birdseed ornament recipe

I hope you enjoy making this cute little birdseed ornament recipe as much as the birds enjoy eating them!!! This tutorial is inspired by the “nature themed”  Target wedding I posted last week. I showed the heart shaped birdseed ornaments as favors to give to the guests. These would be cute to give as wedding favors, but would also be a fun little gift to give a friend or teacher at Christmas.

Birdseed ornament


Things needed for this project:

Makes 1 Large ornament or 2 med/small size

3/4 c. Birdseed – (I purchased this birdseed mix from Target)

1 sm packet of Knox

Twine, raffia or wire for hanger (don’t use bright colored ribbon, it scares the birds away)

a mold of some sort….. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter

1/4 c. water

Dissolve a packet of Knox in 1/4 c. of water, bring to simmer and stir until dissolved. Let cool slightly.

Add 3/4 c. bird seed and mix very well until seeds are coated. Notice the picture of the birdseed in the pan, I don’t have a lot of excess liquid…if you have a lot of puddling add a little more seed.

Spoon the seeds into a mold, filling it half way up, and pressing down to make sure it is well packed. Lay tied twine on top of the pressed seed, and fill up the rest of the way so twine is fully covered. I put mine in the freezer for a few hours so I could easily unmold the ornament. Let it dry out for a few days …flipping it so it drys out completely on both sides and all the way through. You want it really hard and totally dried out so you can hang it in your tree. Position it in a place where birds can rest and eat.

**I just added a few revisions to the instructions. Someone mentioned in a comment that their ornament got moldy after it was sitting a few days.  I haven’t had that happen, but I added that you need to flip it so it dries out really well on both sides and all the way through.  Mold needs two things to grow …moisture and darkness.

I’ve never made these in a large quantity and very far in advance. Caution: If you are making these for a wedding, I would suggest doing a trial run. If for some reason you don’t have success making them, I would decide on a different favor for your wedding…I would hate for you to have stress.  I plan on testing them myself. The biggest thing I would focus on is totally drying them out, even if it takes a week. After they get hard, I would find a place to hang them all so there is air in between each one and I would store them hanging. I suggest wrapping them in cyclophane with a cute twine or ribbon as close to the wedding as possible. Then all you need to add is a sticker or a cute tag. * You could also place a cut straw in the middle or upper lobe of the heart and press the seed around it. You would remove the straw after it is dry. This will leave you with a hole for your ribbon to slide into. (Just another idea)






If using it as a favor, wrap in clear cellophane and tie with raffia or twine and attach a cute tag.

I snapped a picture of my half eaten birdseed feeder, proof of  the birds love!!! :)…. I wish I could catch them in action!!!


I’m linking up to Tasty Tuesday and DIY Day !

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  1. says

    What a cute idea! I’ll be making these for my wedding with a custom mold my hubby crafted. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  2. Maggie says

    Just made these for my son’s JK class for Valentine’s Day. They turned out great! Thanks so much for the idea. I ended up doubling the recipe and added two cups of seeds to get the texture right. I look forward to following your sight for more inspiration ; )

  3. Scotti says

    I just made these with my son’s Kindergarten class for Valentine’s Day. It worked much better than other recipes that use PB or suet when working with a lot of small kids. They loved it. We used black oil sunflower seeds to make a pattern in the heart after they were filled with the mixture so they each got to individualize them.
    I used boiling water to dissolve the Knox (no simmering) and ended up needing almost 1.5 cups of birdseed per 1/4 cup water & gelatin.

  4. Amy says

    My 10 yr old son and I had so much fun making these adorable bird seed ornaments! We are doing a homeschool unit study on birds and this fit perfectly with our studies! Thanks so much for sharing such a simple yet fun project! :)

  5. says

    Scotti…your Valentine kid’s craft brings back such wonderful memories!!! Thank you for sharing your measurements and added details… What a cute way to personalize the ornaments!!!

  6. says

    Amy, I love how you incorporated the birdseed ornament in you homeschooling unit!!! I am also happy that you had so much fun!!! Sounds like a wonderful memory making time!!!

  7. Natalie says

    Hi! I LOVE this bird feeder ornament. I want to do this with my Cub Scout troop but can not figure out how to get the gelatin to dissolve. We do not have access to a stove, etc. so I would have to do some of the work in advance of the meeting. Any ideas for me?
    I especially love this recipe because we have 2 boys in our troop with severe nut allergies so we can not use the ones that call for peanut butter.

    Thanks again!

  8. says

    Hi Natalie!
    I am sorry, I don’t know how to help you. You could always do a trial run and see how long it takes for the gelatin to set up at room temp. or do the type that uses lard or Crisco, but I don’t think those kind get firm.

  9. Jennifer says

    I have a few suggestions for you!
    · You could have the meeting at someone’s house
    · You could bring in a microwave to heat the water we have a small one that is easy to move.
    · If you or one of the other parents that have an electric griddle or an electric stove to just use for that night.
    · Or do this as one of your activities for a camping trip (of they are old enough that you do the camping trips) and use the campfire. Then you are already outside and no mess and you can just hang them up before you leave if you want or just take them home.

    Hope these suggestions help!

  10. says

    This is a great tutorial! I made these as favors for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party, it was a sweet bird themed party so these as favors were perfect! I did 10 medium sized heart shaped ones, used 3 packs of Knox with 3 – 1/4 c water, and almost 3 cups of birdseed and they turned out great! Thanks!

  11. says

    Hi Krystal!! Your daughter’s party sounds adorable…. What a cute theme! I’m glad you loved the feeders…and thank you for commenting:)

  12. tina says

    Hello ! Looking to make 100 of these as a Graduation favor – Has anyone tackled a big quantity yet and if so – do you have any tips other than concentrating on the drying ?

  13. Rachel Arnette says

    Thanks so much for the birdseed ornament directions. Can’t wait to try making them. God bless you!

  14. says

    This is a really neat idea. I like it. But I’m wondering what can be used in place of the gelatin (it’s not vegetarian). I’m going to have to research and find a substitute. Thanks!

  15. says

    I am SO MAKING these. I live in the middle of 5 heavily wooded acres, we have tons of birds.. and I would love to hang some of these so we could easily watch the birds! Thanks

  16. Kristina says

    I was wondering if there is any molding issues??? I want to make these for my wedding favors. But don’t want them to mold if I make them to far in advance.

  17. says

    I’m not sure if anyone had any issues with mold or not. The only way I
    would make these for an event is to make sure they are dried out really really really well.
    I would wrap them the day before the event.

  18. Lynnuel says

    My grandson and I just finished making the first of twenty of these adorable ornaments. Josh will be using these as Christmas gifts. We used Christmas cookie cutters. Thank you for the beautiful idea.

  19. says

    i am getting ready to make these with my daughter for favors at her 8th birthday party! we can’t wait to see how they turn out! after reading about the mold, i thought i might make a suggestion… i know when you buy these homemade, they say that if you wont be using them right away then to store them in the freezer. maybe that would help with the mold. after drying them 100%, the freezer might be the best place to store them until use. just a suggestion! thanks for the recipe. i’m sure the kids will love them :0)

  20. says

    Hi Emily,
    I’ve never tried storing them in the freezer after they are fully dry. The only thing I did notice when I did the freezer method before fully dry…was condensation after they came out of the freezer. Hope they work out well for your daughter’s party!! What a fun idea for a birthday!

  21. says

    These are too fun! We are making them right now for my daughter’s class for Valentine’s Day! :) Do you think a dehydrator would help the drying process? Just wondering. I plan to store them hanging until we need to bag them up, but thought I could speed the drying process up. Thanks again for the great recipe!

  22. Kerry says

    I would like to make these at my sons K party… Do you think they would be dry enough to send them home after making with instructions to the parents to continue drying out at home? If so, should we wrap them in wax paper?

  23. says

    Kerry, maybe you should do a test trial and see how they are after however long of a time period the party would be…it seems like they would be dry enough to send home with instructions to continue the process, but I can’t be for-sure..

  24. Amy says

    Hi there! Could you please let me know the qty/weight of the gelatine you used? We don’t have (as far as I know) Knox gelatine on Australia so just using my regular pantry one but not sure of qty to use?? Thanks!

  25. Lauren says

    I just made mine about an hour and a half ago and they seem like they will be very flimsy. Is this because I didn’t pack them tight enough (they were sticky so this was hard for me to do), or because they haven’t dried fully, or because my gelatin:bird seed ratio was off?

    Has anyone tried baking these in the oven at all to help them dry? (It’s humid here so I didn’t know if they would dry properly)

  26. Lauren says

    ah, never mind–I tried it again today and they were perfect!! I used too much birdseed for the amount of gelatin last time. This time, I put them in the fridge for a few hours and they set great! Thanks for the great craft idea!!!

  27. says

    Oh good! I’m so sorry that none of us had replied to you yet but I’m glad it worked out Lauren! I will let Rene know. :-)

  28. Lauren says

    Nancy–thanks for your response–no worries :)

    But…Uh oh–me again–They came out perfect, but saw today that I had some of them grow a white furry mold :(. I’m making these for my wedding favors (July 27th!) and am a little panicked. They are super cute, I just wonder what I’m doing wrong (and it was only on a few of the bunch that grew mold). I put them in the fridge to set, then put them on cookie racks until very very dry, and then hung them in my laundry room downstairs (air conditioned). I was able to save a good number, so I just put those in tupperware in my fridge…but any suggestions???

    Thanks, sorry for the long post, but I love these and really want them to keep until the wedding!!!

  29. says

    Lauren, I’m so sorry that you had some of them get moldy! The best suggestions we have is to make sure you are flipping them as they dry so that both sides get dry and the moisture doesn’t have a chance to turn into mold on the side they are laying on. Another suggestion would be to maybe hang them up to dry on a clothes line or something? I really hope it works for you. Many of the comments above have some suggestions on combating mold as well. Please let us know how it goes!

  30. Kris says

    Does anyone recall how long these take to set? Air dry and/or dehydrator.

    I’d like to have my daughter’s kindergarden class make them for a Valentine’s Day craft. This project looks like a lot of fun. :)

  31. says

    I have just tried these with 2 different recipes. One you baked , this one you did not. The ones you bake are very hard and I thought they were good, until they started crumbling. I tried this one and it didn’t seem to stick together all that well.I was loosing seeds as soon as I picked them up. I have modified this recipe and it is working much better. I have used 2 packets of Knox gelatin to the 1/4 of water. I too boiled the water in the simmering.Then I added 3 tablespoons of flour…It makes a very nice paste. You have to work very fast, it hardens quickly. I can make 2 ornaments at a time. I am making these for a baby shower. Woodland ornaments to hang on branches for the centerpieces. I am hanging them on hangers until the shower so they do not get moldy. If I have to I may store in the garage where it is cold.They are a little waxy looking , but that is ok with me . I didn’t want birdseed falling all over the tables, or the church where we are having the baby shower. I wish I could upload a pic , but I don’t see where to do it .

  32. Angela says

    I’m curious if anyone had placed these in a food dehydrator to speed up and ensure complete drying?

  33. says

    I just wanted to let everyone know my recipe turned out great. They did not get moldy at all. They did not crumble. Everyone at the shower complemented me because they have tried to make these and they crumbled. Mine held together wonderfully.

  34. says

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i came
    to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things
    to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  35. says

    Hello! I am a canon fan.
    I would like to thank you for this great
    post. I certainly loved seeing it.
    I have already signed up for your RSS feeds and would like
    to ask do you have and email list? would enjoy reading your
    news in my inbox!!
    Thanks again!!

  36. tammy says

    We are taking our youth group camping tomorrow night. This is one of the activities we will do and what a great place to do it :) We wont have to worry about having to clean up the seeds and we can leave the treats for the birds when we leave! Im so excited! Thank you!


  1. […] 1. Ornament Bird Feeder. This adorable bird feeder idea is super simple. Using only a cookie cutter, bird seed and some gelatin, you can create a lovely ornament feeder. Also, once the seed is gone, birds can use the twine to make a nest! To find out how to turn this bird feeder into a gift, visit BargainHoot. […]