Date: 2/10/2017 7:52 PM EST
We get asked all the time..."Do you take your maple syrup containers back and refill them?"
The answer, "No. We can't."
At Maple Row Sugarhouse we are a certified facility with Michigan Dept. of Rural Development and we are pleased to be the cleanest facility in Southwest Michigan that our inspector has ever seen. When you buy Pure Maple syrup from us you can be guaranteed that your maple syrup is going into a sterile new container.
And I get it, it seems like a waste to just empty the jug and throw it away. I struggle with this ALL. THE.TIME. Remember, I'm the Maple Mama and when something isn't quality enough to be sold to you...it ends up in my kitchen for me to use to experiment with. I've had a lot of empty containers go into my trash can. I feel sad, because I personally think it is a beautiful jug!! :) And I was at a lose of what else to do.
At 2016 Maple Festival we displayed a cute bird feeder with the instructions, that was made by one of our workers from a used maple syrup jug. I kept that feeder, hung it out my front door, put some yummy bird feed in it and waited to see if birds would actually come to the maple syrup jug.
It took the birds a few days to find it, but sure enough, they soon were enjoying the maple jug bird feeder. The little sap suckers and I were pretty excited to see the birds enjoying the maple syrup jug feeder. They older two children (aka little sap suckers) would help me keep the feeder full so the birds would keep coming back.
Did I mention that this is great tool to used to educate your children on recycling and about birds?? Oh my!! My children learn without even knowing it and it is the best and the most fun for all of us. They are eager to learn when it is fun!
So how do you make this wonderful bird feeder from your used maple syrup jug? Let me and the little sap suckers show you how we did it. And here is a printable for you
to follow too.
In this plan we used a 2" circular hole for the feeder hole, but you can make it whatever shape or size you like. Use your imagination and the tools available to you to make the maple syrup jug bird feeder that you like; but we will show you the way we made ours!
Items we used: drill, 2 1/4" hole saw bit, 3/16" drill bit, unit-bit, wooden sticks 10" - 12" long and about 3/4" diameter for perch, thick jute string, pencil, ruler, scissor
Since not everybody will have all these nifty tools on hand, here is a list of items that may be more simple for you! :)
Drill, utility knife or copying saw, string, wooden dowel or small pvc pipe for perch.
Steps to making to Bird Feeder:
1. First, enjoy your Maple Row Sugarhouse pure maple syrup. Any size container will make a bird feeder; gallon, 1/2 gallon, quart, pint, or 1/2 pint. We like the half gallon and quart size the best! Rinse out the container with really hot water. Just plain water cleans the little bit of extra maple syrup that gets left in your jug. Make sure you save the lid!
2. We first measured for where our holes would be placed. I measured 1" to the left of the seam of the syrup jug and 1/2" - 1" from the bottom for the perch hole (depending on the size of my container I was useing); and 1" to the left of the seam of the syrup jug and 3"-4" up from the bottom for the feeder hole. (You can make it the measurements as you need them to be there is no right or wrong way to do this.) Be sure you are marking your measurements with a pencil. You are basically marking the center of your holes for your perch and feeder hole.
3. We then used our uni-bit and made a hole for our perch stick.
We used the hole saw bit to make the feeder hole.
The bit left some shavings on the jug so we used a small knife and cleaned up the holes.
4. Last we drilled a small hole with a 3/16" drill bit in the top of the lid for our jute string.
I cut a 2 foot long string, tied the ends into a knot and pulled the string through the hole of the lid. Then screwed the lid back on the jar.
5. Slid the stick perch into the prepared hole. Because our sticks weren't completely smooth and uniform we used some caulk to kept the perch in place.
6. Your bird feeder is now ready to hang up. Don't forget to add Bird Seed.
Simple. Easy. Fun. (Children will need adult supervision.)