Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Christmas Tree for the Birds!

I had a few birdseed ornaments left over from our holiday season at the market so I thought I'd decorate a Christmas tree for my backyard birds.

♥ Bird seed ornaments - hearts and miniature wreaths

Here's the DIY:
Dissolve 2 packets unflavored gelatin in 1 cup water in a large pan over medium heat.
Add 3/4 cup flour and 6 Tbsp corn syrup.
Mix over medium heat until all lumps are gone and the mixture forms a smooth thick paste.
Add 8 cups birdseed. Stir until all seeds are coated.
Spray pans, cookie molds, etc. with nonstick cooking spray.

I use a Wilton Mini Heart Silicone Mold for the heart ornaments. I've tried several different molds and pans for these ornaments and Wilton's is the best...  Push the prepared mixture into the mold firmly with the back of a greased spoon. Make a hole with a wooden skewer or straw. With the silicone molds you can carefully remove the ornament and fill the molds again. Let the ornaments dry for a few days - turning a couple of times a day.

For the miniature birdseed wreaths, I use the above recipe, but add a few holly berries to a greased metal miniature fluted mold pan. The metal pan works better for the miniature birdseed wreaths...

Add the prepared mixture to each wreath mold. Press in firmly with the back of a greased spoon then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Flip the pan over and slightly tap and the wreaths should easily come out of the pan. Allow the wreaths to dry thoroughly for a few days - turning a couple of times a day.

Use jute, ribbon or raffia to hang. If you're not going to use the birdseed ornaments within a week, refrigerate them. - I've had them mold if the humidity is high, but they've lasted for months if stored in a refrigerator.

♥ Suet covered pinecones

Here's the recipe:
1 cup lard 
1 cup chunky peanut butter
Melt the lard and peanut butter together, then add:
3 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
4 cups birdseed

Let the above mixture cool until moldable then press into pinecones. Hang with jute, ribbon or wire.

♥ I also strung a garland of holly berries and peanuts, filled a few purchased nests with mealworms and added a burlap gift sack filled with thistle (here's a link to the DIY and photos of a burlap thistle sock - DIY Burlap Thistle Sock).

I love watching my backyard birds enjoy their own Christmas tree - and they seem to appreciate my gift. (Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse and Downy Woodpecker featured above). ♥  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. 
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