Outdoor Orbs Part II.
How to Make a Birdfeeder From Glass Shades

Remember my Glowing Outdoor Orbs?  Of course you do.  They’re orbs and they glow.  Like alien testicles. Who could forget something like that.

Well I’ve come up with the Glowing Outdoor Orbs Part II.  Only the don’t glow.  So they’re the Outdoor Orbs Part II.  Only people tend not to know what an Outdoor Orb is (since I made the phrase up), so I’ve decided to change the name to White Glass Shades that Every House Used to Have But Now Doesn’t Because We all Threw Them Out Like Idiots.  And Now We Have to Buy Them From Secondhand Stores.   How’s that?

Anyhooooo back to the issue at hand.  I’m a genius and as soon as you copy what I have to show you below, you’ll feel like a genius too.  Please note, with regard to my geniusyness, it doesn’t apply to math or mathematical related problems, or numbers or decimals or anything that requires the adding or subtracting of fractions.  Or math.

The ingredients for this craft are similar to but different from those in the original Glowing Outdoor Orbs.  You still only need 2 things and it’s still incredibly easy.  I have come to understand that people LOVE the bigger projects I do, but tend to only duplicate the ones that take 10 minutes or so.  Don’t blame ya.

Here for your pleasure and limited time frame, is the 10 minute birdfeeder.


A old glass lampshade



A squiggle of rope …



A $3 contemporary hanging birdfeeder.


How to make a super-fantastic hanging birdfeeder


Gather your rope.  I happened to use 1/8th inch nylon rope.  I bought a 50′ package and it cost around $4.  There’s enough rope in that package to hang 3 or 4 birdfeeders from really high branches.

Using really thick rope would also look great.  Probably even better than the thin stuff.   I’m not sure why I bought the thinner stuff.  I’m sensing a crack in my geniusyness.


#1.  Measure twice the amount of rope as you need it to hang.   Go look at your tree branch and just guess.  When all else fails, just measure out a lot.  You can always make the rope shorter, but you can’t make it longer.  Find the middle of the rope.


#2.  Wrap the doubled up rope around the middle of your glass shade.  The looped area of the rope is the centre of it.

#3.  Pinch where the loop (centre) meets.



#4.  Tie a knot where your pinch mark is.


#5.  You now have a knot and a loop and a whole whack of excess rope.



#6.  Wrap the rope around the shade again.

#7.  Slip the excess rope through the loop, allowing the loop to rest over and lock on the knot.  You’ll probably have to undo and redo your knot to get it right.  You want it quite tight but not so tight you’ll break the shade.  Good and tight is how I would describe it.


#8.  Place a soft towel or pillow under the shade, then lift it by the rope to make sure it’s hanging straight. Fiddle with centreing the rope until it hangs right.  The towel’s there in case the shades slips out and falls.  It shouldn’t but it might. Hell, what do I know about your knot tying abilities?




#9.  Using Waterproof Silicone, glue your rope to the shade.


#10.  To make sure your rope stays centred on the shade, just run the tip of the silicone down the centre of the 2 pieces of rope.  As you run the tip down, it’ll push the two pieces aside keeping everything centred.  Go allll the way around the shade.



#11.  Pinch the rope closed again, along the glue line.


If you want to be extra diligent (I was) you can also run a bead of silicone on the outside edges of the rope.

Hey!  Wanna know why I was extra diligent??  Because the first time I did this I wasn’t and 2 of my feeders crashed to the ground and shattered into pieces.  See?  Like this.


I oringally only used “Weldbond” glue, which is supposed to adhere to glass.  Guess what?   It didn’t.  So don’t go thinking you can do this with whatever glue you have around the house.  You can’t.  You must use a silicone based product like I’ve used.  Marine silicone, tub silicone … anything like that.  Something that’s meant for use on glass and is meant to come into contact with water.  Weldbond says it does these things.  But in my experience ….

… it doesn’t.


#13.  Let the birdfeeder rest for 24 hours to dry.  Unless you’re me. In which case, run outside and hang it from the tree immediately.  Do as I say, not as I do.  You want the glue to cure before subjecting it to the elements.


Hang them & fill them with bird/chipmunk/squirrel food!


You may have noticed that there are  no pictures of birds at my birdfeeders.  That’s because I didn’t have an extra 742 hours to sit around waiting for a bird to come.  Besides it’s been raining since I hung these feeders and I haven’t seen a bird at them yet.  I’m sure they’ll come.  They always do.

Also a bit of a warning here!   I have no idea if one day the  silicone will suddenly decide it’s had enough of this and give up.  It shouldn’t. But it might.  But it really, really shouldn’t.  However, I’m warning you that I cannot take responsibility if these glass shades come crashing down onto your Golden Retriever or French Bulldog’s head.  I don’t think they will but I thought it’d be rude not to mention it’s a possibility.

Although, on account of my mathematical abilities, I wouldn’t want to put a percentage on it.  Or a fraction..



  1. Surani says:

    First comment!

    Tee-hee, not really. I mean it is, but I’m not one of THOSE people. You know who I mean.

    This is wonderful! I’ve already been going to Goodwills looking for glass round-y things for the glowing ones and now I need even more.

    Living in a townhouse with a back porch but no backyard I can’t do a lot of outdoorsy stuff, which is why I love Outdoor Orbs Part I and Part II. They work anywhere!

    Keep up the strange and wonderful things.

  2. hey these are great and i love love all the different uses SO GREAT.

  3. Amy says:

    Very geniusy, though I can tell your “geniusyness” doesn’t apply to math or mathematical related problems because this project does in fact require 3 items instead of 2 like you said in the beginning of your post. 🙂 Love it anyway.

  4. Pati says:

    awesome Karen!! Love them 🙂

  5. Karen says:

    Amy – LOL. You must be a new visitor. You’ll soon find out. I lie alllll the time. I usually point it out myself, but you beat me to it! Good job. 🙂 ~ karen

  6. Mary says:

    Damn, that’s so brilliant.

  7. Karen says:

    Yes. But ask me to calculate how much to tip at a restaurant. ~ karen

  8. Shauna Rudy says:

    Ooooh, I love it love it love it! So pretty! Do you think that if I left it empty, birds would use it as a house? I don’t know a lot about birds’ housing preferences. (I can’t do birdseed because we live across the street from a creek, and seed brings the rats over.) They’re so lovely and chic looking that I want to find another use. Maybe hanging votive holders? Thanks for another brilliant idea.

  9. Emily @ NewlyWife says:

    You make me want to run to a thrift store and hoard all of them there orbs!

  10. Cindy S. says:

    You are brilliant! I LOVE these feeders, and I LOVE the outdoor orbs!!
    I hate to admit it, but I still have 3 of these in use—I call ’em polyp lights, and I really despise them, but now I won’t have to throw them away when we finally put up new fixtures!

  11. mel says:

    yesterday i just bought 100m of rope. without any clue what to do with it. and now, there you come! thank you karen.. you are genius. and i have a explanation for the boyfriend when he gives me the what-the-hell-were-you-thinking-buying-that-look.


  12. Michelle says:

    You are so freakin amazing and human too, I like the ‘after’ smashed shots!

  13. Jen says:

    OK…it’s early…and I’ve just started sipping my coffee….but when I started reading this I was baffled wondering how you were going to CUT out the perfect hole, where the birdfeed went. LOL! I’ll go finish my coffee now….:) I LOVE, love, love, this idea. Especially now that I don’t have to cut anything.

  14. mimi says:

    Wonderful idea!
    2 things- do your hands not get wrecked from handling glue and stuff?
    -The trees in your back are gorgeous!

  15. I love the look! But I’m wondering if there might be a more secure way to do it… Two loops of rope at 45 degree angles maybe…

    Hang on, I just used degrees and angles. I lost you already, right?

    Keep up the good work.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Love it! Both orb projects are totally inspired!

  17. gf says:


    A glowing outdoor orb alien testicle bird feeder would be quite romantic for bird/squirrel date night.

  18. Cheryl says:

    Love this!! Do you think this would work with a Dollarama candy dish? https://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/10-uses-for-a-dollarama-candy-dish-2
    I’m thinking that if the bird feeder gets a lot of bird poop on it, it wouldn’t be as apparent with a clear glass.

  19. Jules says:

    Karen- you do it yet again – make me laugh and give me a mission. Love the idea! I may paint mine – that will work right? On the hunt for more orbs!!
    Good call on the 10 min projects – I’m sure you are right- human nature I guess and just the joy of almost instant gratification;) (and no math – which I thank u for because i suck at it too)

    Thanks as always!

  20. Mandy says:

    My first thought when I saw that rope around the orb was “Uh-oh, that miiight not work” Haha I’d probably be too scared that an over-eager squirrel would knock it out! I love the look though, and they’d probably be beautiful with votive candles inside too! I’m wishing I had gorgeous trees like yours!

  21. CJ says:

    Have to say,

    Someone definitely has her funny back!!!

  22. Michelle says:

    there’s an app for that!
    these are so cute and you are so funny! thanks, i needed some laughter on a friday morning!

  23. Rebecca Mueller says:

    Hi Karen,
    Love all you do. Thanks for your wit. About the birdfeeders, I have one question. How do the squirrels like them? I have given up on bird feeding because it inevitably attracts every squirrel in the neighborhood. When they are finished with the bird seed, they test my tomatoes with one bite before tossing them to the ground. Oops, two questions. Why do squirrels do that?


  24. Those are so cute! My only worry is that the wind will come along and blow them into something… or each other!

  25. Jeanne says:

    Karen: Absolutely brilliant! Another winner.

    (what is happening with the C.Coop?) hummmmm
    Diversion, procrastination, just plain wore out?

  26. Michele says:

    Even more geniusy than I expected (and i have come to expect a lot from you). I think it literally took my breath away when I scrolled down to the picture. Can’t wait to do this.

  27. Mr. Pickles says, “Brava!” Plus, the more birds I can lure the garden, the better! This the home-improvement project equivalent of the Gary Larson cartoon with the dog pointing to an open clothes dryer that reads, in crazy-person scrawl, “Cat Fud” as the cat looks at the dog suspiciously.

  28. Angela N says:

    Love this!! I will be making this soon! I have one of the orb lights in my garage right now. Woo hoo! Thanks for the idea!

  29. I love this! And I really really would like to put them in my garden. However, I am engaged in an ongoing war with several giant, fat red squirrels – fat from eating all my birdseed – who destroy everything I put in my garden to feed the birds. They are relentless and will destroy anything in search of food. These beautiful orbs might last but 10 minutes, I’m afraid.

    They are very lovely, though.

  30. Alexandra Dare says:

    What a cute way to feed the “critters,” as my grandparents would say.

  31. Kim says:

    Your posts always make me laugh! I hope that everyone you know contactntly comments on your geniusyness! It is truly remarkable!

  32. brenda says:

    i love your hands…I recognize those hands….they are the hands of someone who is an artist (like me)….over time my hands went from slim and small-knuckled to stumpy and well…kinda manly looking.
    I’m ok with it. I love what I do. How do you feel about your hands???

  33. Bobbi says:

    The orb construction looks easy enough, but how did you hang them …so high? Just wonderin’.

  34. Catherine says:

    Can you tell what kind of tree that is? It is very cool looking, with the bark and the weeping evergreen branches.



  35. lori says:

    great idea!! thanks. now a question for ya, can you figure out how to wrap the white roundie thing more than once.?? that way you would not have to worry about the “glue” holding.?? yes???
    just a thought.
    thanks for all the great ideas!!!

  36. Karen says:

    Mel – I’d have bought rope too. In fact I did a couple of weeks ago. ~ karen!

  37. Karen says:

    Mimi. Yeah. My hands get wrecked all the time. I have a massive cut across my finger that I probably should have had stitched, I have white calking in my thumbnail bed and my nails are never done. My sister gently suggested I might want to consider gel nails the other day. So yeah. My hands get wrecked. But stuff gets done! 🙂 ~ karen

  38. Karen says:

    I looked into doing this a variety of ways. I wanted something as simple and unobtrusive looking as possible. I didn’t want to create a net or cradle that would hold the birdfeeders because it would take away form the “look”. Hah! I said, “the look”. Anyhow, it’s true. The silicone should be reallyyyyyyy secure. Honestly. I mean, they use marine silicone to hold portholes into ships, so it should be fine. 🙂 ~ karen

  39. Karen says:

    Jennifer – I often use the phrase okey doke. Not “okey dokey” mind you. But still … 🙂 ~ karen

  40. Karen says:

    🙂 – karen

  41. Karen says:

    Cheryl – I think because they’re clear the dollarama candy dishes might be even messier looking because they are see through. They won’t have the same impact unless they’re against a very plain background all around. I’m not sure. The only way to find out how it looks is to try! ~ karen

  42. Karen says:

    Rebecca – Squirrels are jerks. But I still think they’re cute. I’ve see them stalking the feeders, but not actually in them. I *have* seen my chipmunk doing a lot of rummaging though! ~ karen

  43. Karen says:

    Hailey – As long as you space them at different heights they shouldn’t blow into each other. And if they’re far enough away from the trunk, same thing. Also, they’re fairly heavy once you get the seed in them. In fact, with the larger feeders don’t fill the feeder up, just enough so the birds can reach it from the lip. Otherwise it’ll be really heavy. ~ karen

  44. Karen says:

    No, I’m still working on the coop, but I can’t do it 14 hours a day anymore. The rest of the house was falling apart. You should see the laundry that needs to be done. And I still hadn’t “spring cleaned” my front yard and porch. So I’m trying to work a few other things in and slow down on the coop for a few days. It should still be done in a week or so! ~ karen

  45. Karen says:

    Brenda – They are square, workman hands. I’ve always had them. They have veins and muscles and a few callouses. When I do my nails and moisturize and such they look significantly less manly. But they’ll never be pretty. Ever. ~ karen

  46. Karen says:

    Bobbi – Ladder. Step ladder or regular. ~ karen

  47. Karen says:

    Catherine – So many people are commenting on the tree that I’ll do a post on it next week or the week after and tell you alllll about it! ~ karen

  48. Karen says:

    Lori – I tried to do this several ways over several evenings sitting on the couch. I knew the basic look I wanted. I didn’t want a rope cradle, or nest. I wanted the rope to be subtle so what you noticed was the birdfeeder. I tried macrame and knots and that sort of thing and it just didn’t look the same as the feeder hanging from the single long strand of rope. Anyhow .. the silicone will hold. 🙂 ~ karen

  49. Karen says:

    No problem Michelle! It’s kind of dreary here so I could use a laugh too. If you know a good knock knock joke, send it along. 🙂 ~ karen

  50. Elaine Clark says:

    You are funny. I love this idea. I know what you mean about the fingernails. I never wear gloves and am a source of embarrassment for my finely manicured friends and family, but it seems like such a stupid thing to worry about when I use my hands all the time. It shows. So what?!

    I can hardly wait for your tutorial on the chicken coop fence. My son gets out of school today so I am going to recruit him to help me build it. Hopefully, it isn’t too difficult. My husband doesn’t seem to have much faith in our abilities, but I know that if I see how you do it, I can follow along. Unless, of course, there is a saw involved. Then I’m screwed. My chickens have had free access to the backyard until their numbers suddenly started diminishing from either a coyote, fox or other assailant. Therefore, they have been in their house for 3 days and are anxious to get outside once again.

    Thanks for making me laugh.

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