Attractive, Artsy and Functional
A creative idea for yard and garden decoration is to make bird-repelling CD suncatchers out of old CDs and DVDs. More than functional, these light-catching mobiles can be artsy fun by decorating them with markers.
Helen Joe, from the Gardens All Facebook community says:
“We hang CD suncatchers all over our garden to ward off critters who keep coming to our garden to eat our tomatoes and fruits. It works.”
~Helen Joe, gardener, GardensAll Facebook community
Still Have Old CDs?
Unfortunately, we got rid of our old dust-collecting CDs years ago, by donating them to the local library, when we went all digital. Of course, that’s the hard part about cleaning out, especially when you’ve lived in a home 30 years.
You just know you’ll need something as soon as you get rid of it. That’s exactly what happened with our CDs, though admittedly, it was about eight years later. But if you still have yours and you need a garden bird repellent, you can have fun making your own CD Suncatcher to scare the birds away from destroying your crops.
CD suncatcher mobiles are great art project for kids.
Birds Beat us to Our Berries
We lost our blueberries to birds last year. We also lost our mahonia berries. We saw about five mahonia bushes, all full with almost ripe berries get decimated in just minutes when a migrating flock of birds landed in our yard.
We love birds and don’t mind sharing, but they stripped them completely, even the green berries. These prolific bushes that normally produce for a couple months were left barren of all fruit in just minutes and never recovered that summer.
CD Suncatchers – Tinkling, Dancing Play of Light and Sound
CD suncatchers are great for decoration, throwing lovely light flickers dancing around. They even have a lightly tinkling wind chime effect.
So if you still have your old CDs this is a fun project for you—and for kids, if you have them—to get creative and make your own. My vision for this would be to draw various mandalas on the different CDs, but there’s no limit to what you could do. You could create several CD mobiles and make them in different themes.
Not only do these add bright visual flare to your garden or yard, they also serve the purpose of helping to keep birds away from your berries and plants. Maybe squirrels too, but we’ve not tried it, so if you do, please let us know. We’re always looking for humane ways to keep rodents, rabbits and squirrels out of our garden and from taking a bite out of each tomato!
Reusing CDs as Beautiful Wind Chimes
CDs make natural light catchers and with a little creativity are easy to turn into beautiful wind chimes. With a few simple materials you can easily put together functional garden art for your yard or garden using those old CDs or DVDs.
If you want to do this but don’t have old CDs, you could check yard sales or even post a request for some to your social media friends.
Here’s a couple of ideas to get you started then create away!
CD Suncatcher – Wind Chime Craft Project
How to Reuse Old CDs and DVDs
NOTE: If you need any supplies, anything you order through through Amazon Prime is free shipping.
- Old CDs and DVDs
- Aluminum foil for wrapping food
- Strong adhesive (such as glue for wood and fabric)
- Colorless cord
- Silver or decorative items made of clear glass such as beads, stars, pom-poms, mirrored mosaic tiles, a wire and pliers.
Form pieces of aluminum foil in the shape of elongated strips and balls. Glue them on the shiny side and design different patterns such as a star, an eye, a sun and so on.
As a shortcut alternative, you could use glue and glitter, or glitter glue pens, to form designs on the CDs to save time over creating things with foil.
If the upper side of the CDs is too scratched, frosted or labeled, glue two CDs together, so that only the shiny sides remain visible.
Next up: get out the color markers invite your inner artist out to play for this colorful coffee can wind chime.
Coffee Can CD Wind Chime
By Jackie of HappyHooligans.ca
- Coffee Can (label off)
- 2 coffee can lids
- Single hole – hole puncher
- Fishing line (or yarn, twine, etc
- Colored Sharpies – we have the Glam 80‘s
Assembling Your Wind Chime
Once your CDs and can are coloured, you’ll need to put everything together. This is really easy to do!
Editor’s Note: Jackie doesn’t say what she used to color the can, but if the label is baked on paint instead of a peel-able label, it would probably be best to spray painted first. If not, the sharpies might do it.
In one coffee can lid, punch as many holes as you have CDs. Space the holes fairly evenly around the edge of the can. No need to measure. I just eye-balled it.
Cut a length of fishing line, and slip one end through the hole of a CD and through a hole in the coffee can lid. Tie a knot up near the lid.
Repeat until all CDs are attached to the lid. I staggered the CDs so they weren’t all hanging at the same level.
Pop this lid on the bottom of the can. That’s right. The bottom. Take a minute to ensure any loose ends of fishing line are tucked in and hidden underneath the lid.
To hang the can, take the other lid and punch 2 holes – one across from the other near the edge of the lid.
Thread a piece of fishing line through the holes. Knot it and pop the lid back on the can.
Thanks to Jackie of HappyHooligans.ca for this lovely idea. You can find more on her project and photos on her site.
Crafting Creative Gifts
There’s no end to creative options for creating wind chimes. Years ago we received cool bamboo wind chimes that have a lovely alto-resonant quality in the wind. These make great gifts for family and friends as well.
If you’re growing bamboo, this is an especially perfect craft project. Though we haven’t yet made bamboo chimes, we use our bamboo for garden supports all the time.
Handmade Gifts are the Best!
Speaking of gifts, the next time you need that gift for someone special, instead of spending the afternoon at the mall or perusing online, you could make one instead! Personally, handmade gifts have always been my favorite. Not only is the gift more a part of the giver, it also brought them enjoyable creative time in the making… an invisible essence imbued into the gift forever.
But… craft making often still costs money in supplies, and certainly time, so if you don’t have so much time but would love to have some wind chimes, you may enjoy some of the best sellers on Amazon. Most of them cost less than the supplies! WHAT..?
Best Sellers on Amazon
Best sellers on Amazon may cost less than craft supplies!
Wind Sculptures for Deterring Birds
Did you know that some of the lovely garden art such as spinners, wind chimes, suncatchers and wind sculptures serve more than just aesthetic beauty in the garden.
Birds, deer, squirrel and other critters are deterred by movement and sounds such as you get with spinners and chimes. The added benefit of these is that the movement, like the wind, is inconsistent. The inconsistency then, helps wildlife to not get acclimated and used to the movement, sound and flashing.
Wind Spinner Deterrents
- Lovely artistic accents
- Sporadic movements, that help keep wildlife away
- Chimes have movement and sound
- Can work day and night
- It's not always windy*
*For this disadvantage, we're intrigued by the solar wind chimes, to keep the movement going even if cloudy or not windy.
Solar Powered Glass Ball Sun
Speaking of solar, while it's not a chime or suncatcher, one of our favorite garden art pieces is a solar glass ball sun, available on Amazon.
You can see ours in action in the video below. The colors are amazing at night and make for an enchanting accent piece of yard and garden art. You can see some of our other favorite garden gifts here.
In our efforts to keep birds away from our blueberries and elderberries, here's what we've found:
If you only have a few grapes or cluster berries, bags can work. Here are some reusable fruit protectant bags on Amazon:
SOUND DETERRENTS: If you have a lot of grapes, you can look into a sound deterrent. A local vineyard in our area uses this effectively, however, they can be expensive, with variable efficacy and other potential issues, such as keeping away the insect-eating pollinators that are amongst the benefits of having birds around.
NETTING: This is effective. We used it for blueberries. But... it's not pretty and we've had a bird caught in there. We got to it in time to free the bird, but it was very entangled and if we had missed a day, it would've died in the heat without water. So we removed our netting and have lost berries instead, while figuring this one out for the orchard area.
We also lot all our mahonia berries to birds this year. A lesser known fruit, high in vitamin C and easy to grow. Less known because the flavor isn't as wonderful as the other more familiar berries, but it's pleasant medicine for health and prevention. But there are too many clusters to cover, so we'd probably try out a full bush cover cloth next year.
MOVEMENT: Old fashioned... moving things like wind spinners, wind chimes, CD suncatchers, etc., may do just as well or better while adding an artistic touch to your artist's garden.
From the GardensAll Community
It Really Works!
I use them on my windows to keep the birds from flying into them. I use 3m removable hooks and just put the CD in a hook. For the smaller windows I use a tension rod and hang the cds from the rod. They clink against the windows when it’s breezy, but we’ve gotten quite used to the sound. And it really works. I was finding a dead bird almost every day; now I may find one or two in the course of a season - usually during migration times.
Great to hear that, Snad!
Didn't Work for Richard
"Put CD all over my tomatoes plants.
Second day after after putting out the birds were sitting on CDs eating tomatoes!"
Wow, Richard! Your birds must have a sense of humor! 😀
Works Like a Charm
I hang CDs in my cherry tree to prevent birds from eating the cherries. Works like a charm!!
I hang mine in my fruit trees to deter birds. I also use Christmas baubles but the cds blow better in the breeze and catch light at night.
Shannon DeAnna Schofield
Let us know your experience and we can add that here.
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