Been saving all of our beer bottle caps, so those are pretty much free.
Got 2 boxes of tinsel for christmas @ 50 cents each. Only used one, and had to strip the tinsel back off the tree because it's a kitty hazard and a wildlife one too. Will be hitting the stores after christmas this year and pick up a box or few for a dime a pop once they hit rock bottom prices :)
Bag of bamboo skewers, they kind most stores carry for cheap kabob action. Comes 80-125 per bag at around 1.50-2.00 a bag. If they are more expensive than that, skip em and look elsewhere.
I might make some twisty tie style, so I cut up some crap wire bits I had laying around. I figure those will be nice for attaching onto trellis bits or tall plants. I'm also going to use a bit of scrap ribbon.
A pair of needle nose pliers.
Wire cutter if you are using a wire to make the scare a twisty tie instead of clamping it onto the skewer.
A tall vase or jar. This is handy to put your skewer scares into as you get them done so they don't get too tangled up if you toss them in a pile.
Ok, so how many scares you can make depends on how much tinsel you use per scare. I started out using quite a bit, then cut back on them. I figure the way I was starting out I might get three dozen, and I cut the amount of tinsel in half so I might get five dozen from this pile. Still have a new box that I can divide up much more neatly.
Took me some dinking around to figure out just what is the easiest way to make them. Now that I have it figured out I will take the camera upstairs and take pics of what I am doing next time I go up. I will add them in after that :)
Take your pliers and slightly bend out a tooth on either side of the cap.
Bend cap just a bit to get the fold started. Make sure you don't bend it too much otherwise the skewer/wire won't fit in nicely to the fold.
Pinch the ends of the tinsel into the skewer and place the skewer into the fold of the cap.
Pinch cap down around the skewer and tinsel, first using fingers, then use the pliers to really crimp it down.
The tip of the scare should be totally closed just above the tip of the skewer, the whole cap clamped in an "overbite" down to the skewer, and the other end of the cap should be snugly clamped over the skewer.
If using a wire or ribbon. Center it over the cap before wrapping the tinsel around it and wrap the tinsel over the center point. Crimp both ends very tightly, making the "overbite" in the cap.
BIRD NESTING MATERIALS:
For all of the crafters out there... Put aside a weatherproof container for all of your cut offs. All those scraps and scribbins, tail ends and trim offs of thread, embroidery floss, yarn to some extent, try to keep it to mostly natural fibers... A couple inches to about a foot pieces. So whatever scrap you got, cut it up a bit if you are tossing it for the birds. In the early spring a month or so before spring nesting, put the container out in a place you pass by on a regular basis. Then over the next couple weeks, sprinkle out threads along that path as they get plucked away.
When doing spring laundering in the dryer. Save up some of those lint lifts and scatter those around in the spring too.
Over the course of the year, think about recycling your eggshells for the birds. Eggshells have a lot of uses, this is one of the lesser sung ones. Save up your eggshells, rinsing them out well or not using any with any egg scraps in them still that could cause rotting. Save them up and mash them up pretty fine for bird consumption. An open tray feeder is best for this, both closer to ground level and/or hanging depending on what kind of wildlife you have going on.
We tend to go through eggs a lot, about a dozen a week or two. So as we crack eggs, we rinse the shells and stack them to dry in a styrofoam egg crate. After they are dry, we empty them into a large coffee tin, and crush them up at will. The egg crate sits atop the can and takes up little counter space.