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Tips for making your own birdfeeder

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Dear Reena,
Can you please provide me with an idea for a homemade birdfeeder that I can make without spending a lot of money? Thanks, Warren

Dear Warren,
Here are two simple ideas for creating homemade birdfeeders. Option 1: Smear a bagel with peanut butter and roll the bagel in birdseed so that every side of the bagel is covered with birdseed. Attach a string and hang the bagel on a tree branch. Option 2: Cut four-inch holes on each side of a clean and empty milk jug. Fill the jug with enough birdseed so that it fills the bottom of the jug without spilling to the ground. Using a knife or scissors, cut two small holes on opposite sides at the top of the jug, thread a string through both holes and make a knot. Hang the bottle onto a tree branch. Refill with seed as needed.

Hi Reena,
My mom asked me to contact you with a problem she and probably a lot of other people have with little rubber-backed mats that you put in front of your kitchen sink, etc.  Every time she cleans them the rubber backing crumbles off.  She wonders if there’s anything she can apply to the bottom of a new mat to prevent this from happening. Marlene

Dear Marlene,
As you say, it is common for rubber-backed mats to crumble during laundering and thankfully there are little mats available that are much easier to launder then the rubber-backed mats. Your mother may want to shop for a mat with a washable care label on the back. Or she can hand-wash her mats in the bathtub with shampoo or dish soap and hang to dry.

Other options: Glue self-adhesive foam or rubber shelf liner or a bathtub mat with suction cups to the bottom of the mat. Or purchase aerosol rubber spray at your local hardware store, spray the bottom of the mat and allow a few hours of drying time. Once the floor mat is back in position and has repeated weight on it, the mat should stay put. Or apply double-sided tape under the mat. The disadvantage of this option is that you run the risk of adhesive sticking to the floor over the years.

Feedback from Reader Who Cares

Regarding stained ceiling tiles:
Hi Reena,
I had a similar problem and tried to paint over the dried stains but they kept coming back.  I finally found a wonderful product called ‘Kilz" and used a white color (same as the tile color) and painted the whole ceiling.  The stains were covered completely and have never shown through! I think there are other products on the market now as well but haven’t had to explore their use or effectiveness. Enjoy your column - especially the tip on re-growing romaine lettuce from the core! Thanks, Suzy

Fabulous Tips of the Week
•We own a camper trailer and have had issues with mice in the past, but not anymore. Every year we sprinkle a 5 inch band of Comet around the wheels and hitch of the camper, this has been very effective and we no longer have mice getting into the camper. Submitted By: Mel and Lil
•It can be challenging to write names on rubber boots without the name eventually fading or washing off. I write names on rubber boots using Liquid White Out and the name remains visible indefinitely. Submitted By: Marlies
•The easiest way that I have found to keep strawberries fresh is to store the strawberries in the original store container and flip the container upside down and then right side up every day. Submitted By: Karen
•I have been in the drywall business for many years. Many people ask me how to repair water stains on their stipple ceiling. The easiest remedy is to spray the stain with 50/50 bleach and water and leave. Submitted By: Brian
•When I was at hockey, one of the kids complained that his skate was rubbing on his ankle bone. The coach cut a golf ball in half and placed it over his ankle bone. Worked great! Submitted By: Jordan
•Whenever I have icy steps outside, I sprinkle coffee grounds onto the ice. My theory is that the dark colour of the grounds melts the ice faster instead of leaving the area bare. Submitted By: Anonymous

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Follow me on Twitter and checkout my website at!

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