Toy Basics Series
[ Part 1 of the Toy Basics Series ]
My Top 5 Tools
At less than $10 each these tools are both affordable and necessary (in my mind) for making bird toys.
I unpacked my bird toy tool box and lined up my TOP 5 tools for making bird toys:
Why cheap? After cutting poly rope, thin leather and dry sponges your scissors are liable to be utterly ruined. Since you will heap so much abuse on them I suggest starting with inexpensive scissors and not your favorite pricey kitchen scissors (whoops!).
Pointy Metal Skewer
Whether you bought it for making shish kabobs or roasting marshmallows dust off your pointy metal skewer. It will become your second favorite tool when it comes to making the more creative bird toys. Need to poke a hole in thick cardboard? Grab the skewer. Need to thread a wicker ball or giant sponge on poly rope? Grab the skewer. Having something that is long, pointy AND inflexible is incredibly useful. Try using one and you will see why I recommend it so highly!
Drill & Drills Bits
After completing some fairly extensive home renovations I found myself the proud owner of a light weight cordless drill. What I could never have foreseen was using it weekly… for my birds. Drilling wood blocks and pine boards takes only a couple of minutes but results in some very unique toys and perches.
Leather Hole Punch Tool
The leather hole punch tool is the newest tool I’ve added to my repertoire. It lets me be more creative and use odd shaped leather scraps in my creations. In case you’ve never heard of, much less seen this tool, it punches holes of various sizes in leather. For less than $7.25 I recommend trying one out if your bird enjoys playing with leather.
For cutting items that your scissors simply cannot handle, such as thick leather strips, bring out an X-acto knife. Make sure to keep extra blades handy since they can become dull very fast.
Pliers or clamps
Some individuals use pliers and/or clamps to open and close O-rings for bird toys. I personally dislike O-rings due to safety issues for both the bird and myself. Granted you can make it bird safe if you solder shut the stainless steel O-ring, but that is a pain to accomplish. And maybe I am just clumsy but I always end up with injured hands when I try to include O-rings in my bird toys. It got to be a running family joke at one point whenever I picked up pliers. Hence I mark these tools as ‘optional’.