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Fun Shaped Bird Feeders

on December 10, 2012

Winter break is almost upon us and that means precious time with our children. But that also means that soon we will hear the annoying chorus of “We’re bored! We’re bored! There’s nothing to do!” This pin is perfect for those days:

BirdFeederPin

This winter break activity is from the eighteen25 blog. Here are the instructions:

what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup birdseed (we got the seed for small birds at wal-mart)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small envelope of knox gelatine
  • twine or string
  • cookie cutters, molds or mason jar lids
  • wax paper

what you’ll do:

  • Mix together the envelope of gelatin with 1/4 cup of water and bring to a simmer while stirring. Continue stirring until the gelatin is dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for a minute.
  • Stir in the 3/4 cup birdseed, adding a little more if there is liquid still in the bottom of the pan.
  • Lay your cookie cutters out on wax paper and fill half way with the birdseed mixture.
  • Cut your twine, knot the end and push the knot down into your birdseed.
  • Continue filling with birdseed, covering the end of your twine and knot.
  • Push the birdseed evenly into the cookie cutter until it’s full.
  • Allow them to dry overnight, turning them over every now and then.
  • Remove from the cookie cutters and hang them in your trees.
  • Then wait by the window to watch for your first guest.

I love to feed the birds during the winter, and my cats love it also. They especially adore when I hang the feeders outside the big picture window in the living room. They can watch them flit back and forth for hours.

These shaped feeders are perfect for hanging outside the window and in our trees, and the shapes are adorable. I knew they would be great for family time.

I gathered the supplies. I decided since we were going to go through the trouble and mess, I would double the recipe and make even more. I got the bird seed from the large bin where you can scoop as much or as little as you need so that I didn’t have to buy an entire bag.

BirdFeederIngredients

This picture shows the gelatin cooking and dissolving. When I first began the project, my kids said they didn’t want to help, but once I started, my daughter couldn’t resist and came in to help cook the ingredients.

GelatinCooking

Next we added the birdseed. The doubling of the recipe worked perfectly. We didn’t need to add any extra birdseed as the recipe suggests you might need.

BirdseedCooking

We selected four cookie cutters—the state of Ohio, a wavy square, a heart and an apple.  We placed them on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet. At this point my son decided he wanted to join the fun. We pushed the birdseed into the cookie cutters. We even had enough left over to add a small moon shaped cookie cutter.

It was a messy business, but very fun.  One note: you have to work quickly at this point because relatively quickly the gelatin solidifies.

Once you fill a cookie cutter halfway, you insert the twine. The original instructions don’t tell you how long to make the twine, but I found that 20 inches made a nicely sized loop for hanging in the tree.

BirdfeederHalfWay

Finally you fill the cookie cutter the rest of the way, press the mixture down and flatten it across the top. Here is my son finishing filling one of the cookie cutters.

PressInBirdfeeder

Now the cookie cutters are all filled and ready to set.

BirdFeederFinished

After about three hours, we started flipping them over as the instructions said, and it worked perfectly. About eighteen hours later, we pressed them out of the cookie cutters. They came out easily, and looked great!

Here are the final products ready to be hung.

finishedbirdfeeders

The kids were thrilled to hang the birdfeeders up and they looked great in the trees and hanging from the porch. (No, it’s not evening. It’s 4 p.m., in Ohio, and of course, it’s grey outside. Sigh.)

kaelinhanging

HeartBirdFeeder

I would recommend this project for anyone with kids. My teen and preteen enjoyed the project, but it was easy enough that any child from toddler to teen could find it fun. Toddlers wouldn’t be able to do the cooking, but they would have fun pressing the bird seed into the cookie cutters and inserting the twine. What child wouldn’t be thrilled to hang their finished bird feeders in the trees and see the birds enjoying their hard work?

If you give this project a try, send me a photo. I would love to see how yours turn out.

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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One response to “Fun Shaped Bird Feeders

  1. chelset says:

    oh my goodness – I adore this idea. a DIY for feeding birds – so much more fun than just filling up a feeder!!

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