trimming scraps. I pink the edges of my scrap, and kids love using them for collage.

  7. I love this idea!! I featured it over at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:

  8. Thanks, Casserole!

    Anonymous is correct only natural fibers should be put in the bags, I have put only natural fibers in there.

  9. I have just found another site with a similar idea,
    check it out.

  10. This was the idea I had seen on Boys' Almanac. How awesome that your bag of scraps was emptied out!

  11. Thanks, what a wonderful idea!! I know can get rid of my bag of selvage off cuts with no guilt!!!!

    You Rock!!


  12. You can also add dryer lint to that bag for the birds, they love that too!


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