Build a Bat Box for Daddy

Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy

This Father’s Day, we’re taking dads back to their childhood with a superhero bat box, DIY style! Give dad a heartfelt, handmade gift with this fun activity for the whole family. It’s time to get out those tools, that leftover paint, a couple of nails, and a little bravery if needed.

The fact of the bat is
  • Most bats spend the summers in trees, under bridges, or in old buildings.
  • They are a protected species in South Africa and it is illegal to harm them.
  • They are not vampires (thank goodness). There are 3 species of bats which feed on the blood of large mammals, but they do not bite into human necks and suck our blood.
Why should you build a bat box?
  • One bat box can host up to 50 brown bats, who in turn will eat thousands of bugs each night, hooray!
  • Bats love to eat mosquitos, yippee! One little brown bat could eat over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in one night. Amazing!
  • Bats play a role in plant pollination too. Fruit trees, night flowering plants, and a variety of other flora can all benefit from having more of these friendly pollinators around.
Life is a Garden Build a Bat Box for Daddy
Tools needed:

This project will require some basic carpentry skills. It’s a good idea to get dad involved in helping you build his gift.

  • Table saw or handsaw
  • Caulking gun
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tape measure
  • Staple gun (optional)
  • Two clamps for clamping wood while you saw or drill
  • Safety glasses for when you use power tools
Materials needed:
  • Piece of plywood: 60 cm x 120 cm x 1.5 cm
  • Piece of cedar or pine board: 2.5 cm x 5 cm x 250 cm
  • Piece of cedar or pine board: 2.5 cm x 10 cm x 60 cm
  • Tube of paintable, nontoxic, latex caulk
  • Exterior-grade, non-toxic, water-based paint or stain
  • Wire or rubber mesh
  • A super-cool Batman stencil
  • Spray paint

 

Steps to building the bat house
  1. Measure and cut the 60 cm x 120 cm x 1.5 cm piece of plywood into three pieces:
    1. 60 cm x 65 cm (for the backplate)
    2. 60 cm x 40 cm (for the top half of the front plate)
    3. The remaining 60 cm x 15 cm piece will be used as the bottom half of the front plate
  2. Cut grooves into the entire backplate (for the bats to hold on to), or attach wire or rubber mesh using a staple gun.

Mother’s Day Macramé Plant Hangers

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a hand-crafted, Mother's Day gift. Brush up on your knotting skills because the sassy 70's décor is back, baby! Try making this DIY macramé plant hanger for your mamma and gift her something genuine, from the heart.

You will need:
  • Four pieces of 2-meter cotton cord (3.1mm thick)
  • 1" brass ring
  • Two pieces of 30 cm rope
  • Scissors
  • Plant of your choice - we have used a Sweatheart Creeper (Philodendron scandens oxycardi)
  • Pot plant container
Getting to know the Sweatheart Creeper

Sweatheart Creepers (Philodendron scandens oxycardi) can be identified by their unique heart-shaped leaves. They are fast-growing climbers and one of the most popular foliage plants used as room or conservatory decor. This plant is adaptable, tolerates low levels of light for long periods, and thrives in summer or winter room temperatures. Click here to find your local GCA Garden Centre for more indoor plants suitable for this project.

Step by step to making your macramé masterpiece:

Step 1.
Begin your DIY macramé plant hanger by cutting the pieces of the cottob macramé cord. You will need four, 2-meter cords and two, 30 cm long cords.

Step 2.
Fold the  four, 2-meter cords in half and loop it through the bass ring.

Step 3.
Next, secure your cords in place by using the wrapped or ring knot. This is a simple knot that has a sophisticated, finished look. You will need your 30 cm piece of cord for this knot.

How to tie a wrapped, looped knot
  1. Place the short cord over the looped cords with the short tail to the left, the loop pointing down, and the long tail to the right.
  2. Wrap the long tail around the looped cords and around the loop of the short cord.
  3. Continue wrapping the long tail, pulling it tight and leaving the bottom loop of the short cord uncovered.