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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2012: The Year in Review for Chic Steals

Every year on New Year’s Eve I republish a list of all my DIY’s that I shared on this blog during the past year.  This time around, I decided to do a Best Of list as well, to share some of my favorite content from this past year with you:


How Do You Maintain Your Life While Facing Stress? 5 Ways to Deal When It Seems You Just Can’t was a great post that offered tips for dealing with complete meltdowns and crazy stress (I’m sure we all experienced a little of that during the holiday season!)

DIY Watercolor Kitten Tee with DecoArt Ink Effects was a super-fun project with amazing, watercolor-style results.  Speaking of cats, the DIY Cute Cat Beret project was a way to use a 99-cent Goodwill pirate’s hat (found just after Halloween) and make it into a darling little beret and jump on the cat-themed bandwagon.

diychocobark_done2DIY Holiday Chocolate Bark: 4 Recipes to Gift Last-Minute can be made any time of the year, thank goodness!  That Tropical Coconut-Pineapple Macadamia Nut Bark was akin to ambrosia…and the Godiva-Inspired Caramel Cashew Bark is already a staple in my candy-making repertoire!  Also for the holidays, I made some DIY Glittery Ornament Napkins and some DIY Easy Pinned Sequin Ornaments.

In December I launched a bimonthly podcast about bringing creativity and craftiness to your daily life, called Creatively Chic.  You can listen to both episodes that have launched here.

I also partnered with to create a Stories area on my site (now located in the upper left-hand corner) where anyone can upload their DIYs!  Post your tutorial or your finished project to share with everyone – and create a link back to your site!  Vote, share, and comment on those stories to get a ton of inspiration and meet some other DIY’ers in the community!

Some of my favorite books (and accompanying reviews) from this year: Steal Like an Artist, DIY Couture, New Dress a Day, and Mod Podge Rocks!

instagramphotosweek1I got an iPhone for my birthday and joined Instagram!  Slowly becoming an addiction.  I also was featured as the first DIY Fashionista on Cut Out + Keep’s new series!  What an honor.

I designed some repeating Universe Prints on and ordered fabric swatches to test the prints.  I still have to sew them into something beautiful!


3 Reaons Why Your DIYs Are FAILS: The Spore Sweater Resurrected offers some tips for how to get past mistakes and failures when making your own things.  Plus there I shared my resurrected Spore PomPon Sweater…a project 8 months in the fixing!!

julianobisbutterflyI shared tons of DIY inspiration, including From the Archives, DIY Inspiration from Street Style Photos, DIY Ideas from New York Fashion Week S/S 2013, DIY Fashion Week Street Style, DIY Inspiration from J. Crew August 2012 Catalog, and DIY Ideas from Fashion Weeks Around the World for Autumn/Winter 2012, among many others.

DIY: Sequin Trompe L’Oeil Peter Pan Collar T-Shirt is a great way to jazz up a plain tee really quickly.

In 2012 we also traveled to Tucson, AZ, Timberline Lodge, OR, and Tokyo, Japan (part 1 of Japan photos here).  I was also able to go to the Japan Hobby Show 2012 while I was in Japan too, which was so inspiring.

5 Easy DIY’s Even a Beginner Can Master can get you started in making your own things, with easy, fun projects that are simple to start, simple to collect the tools and materials, and a snap to finish.

My son Lil Tot had so much fun making the Kiddie Craft: DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder from Parents Magazine.  It’s a great little project to do with any little one in your life!  (Or even for your own yard;-)

done4Now that Spring is on the way you may want to update your wardrobe with flowers, and this DIY Floral Applique Cardigan for Spring would be perfect.

If you have a spare curtain laying around (or find one at the thrift store), a DIY Lace Maxi-Skirt…Made From A Curtain! is a simple and quick project.

done2DIY Mixed Media Bib Necklace with Tulip Beads in a Bottle was another project I did playing around with a new material.  Tulip Beads in a Bottle is so fun!

So here is a comprehensive list of all my tutorials from 2012 (29 in all):



Sequin Trompe L’Oeil Peter Pan Collar T-Shirt

Watercolor Kitten T-Shirt

 Lace Maxi-Skirt from a Curtain

Floral Applique Cardigan

Upcycled Colorblock Chiffon Top


40’s Style Cute Kitty Beret

Preppy Initial Back-to-School Keychain Bag Charm

Tattoo Tights

Dolce & Gabbana Flowered Sunglasses

Jil Sander Gathered Removable Peplum

Skull-Printed Scarf


Mixed Media Bib Necklace

Rhinestone-Wrapped Neon Tasselled Earrings

Jumble Chain Choker Necklace with {styled} by Tori Spelling

Metal Collar Necklace

Bolo-Tie Style Necklace


Stenciled Convertible Tote/Backpack

Flowered Clutch Snackcessory

Shell Jewelry Case Clutch


Lace-Covered Boots

Luxury Jones Belt-Wrapped Cowboy Boots


Neon Sign Manicure

Acrylic Nails Sculpture

Half-Moon Manicure

Nails Inc. London Magnetic Manicure

Home Decor

Pinned Sequin Ball Ornaments

Glittery Christmas Ornament Napkins

Milk Carton Bird Feeder


Holiday Chocolate Bark: 4 Recipes


My DIY’s from 2011 (46 Tutorials)

My DIY’s from 2010 (63 Tutorials)


My DIY’s from 2009 (51 Tutorials)

(some of them may be missing photos b/c of my move to WordPress awhile ago – if you see any posts missing photos, please let me know! {Leave a comment on the post}  Thanks so much!)

2012 has been a great year for me…hope it has been just as wonderful for all of you!

So, as I raise my glass of sparkling grape juice, I wish all of you a very Happy New Year!  May 2013 bring even more wonderful things for everyone~



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Current DIYs in Progress: UV Resin and Milk Carton Crafts

Sorry for that little hiatus there!

My laptop’s internal battery overheated and put my computer out of commission for awhile, so it’s been unusable over the weekend while I waited for the replacement battery to arrive.  Now it’s installed and everything seems to be running smoothly again.

So I took some time to work on some DIYs, including my new favorite material, UV resin.  So simple and easy to use – and perfect for the bright, sunny weather we’re having here in Portland!  It cures within minutes, is completely clear, and layers images and charms so beautifully.  I finally found an equivalent available here in the U.S., so once I’m done testing it I’ll be sharing the tutorial with everyone!  The above are just some pieces I put together quickly…and will likely be listing in my Etsy shop once I relaunch that.
Given that I couldn’t use my computer, I spent much of the weekend also having some quality family time.  Yesterday I helped my son make a DIY bird feeder out of an old milk carton, some twigs, and some buttons.  So far the birds in our garden haven’t noticed it…but it’s just a matter of time…


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