This has been a family tradition of ours now for seven years. We call it Christmas for the birds! Every mid December we make ornaments out of bird seed, hang them on an artificial Christmas tree on our back porch and watch the birds indulge from our windows. We started this when Bennett was only one years old and seven years later he still likes seeing the birds enjoy the ornaments we make. This is Harrison’s fourth year doing it! He is no longer trying to eat the bird seed anymore! Doesn’t Harrison look like cousin Eddy from Christmas Vacation in the picture below?!?! This made me laugh.
Anyways, back to the bird tree… It’s neat to see the variety of birds it attracts! We use to string popcorn, oranges and cranberry garland but it posed to be time consuming and although it looked beautiful the birds didn’t eat it.
TIP: The bird seed ornaments require 24 hours to dry and harden. They will fall apart if taken out of the cookie cutters sooner.
4 cups bird seed
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup flour
3 tbsp light corn syrup
1 pack unflavored gelatin
10 or more cookie cutters
Non stick cooking spray
Ribbon or twine
Straws cut into small pieces
Medium to large mixing bowls
Foil or parchment paper
Yields: 8-10 ornaments
1. Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper and place the cookie cutters on the tray. Spray the cookie cutter with a non stick baking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl add flour, water, corn syrup, and gelatin. With a spoon stir the mixture until you’ve incorporate all of the ingredients into a paste.
3. Incorporate the birdseed into the paste and coat the bird seed well.
4. Spoon the bird seed into the cookie cutters and press the seed into the cutter so it is compact. Fill the cutter to the top with birdseed.
5. Take a piece of straw and press it into the center of the ornament this will create a hole for the twine to be strung through.
6. Allow the ornaments to sit in the cookie cutters for 24 hours. Flip the ornament after 12 hours to allow both sides to dry.
7. After 24 hours carefully press the ornament out of the cutter. I dry mine for an additional hour or so after pressed out of the cookie cutter.
8. String the ornaments with twine or ribbon and tie off. Place ornaments on tree and watch the birds fly in.
Tip: If your cookie cutters are more than an 1″ think like mine, your ornaments can be difficult to string. I use a bobby pin like a needle to help string the ornaments.
It usually takes about one day or so before the birds figure out the ornaments are there. This is a fun little tradition to start with your little’s this holiday season.