The bird feeder is a simple open tray with a perch. Lots of room to paint and customize. First I primed and painted the bird feeder barn red. Then once that dried I used Elmer’s Painter Pens to add flowers.
I like to outline graphic images in black to make them pop, but outlining takes so much time. My trick is to draw the stems and flowers first in a thick black paint pen or Sharpie and let it dry. Then I draw the green stems, leaves and pink flowers over the black. I leave the outer edge of the black as a nice shadow outline so it all reads from a distance. No tiny outlining detail brush required!
I suggest using a water proof paint such as acrylic. If you like the wood look, you can weather proof your bird feeder by spraying it top to bottom with clear acrylic spray on paint. I don’t like spray urethane because it often remains tacky and leaves fingerprints and attracts dust. Gross. Be sure to get a crystal clear paint of some sort but look to avoid the polyurethane based sprays if you can.
How to build the JEMTOY Bird Feeder
I suggest putting the whole thing together without glue so you are sure where everything goes. The railing around the tray can be a bit tricky. Once you have everything set, go back and glue it all together.
First slide the Perch into the big circular opening in the main Top piece. The slot of the Perch will slide down and nest in place in the little notch on the bottom of the circular opening. This will create an X shape.
The X you just created has four square hooks at its base. The four hooks push through the 4 rectangular holes in the Bottom piece.
From under the Bottom, slide and glue the 4 loose Tabs into the hooks to catch and lock the X in place.
The railing around the tray is made up of 6 rectangles. The 2 long pieces are the front and back.
The short ones are the sides. Look at the 4 short sides carefully and pair them with their exact double. Keep them together. Let one side of the bird feeder be set A, the other set B.
The B sides have one end where the tabs are offset. The offset tabs connect into the Top piece when gluing the sides onto the tray. Glue all the tabs and holes, complete the railing, and let it all dry.
This is an update to a classic practical joke I loved as a kid. My grandfather used to keep a small yellow envelope that had ‘Rattlesnake Eggs’ written on it inside the door of his refrigerator. It was there to freak out anyone who visited his home. If you got curious enough to open the yellow envelope of rattlesnake eggs, you would be frightened by the loud spinning button mechanism inside.
The envelope contained a simple device. First a paper clip was straightened out and bent into a V shape with a loop bent in each end. Two rubber bands were threaded through the hole of a metal washer. The rubber band was stretched across the wire loops of the wire V. My grandfather would spin the button until the rubber band was wound tight, then he would slip it carefully inside the envelope. Once he closed the flap on the envelope, the button could not spin until opened by some innocent bystander. When opened, the button would make such a loud vibrating sound, it often got tossed across the room in fright. People were convinced rattlesnakes had hatched inside the envelope!
Grampy even put a few dry beans in the envelope so there were ‘snake eggs’ rolling around inside the envelope, because the curious would often shake it before they open it. Once they heard the eggs rolling around, they were even more curious to see them.
What I have done is design a little wood box with a lid. When you open the lid, the button spins and rattles. It’s a fun prank gift. There’s even little fake eggs to put in there so they make a sound if the box is shook. This is a fun Glowforge laser cutter project you can make at home using 1/8″ thick Proof Grade Medium Plywood for best sound. Put a box of delicious Rattlesnake Eggs on your kitchen counter and see who opens it first.
My Udemy course, Learn Inkscape For Glowforge has been a great success, so I wanted to offer my students fun projects they can download and cut on their Glowforge laser cutter.
My first offering is the Q-Tip Crossbow. Would you like to make a toy crossbow that shoots cotton swabs? Of course you do! All you need is access to a Glowforge laser cutter, 1/8″ thick Proof Grade Medium Plywood, sand paper, glue, 3 rubber bands, and lots of cotton swabs to blast around the room as ammo.
My course includes the crossbow.svg file designed in color to properly separate layers for cutting on a Glowforge. You’ll get detailed video instructions, a troubleshooting guide, and supplemental photos to help you along. It’s a slam dunk.
This project is intended for folk age 15+ because it’s a working mini crossbow made with lots of small parts. Anything this fun requires parental supervision. Kids love this project because it feels slightly dangerous. They love to build it, take it apart, replace the rubber bands. Be a hero – share this project with a kid… but remind them to not shoot it at people or pets.
If you are new to laser cutting, I suggest that you check out my first course, Learn Inkscape For Glowforge. Once you get through that and understand the process and lingo, move on to the JEMTOY laser projects I offer. You will learn tons, and have fun while doing it.
Learn how to design for Glowforge laser cutter with me, Jay from JEMTOY. I have made another arts and crafts video tutorial for you all. This is a 10 lesson course that will teach you Inkscape for Glowforge in a single afternoon. After this course you will be able to start your own Etsy shop or other home business.
If you have access to a Glowforge laser cutter I can teach you the essentials to get you started using it. The possibilities are endless, and knowing how to run a laser cutter is a valuable skill set to have.
If you are looking to get a Glowforge, I got a referral link when I purchased mine. If you use this link you get up to $500 off, and I get free wood from the Glowforge supply shop. It’s a great deal for us both.
My course starts out with a Glowforge Template that I provide as a download. I will teach you the 3 most important Inkscape tools, how to set the colors in your design to separate the Engrave, Score, and Cut functions within the Glowforge app. How to create objects with multiple pieces. We will learn how to cut out words, names, and numbers. We will prepare photos and images for laser engraving, and use fills to create images to be scored or engraved.
By the end of this course your head will be spinning with the possibilities. In just 90 minutes time your life will have been changed for the better. I believe there are two possible futures. There is the you who took this course and prospered, and the you that did not. Which one do you want to be?
Watch how I made the Wiggly Loaf House: from designing it on Inkscape to cutting it on Glowforge and gluing all the pieces together. You can win this house if you are hardcore enough to play the Wiggly Loaf game until you unlock at least one of the bonus characters. It’s a free download for iOS or Android phones. Check out WigglyLoaf.com and click on Contest. Good luck and enjoy the game!
I love dice! Until someone throws them right off the tabletop and the dice get lost. This made me wonder if I could come up with variations to the way we traditionally depict dice. For that, I turned to Inkscape, the Glowforge Laser Cutter, and my imagination.
I thought I’d fool around on the laser cutter and recreate some of my childhood memories. I grew up on a farm in Maine during the 60’s. My grandpa used to whittle folk toys for me when I was a kid. The twig racer cars were one of my favorites. What I like about twig racers is how fascinating the mechanism is. All you need is a thin curved branch from the yard, a piece of string, and 1/8″ thick plywood or draft board, and access to a laser cutter that uses SVG files, like a Glowforge.
The back wheels have tread for added grip. As you roll the car backwards, the string rolls up on the back axle pulling down on the branch. When released, the branch pulls the string driving the car forwards. It’s neat. If you live in an area with plenty of sticks and trees you can easily apply the concept and make your own!
Look for a hardwood branch on the ground under a maple tree or oak. It should be about 20 inches long, and curved, like a letter ‘C’. Carefully use a knife to whittle the thick end so that it fits into the stick holder on front of the Twig Racer.
Here is a video of me prototyping the first Twig Racer design. At first I had axles made from round candy apple sticks I found at the grocer and a couple 4-40 nuts and bolts. I wanted to design a working axle system made entirely from laser cut parts since it’s not always easy to find candy apple sticks. Glad to say my final design works great, no candy apples required.