Thursday, December 25, 2014

DIY Gingerbread Birdhouse

Tufted Titmouse
I made a "gingerbread" birdhouse this year and was intending to sell these at the holiday market, but there are too many steps involved to make a large quantity of these birdseed homes - so I thought I'd just share the construction steps...

I made the house and roof of the birdhouse completely from birdseed using my recipe for "birdseed glue" that I use to make birdseed wreaths and ornaments.

Birdseed Glue Recipe
Dissolve 1 packet of unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup water in a large pan over medium heat.
Add 1/2 cup flour and 3 Tbsp corn syrup.

Mix over medium heat until all lumps are gone and the mixture forms a smooth thick paste.
Add 4 cups birdseed. 

Mix well until all the seeds are coated and spread the mixture into a greased cookie sheet. Press the seeds down firmly into the pan with the back of a greased spoon. 

White-breasted Nuthatch
The sides, front and back of the house are made of a mixed birdseed or finch blend. The roof is made of black oil sunflower seeds.

I used Wilton's Gingerbread House Cutter Set to cut out the shapes of the house. The entrance hole is simply a circle cookie cutter. To make it the dimensions I wanted, I cut one side shape in half (one half for each side). I also cut off about 1 1/2" off the length of the roof shapes. Allow the house shapes and roof to dry thoroughly for a few days (turning the shapes a couple of times a day).

Downy Woodpecker
To assemble the house I made my above "glue" recipe (without the birdseed) and used a small plastic squeeze bottle to apply the glue along the edges of the house and
roof edges. If the glue starts drying faster than you can assemble the house, just microwave it for a few seconds and it'll be easier to work with...  At the peak of the roof - where the shapes join - I put a thick layer of glue and added more sunflower seeds. I finished decorating the birdhouse with holly berries and a few sprigs of red cedar. ~ The perch is a pretzel stick that I "glued" on - or you could use a twig - or go perchless...

I made the base of the birdhouse by filling a clay saucer with more of the "glued" sunflower mixture and a pathway of mixed seeds outlined in holly berries.

I saw a similar birdseed house in a bird supply store priced at $45. Once you purchase the house cutter set and birdseed, the price of constructing your own gingerbread birdhouse would be minimal. This would be a fun craft to do with children or make as a Christmas gift for a bird-loving friend.

Carolina Chickadees

I invite you to follow my Facebook page to see the products available in our shop, my DIY projects and more photos of my backyard birds. 

11 comments:

  1. Replies
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  2. Rebecca: You come up with/discover such amazing ideas! It's so cute and creates a great photography opportunity while the birds perch on it and eat it. Fabulous!

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  3. I love it! What fun! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  4. That is truly beautiful and I would love that as a present for my birds. You are very clever. Happy New Year. To you and may 2015 be a good year for You.

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  5. This is a great idea for bird feeders !
    Happy New Year !

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  6. This is adorable. I found my way here via a link at I'd Rather be Birding. I'm off to have a look around. Enjoy the weekend.

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  7. I came to see this from FB and now I will enjoy more of it I just LOVE birds etc etc and enjoy crafts the ideas are lovely keep them coming you made my day !!! Patricia A. Corby

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  8. Wow, these gingerbread birdhouses look great! I didn't know you could make them like this. I personally enjoy just buying wooden birdhouses online, but I might have to look into something like this. Great post! http://www.decor-4-u.com/np1-listing-dept-30060

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  9. These are so great! Going to try my hand at one or a few for Christmas gifts:) Did you find the wilton gingerbread house cutters worked well? The poor amazon reviews have me a little skeptical to purchase but maybe for this purpose they were fine?

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