How to make Birdseed Ornaments
Birdseed ornaments are a fun, easy project you can do by yourself or with kids as small as toddler age! They are great for decorating a special, “Critter Tree,” as my father-in-law calls it in the yard for the birds, and they make great gifts for teachers, neighbors, and co-workers!
Just a few easy ingredients, you might have most in your cupboard already!
You’ll want to follow these steps pretty closely, though, so that you get nice firm ornaments that aren’t too dry to hold together.
- 1/2 C water
- 3/4 C flour
- 3 TBS corn syrup
- 2 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (such as Klox)
- 4 C birdseed
- Large mixing bowl
- nonstick cooking spray
- cooking spray
- cookie cutters
- skewer or other implement for making string holes
- twine or other natural string
- rubber spatula
Cookie cutters work best if they are at least an inch thick, so that the ornaments are thick enough to be stable and easily hung. Cookie cutters that are very intricate aren’t ideal, either as they are hard to pop the hardened ornament out and maintain the detailed edged.
- Spray the cookie cutters with nonstick spray. Arrange on wax paper. Set aside.
- 2. Combine water, corn syrup in a nonstick saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- 3. Reduce heat and add gelatin, whisking continually until entirely dissolved. Clumps may appear, but as it gets hot enough, and you continue to stir they will disappear. This is the mixture, which will bind your ornaments together so you do not want to cook it down too much or they will be too dry to hold up.
- 4. Transfer liquid to mixing bowl and add flour. Stir the mixture until it is well combined, it will be similar to a thick batter and there should be no large clumps.
- 5. Add birdseed and mix until all the seed is well coated. It will be thick and stiff.
- 6. Spray your hands thoroughly with nonstick spray and fill each cookie cutter, pack tightly to the top with the birdseed mixture.
- 7. Be sure to press firmly into every corner of the cookie cutter, loose or not firmly packed ornaments will fall apart easily. The mixture will dry out quickly, so it is important to work quickly.
- 8. Form balls with any extra birdseed mixture.
- 9. Create the holes with your lollipop stick or skewer. Make sure your hole goes all the way through. Wiggle the skewer around to be sure the hole is large enough for your twine, and press down the birdseed again before removing the skewer.
- 9. Allow ornaments to dry on a wire cooling rack (or just on the wax paper). Wait several hours, or until they are firm enough to remove from the cookie cutter molds.
- 10. String the ornaments with your twine or other natural fiber string that will be ok to leave and allow the birds to reuse for their nests once the ornaments are gone!
Making DIY Birdseed Ornaments is a great way to spend a chilly winter’s day with the kid before heading out for a walk in the woods or to your own backyard (and then back inside for some delicious hot cocoa, of course!)