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.
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.
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.
Materials for Making Your Own Bird Feeder Wreath
- 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
- Bundt pan
- Ribbon or twine for hanging
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:
Print the instructions for our kid-made bird feeder wreath here:
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 my recipe for bird seed slime!
Or, check out these other bird feeders kids can make from my fellow bloggers:
- Cheerios Bird Feeder from P is for Preschooler
- Cardboard Tube Bird Feeder from Craftulate
- Spiral Bird Feeder from Craftulate (for older kids)
- Icy Bird Treat from Natural Beach Living