Kiddie Craft: DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder from Parents Magazine

A few of you asked for the instructions for making the milk carton bird feeder I featured in this post, so I scanned the original instructions from Parents Magazine to share with all of you.

How to Make a DIY Bird Feeder Out of an Upcycled Milk Carton

{click on photo to enlarge}

Tips They Didn’t Include:

*Although it doesn’t mention this in the instructions, it is extremely difficult to paint over a milk carton with acrylic paint.  It took me 5 coats to even get to the opacity shown above!!  (I swear, I studied that photo for near to 15 minutes trying to figure out how they got it that opaque-looking.)  I’d highly recommend either lightly sanding the surface, or ideally, applying a coat of primer first and then doing your acrylic paint.  That way it should be much easier to get a solid color to the feeder.

*Although this isn’t mentioned in the instructions either, since this bird feeder is probably going to be used outside (right?) a good coating of spray sealant is highly recommended.  Once my sprinklers hit it that acrylic paint cracked up completely.

How to Get Birds to Come to Your DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder:

*place it slightly at or above (an adult’s) eye level, in a sheltered area

*place it away from squirrels, cats, or other predators that may scare away the birds

*make the opening only large enough for the type of bird you’re looking to feed (not large enough for squirrels or crows, etc)

*essentially it’s not the color of the feeder that attracts the birds, it’s more the location, accessibility, and food.  (Except for hummingbirds, who are attracted to the color red.)

*place something shiny, like a piece of metal, on the feeder.  Birds love shiny objects!


Hope that works for you guys!  It’s a super-fun craft to do with your kids (or even by yourself for your garden, deck, or patio!) – so definitely try it out.  Ours is drawing a number of birds to it every morning!

Happy DIY’ing!


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Review and Giveaway: Create Your Style with Swarovski Elements Magazine, Issue Sound

 Swarovski recently contacted me about their in-house magazine, asking if I’d like to check it out.  And of course I said yes!  Anything that celebrates fashionable creativity – especially with the high-end name of Swarovski attached – is a must-see in my book!

See the beautiful heat-embossed texture on the crystals on the cover!

The Create Your Style with Swarovski Elements magazine, founded in 2007, is published once a year in Austria [the birthplace of Swarovski].  It typically includes new products in the Swarovski line, tons of tutorials using the crystal elements, ideas and tips, and interviews with artists and makers.  It is mainly available online here, but is also available in select Swarovski Elements retailers throughout the world.  With this fifth issue (Issue Sound), the editors have included the many instances of how Swarovski has collaborated with the music industry for show-stopping costumes, accessories, and stagewear in the past, as well as music-inspired projects that would get any crystal enthusiast excited.  Covering a wide range of techniques from stringing, bead-crimping, papercraft, resin-coating, sewing, and bead-ironing (!), the 10 step-by-step projects can easily be customized or adapted to your own personal taste, and feature large step-by-step photos that are easy to follow.  (You can also find some of these projects available at The Swarovski Create Your Style community celebrates DIY and crafts utilizing Swarovski Elements, including makers and crystal-lovers from all over the world.

I personally love Swarovski crystal (the brilliance, cut, sparkle, and quality is unmatched by any other crystal brand), and have used Swarovski items in many of my projects and DIYs before (see: Subversive Jewelry Sunken Treasure Necklace; Gossip Girl-Inspired Crochet-and-Bead Necklace for example)  Though not all the projects in the magazine are things I personally would try, I can easily follow the directions for some of the more unfamiliar techniques to apply them in different projects (can’t wait to try that Cocktail Decoration Bead-Ironing project (pictured above), for instance!)

Swarovski has generously sent me an extra copy of Issue Sound to give away to one lucky Chic Steals reader.  Here’s how to enter:

Win a Copy of the Create Your Style with Swarovski Elements Magazine Issue Sound!

How to Enter

Edited 5/26: The entry period is now over and the winner will be announced shortly.


1. Like Chic Steals on Facebook. (I have a “Like” button in my right sidebar, under “Never Miss a Post!”  Click it to “Like!”)

2. Leave a comment on this post telling me if you’ve used Swarovski crystal in a project before. (1 entry)  (Example: “I made a necklace with a big Swarovski pendant last year and I loved how it sparkled!” or “I’ve never used Swarovski crystal before but I really want to try out a project from this magazine” or something like that.)


3. Swarovski is also offering another copy of the magazine for giveaway on their Facebook page.  So visit their Facebook page and enter there (daily, if you like), to increase your chances of winning a copy of the magazine. (unlimited daily entries until May 31).  This giveaway chance is unaffiliated with Chic Steals.

Total: 1 entry per person for the Chic Steals giveaway, daily entries from now until May 31 on Swarovski’s Facebook page.

Giveaway open to U.S.-based readers only.

Giveaway period is open from now until Friday, May 25, 11:59 PM PST.

Winner chosen by and notified by email.


Good luck!
FTC Disclosure: I was sent 2 copies of Create Your Style with Swarovski Elements magazine; one as a review copy and one to give away to a reader. For more information, see my Disclosure Policy.
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Portland’s Museum of Craft Featured in Cut Out + Keep’s The Road Trip Issue of Snippets Magazine

I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Portland’s own Museum of Contemporary Craft awhile ago to contribute an article to Cut Out + Keep‘s online magazine Snippets.  And it’s finally live!

Read “Museum of Craft” in Snippets’ The Road Trip Issue

Thanks so much to Cat and the whole Cut Out + Keep team who included me!

Though the museum is small, it does highlight the strong craft movement and history of a variety of disciplines, mainly focused on the Pacific Northwest.  It was really interesting to gain a sense of time, place, and handiwork as displayed there.

Have any of you ever been to Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft?


~If you have a friend who loves Portland, museums, or crafting, please share this with them!  Thanks:-) ~

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Free Holiday Edition of Nuno Magazine with Ideas for Decor and Present Wrapping!

Nuno Magazine is a quarterly digital publication that showcases craft projects and creative ideas, all of which are eco-friendly, recycled, or upcycled. Its projects have an indie, homemade, Anthropologie-style feel to them, and they’re a great idea if you want to add some decor or try something different wrapping your presents this evening.

The PDF download for the full-length magazine is $5.00, and you can buy their latest issue (and back-issues) here.

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