I've joked for a long time that our backyard is like the Hundred Acre Wood. Despite the fact that we live in the middle of suburbia and nowhere near a true forest, we seem to be a hangout spot for all of the local woodland creatures. Deer? Got 'em. Bunnies? SO MANY. Chipmunks? A'yup. Birds? Of all spots and stripes! In the past we've hung bird feeders only to get frustrated by the greedy squirrels who knock them over and stuff their cheeks with seeds, but I thought Bailey and I could try again with a little DIY project. We got the style inspiration from Design Dazzle when I decided to try something other than the traditional toilet paper roll + PB + birdseed feeder.
While working on this, we discussed the animals that enjoy our backyard and what each of them likes to eat and how each type of bird has a different song or call they use to communicate with their friends. We also talked about the texture of the birdseed and how the gelatin made the seeds super sticky. B was a big help with the scooping and smooshing of the seeds.
Ready to make treats for your own backyard feathered friends? Let's do it!
Tweet Treats Bird Feeders
Makes 2-5 feeders, depending on size
What You'll Need
1 1/2 Cups birdseed
1/4 Cup water
1 Packet of gelatin
Twine or yarn, cut into 12" lengths, folded in half and knotted at the ends
How To Make It
Gather your supplies. Heat water in a small saucepan and mix in gelatin until it is completely dissolved. Ours dissolved pretty quickly. Add the birdseed to the pan and mix until it's wet and there is no more loose liquid. I would recommend adding 1 cup to start and then adding the other 1/2 cup in small increments until it's the right consistency. It will be moist and gloppy, but not sloppy. If you haven't already, cut the twine into lengths that are about a foot long, and then knot the ends together.
I would recommend putting down a drop cloth or big sheet of paper to cover the table for easier cleanup; the birdseed gets super sticky and can make a big mess. We did this outside so that any birdseed that dropped onto the ground would make a tasty treat for the chipmunks, squirrels or birds.
Lay down the wax paper and place the cookie cutters on top of it. Fill the cookie cutters to half of their overall depth, being sure to press the seed (as best you can) into corners and along edges. You want it to be nicely pressed so that it's not crumbly once it dries. This is great for little ones to do; perfect for encouraging those motor skills to strengthen!
Once all of your cookie cutters are halfway full of birdseed, grab the string and place one in each cookie cutter, pressing the string down a bit so that it is gently embedded in the seed. Make sure to get the knotted end almost to the bottom edge so that it is well encapsulated in the seed that you'll be laying on top of it. You don't want it to stick out at the bottom, but almost. Just make sure there's enough string popping out of the top so that you have room for hanging.
After your string is placed, add more birdseed on top, continuing to pack it, until the cookie cutter is completely and evenly filled.
Gently move the wax paper to an area where your feeders can dry. I recommend a spot with low humidity so that the moisture will be pulled out a bit more quickly. I put ours in our kitchen and flipped them every time I passed through so they could dry from both sides. Let them sit for a day or two until they are really nice and dry.
Pick birdseed out of every crevice of your hands. Did I mention that this stuff gets really sticky?
Pop the dry feeders out of the cookie cutters (gently, so your fox doesn't lose a leg like ours did), hang them outside, and wait for the birds (or squirrels) to show up for dinner.