Kid-Made Bird Feeder Wreath (with Video)

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All of the kids love it when birds visit our yard, so one of our daycare’s parents, Melissa, offered to come up with an idea for a bird feeder kids can make.

This is an easy kids’ craft idea that needs just a little bit of adult instruction, allowing children independence and pride in their beautiful bird feeder wreath.

Easy Bird Feeder Kids Can Make, a beautiful Bird Feeder Wreath to decorate your yard and attract the birds

Bird Feeder Wreath Craft

I love crafts that allow children to be independent and have a bit of freedom in the creative process. (Read more about my approach to crafting here.) And the wonderful bonus of this craft is that children can observe birds enjoying their creations and feel a swell of pride each time a bird flies into the yard to visit their bird feeder wreath.

While developing this recipe, I consulted with both a pet store and a veterinarian’s office confirm that corn syrup and flour in these quantities are safe for birds. I’ve also include in the recipe notes how to make the wreath with suet, but I found the recipe detailed here to be more affordable and easy to make with kids.

(To make that version – use 3lbs of suet  and 1/2 cup of peanut butter replacing the gelatin, flour and corn syrup – I definitely prefered the process of using the gelatin with the kids. To use suet, buy it from your butcher and melt over medium heat until liquified.)

Now, this wreath stays solid enough for me when the weather is under 0 Celsius or 32 Fahrenheit to be able to hang it up like a wreath. When it’s warmer, you’re better off placing it on a plate or tray because it will slowly start to fall apart as animals pick pieces off. Smaller wreaths (mini bundt-size) will stay together longer.

Also, I always get asked if I wrote down the wrong amount of gelatin. NOPE. You need 1 cup. Skip the grocery store and head to a bulk store where it should cost you around $1. If you try to use little packets of gelatin for this it will cost you a small fortune.

Check out our list of Bird Books for Kids for a great book to pair with this activity.

Can I make a bird feeder wreath with just bird seed? You can omit the almonds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, etc, from this recipe but you will still need to use the corn syrup, flour and gelatin to form your wreath.

Can birds eat dried fruit? Yes! You can swap out our fresh cranberries for dried, or use dried apples, dried pineapple, raisins, etc. If you use a fruit with seeds or pits, be sure to remove them as birds cannot eat these.

How long does this bird feeder last? If you want to make this bird seed wreath in advance (perhaps for a gift) it can be kept in the fridge or freezer until you are ready. Once it is outside, the birds (and sometimes the squirrels) will make quick use of it. If it’s warm where you are, don’t have up the wreath – just lay it out on a tray or on the grass to avoid it falling apart.

 

To help make this recipe even easier, I made a how-to video so you can see exactly what texture everything needs to be at different stages. The gelatin stage will look completely different than how you want gelatin to look for Jell-O. It will almost look like opaque peanut butter – the minute all of the crystals are hydrated, pour it over your cranberry-almond-seed mixture. (Do not waste time stirring those in like I did as my gelatin got hard quite quickly and was more difficult to make an even layer with.

 

Note: in the video, I only had 1/2 cup of gelatin on hand but I didn’t want to delay adding a how-to video to this post as we were getting a lot of questions about texture – which obviously wasn’t enough to create a complete layer of gelatin treats at the front of the wreath, but the texture you see in the video is correct.

How to make an easy bird feeder wreath with kids

Materials for Making Your Own Bird Feeder Wreath

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Note: purchase the bulk gelatin powder via Amazon or at your local bulk store – do not attempt to measure 1 cups worth of those little packets or you will spend a small fortune.

How to Make a Bird Seed Wreath

Grease your bundt pan and then sprinkle in the cranberries, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Set aside.

Mix the 1/3 cup water, flour, and corn syrup together to form a natural glue.

Add bird seed mix to this natural glue and stir well. The 4th cup is optional, but if you are planning on hanging up your wreath I would add no more than 3 1/2 cups of bird seed.

(I encouraged the children to ensure there was no “loose” bird seed because that would just fall out of our wreath.)

Prepare the gelatin mixture by placing the gelatin powder in a bowl or measuring cup and dissolving it with the water. It needs to be pourable but super thick (refer to the video).

Scoop the bird seed mixture overtop of the gelatin layer and press firmly to compact your wreath.

Allow to set in the fridge overnight and then tie your string around the wreath and hang. If you’re a bit worried about the fragility of your bird feeder wreath, you can instead place it on a platter for the birds.

(Optionally, you can add the twine to the wreath during the gelatin stage, but this is a bit tricky for kids to get right.)

Pin this easy bird feeder wreath tutorial: This easy bird feeder wreath is the perfect homemade gift kids can make to bring the birds to the yard

Print the instructions for our kid-made bird feeder wreath here:

Yield: 1 wreath

Kid-Made Bird Feeder Wreath (with Video)

Kid-Made Bird Feeder Wreath (with Video)

An easy recipe for a homemade bird feeder wreath - perfect for making with the kids.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 3-4 cups bird seed
  • 1 cup gelatin mixed with 1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup flour mixed with 1/3 cup water

Tools

  • Bundt pan
  • Ribbon or twine for hanging
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions

  1. Grease your bundt pan and then sprinkle in the cranberries, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Set aside.
  2. Mix the 1/3 cup water, flour, and corn syrup together to form a natural glue.
  3. Add bird seed mix to this natural glue and stir well. The 4th cup is optional, but if you are planning on hanging up your wreath I would add no more than 3 1/2 cups of bird seed.
  4. (I encouraged the children to ensure there was no "loose" bird seed because that would just fall out of our wreath.)
  5. Prepare the gelatin mixture by placing the gelatin powder in a bowl or measuring cup and dissolving it with the water. It needs to be pourable but super thick (refer to the video).
  6. Scoop the bird seed mixture overtop of the gelatin layer and press firmly to compact your wreath.
  7. Allow to set in the fridge overnight and then tie your string around the wreath and hang. If you're a bit worried about the fragility of your bird feeder wreath, you can instead place it on a platter for the birds.
  8. (Optionally, you can add the twine to the wreath during the gelatin stage, but this is a bit tricky for kids to get right.)

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Looking for an easy Bird Feeder Kids Can Make? A beautiful Bird Feeder Wreath to decorate your yard and attract the birds. Perfect for a bird unit study or your nature-loving child

This easy bird feeder kids can make would be great as part of a bird unit study.

To use up the rest of your bird seed, check out our:

Or, check out these other bird feeders kids can make from my fellow bloggers:

For more kid-made gifts, check out our peppermint swirl sugar scrub or kid-made lip gloss.

Easy Bird Feeder Kids Can Make, a beautiful Bird Feeder Wreath to decorate your yard and attract the birds  Bring all the birds to your yard with this gorgeous DIY Bird Feeder Wreath, a fun craft for kids and a great homemade gift for a bird lover  How to make an easy Bird Seed Wreath using everyday kitchen supplies - and some bird seed! A fun way to treat your backyard birds in the Spring or Fall  Bring all the birds to your yard with this gorgeous DIY Bird Feeder Wreath, a fun craft for kids and a great homemade gift for a bird lover

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41 Comments

    1. I made this exactly as instructed and let it sit in the fridge overnight. It came out of the bunt pan nicely but it has not set… if I were to pick it up I think it would fall apart. Help!!!

      1. Hi Sue,
        I’m so sorry – that is incredibly frustrating. If it’s very cold outside where you are, I would probably try to freeze the wreath and then hang it frozen (if it will stay frozen outside).
        We make this wreath almost every year, and while it normally works perfectly we also had one year where it came out a bit softer like what you’re describing. I don’t know if it was our bird seed – I wonder if older seed would be retaining moisture which would affect the wreath being able to set properly?
        The birds (and squirrels) will still love it if it’s just placed outside and not hung up, but I know it’s still disappointing!

    1. ohgosh.I wanted to join.Guess i'm too late.Cant believe you guys will go noraebanging!!!and somemore at SM.OHWELLS,how about next year??btw,im deeparting on the 2nd of december to Taiwan too!so maybe i can spot you all 😀

    2. Yeah, it was doublespeak. But it shows movement in the right direction. Multiculturalism isnt an utter failure, it has been executed to perfection. However, balkanization isnt a desireable policy, and people dont like it, PREDICTABLY. It's not integration, but assimilation that is necessary.Never the less, the more center mainstreamers start breaking discussion taboos, the better.

  1. Gorgeous! My father is a Bird Whisperer, his yard attracts the most gorgeous creatures, I think he will love this made by his grandsons! Thank you!

  2. Lovely idea! Please see tho that ur instructions say 2 different things when it comes to putting birdseed into glue and then it says to press birdseed on top on glue mixture????

    1. Hi Erinn,
      I can see where your confusion comes from – there are two separate mixtures: the gelatin mixture and the “natural glue” consisting of the corn syrup, flour, and water. You mix the bird seed into the natural glue mixture and then press on top of the gelatin mixture.

    1. No, it can’t be right. I think she meant to say 1/2 cup PREPARED gelatin. I did 1/2 cup dried gelatin and that didn’t work. I had to warm it up and add tons more water to make it gelatinous.

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  3. these are very pretty, unfortunately syrup is a no no to give to birds, gelatin is also very questionable, This is only pleasing to our eye but not good for the birds. Any syrup, honey, gelatin, sugar water is not good for birds, shortening, lard, salt, all bad. so many recipes online have bad ingredients for the birds in an effort to cutesy it all up for us. Stick to natural no additive peanut butter and beef fat. as the “glue” of course it wont be so pretty but at least it wont kill the little guys..

    1. Thank you for your comment & concern for the birds, Andrea.
      As mentioned in the post, I did check all of the ingredients with a veterinarian. The vet that I checked with has had the same amount of medical training for animals as most doctors do. He said this was completely safe – and when I asked specifically about the syrup (because I too had heard that corn syrup can change their palettes and is a no-no), he said in the quantities here it was not a concern, especially since we were making a single wreath one time, rather than providing enough food to drastically alter a bird’s diet.
      Seed & peanut butter options are fun, too, and if you feel more confident serving that to the birds (especially if you like to prepare bird feeders regularly) than I definitely encourage you to do that.

  4. I tried to make this wreath. In this recipe it says 1/2 cup gelatin with 1/4 cup warm water. Is this correct? Does not seem right.

  5. Such a beautiful and heart warming project! I love it, I love it, I do!

    I am putting together a sort of Easter arts and crafts compilation blog post, with pictures of creative projects for spring (or anything that has something to do with birds, bunnies or dinosaurs really). Would you mind if I shared one of your pictures? I will of course credit it with a link to this post. I did the same thing last year if you would like a reference on how it might look: http://aliciasivert.blogspot.se/2015/03/paskpeppen-2015.html

    Thank you for the inspiration!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Alicia

  6. LOVE THIS IDEA!!! Great Christmas Gift idea!! However, I am due with my baby boy on December 27th and would prefer to get my gifts done early. How far in advance can I make the wreath with the fresh cranberries? Thank you in advance!!

    1. Hi Stacy – I am so sorry, my comment system that notifies me of new comments on posts seems to have taken a break 🙂
      I would prepare it in advance with dried cranberries. (But I think this is coming too late and I’m sorry for that – I hope you get to meet your baby boy soon!)

  7. I tried making this following the directions, but the gelatin proportions seem out of whack. I had less than 1/2 cup gelatin, but kept adding more water after the 1/4 c. produced only a big gooey lump. The gelatin packet directions ( and I used 6 packets to get barely 1/2 cup) said 1/2 cup water per packet!! Something seems wrong here. Anyone else have this problem?

    1. Hi Jo – you’re not making Jell-O, so it’s going to seem REALLY thick compared to what your used to and the proportions on the box and for making Jell-O desserts, NOT bird wreaths.
      You want to squish that “big gooey lump” onto your seeds (as the pictures above show) and let it set.

  8. This is so pretty. I wanted to let you know that I am featuring this on my site with a link and photo if you don’t mind.

  9. You might want to add a clarification that this wreath is only for very cold temps and needs to be moved outside right from the fridge. I set mine on the counter for maybe an hour after having refrigerated it overnight and it was a squashy mess. Squirrels loved it though (wouldn’t let the birds even get close) and my son thought the making–and watching the squirrels eat over the next few days–was great fun! 🙂

    Also, I had the same issue as the other commenters–I used powdered gelatin (Knox brand “Original Gelatine”) and the water you suggest wasn’t even close to dissolving the powder, much less at all making something “spreadable.” Started over and with 5 packets (1 oz. each to total approx. 1/2 cup as you suggest) I probably used at least 1 full cup of water but I just kept adding it until I could get it all dissolved.

  10. Is it ok to use silicone bundt pans for this? Was going to do the mini bundts and I have a silicone pan with a few different shapes that would look cute for mini wreaths/ornaments. Thanks! I just love these and can’t wait to do them with my daughter.

  11. This is beautiful, but I’ve tried the gelatin wreath several times and it dissolves in the rain. Better go with the diet.

  12. I made this and afterwards I discovered the comments about the gelatin issues. My gelatin was entirely too thick and rubbery. It never became remotely pourable.
    After this fiasco, I looked up other recipes that added the gelatin in with the flour, corn syrup, and water.
    I am so disappointed. I just ended up with a blob I had to just dump out onto a plate.

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