In search of a post Christmas dinner activity, I perused Pinterest for ideas on an easy to make birdseed treat to hang outside. After finding a few projects, I headed over to the local hardware store and picked up a bag of wild bird seed. I choose a high quality bird seed containing a mixture of Milo, millet, cracked corn & sunflower seeds.
Happy with my selection, I put the bag of bird seed aside and didn’t remember to check what other supplies were needed until Christmas morning. Oops. Now that all the stores are closed, I took a look at a couple of websites and discovered that I needed corn syrup, and gelatin, neither of which I had. Luckily, Mom had a bottle of corn syrup, but no gelatin. I was about to scrap the project when I realized that I had several boxes of Jell-o in my pantry. Hmm. Problem solved?
I decided to give it a try. Here’s what we need:
Bird Seed Ornaments
- 4 cups bird seed
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 Tbsp corn syrup
- 1/3 package of jell-o
- cooking spray
- Assorted cookie cutters
- Waxed paper lined cookie sheet
- Plastic straw cut into 3-4″ pieces
First, select 8-10 cookie cutters to use for bird seed ornaments. We choose shapes without small areas that might be hard to pack with bird seed. Spray the cookie cutters with non-stick cooking spray and place on a cookie sheet.
Next, put 4 cups of birdseed in a large bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, boil 1/2 cup of water, then mix in about 1/3 of the jell-o package. Once dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the corn syrup and flour.
Pour the mixture into the bowl of bird seed and mix well.
While the mixture is warm, press the bird seed into the cookie cutters. To form a hole for hanging, place a piece of plastic drinking straw near the top, center of the ornament and pack the bird seed around it. Be sure to pack well and press firmly to ensure that the bird seed ornaments stay intact.
After the cookie cutters are full, place the tray in the refrigerator (or on the front porch if it’s a cold day) and allow the ornaments to cool. After a few hours, the ornaments will be set enough to remove from the cookie cutters. Let them harden completely overnight, add a string, and hang!
When we made these ornaments, we used strawberry flavored Jell-o. What kind of Jell-o do you think the birds like best?