How to make birdseed ornaments
For those who love watching garden birds, these inexpensive feeders will be a joy to hang around the garden. Here's our simple step-by-step guide on how to make a birdseed ornament
Do your bit for nature and entice more wild birds to your garden by offering food, water and shelter. Providing different types of foods will attract a variety of bird species to your garden and is important to do when food is scarce in the winter months.
Most gardens will attract blue and great tits, robins, sparrows, finches and blackbirds. It can take a bit of time before your feeders are discovered by wild birds, but once they have it is likely they will return regularly. A water source can also be invaluable to the health of garden birds, particularly during a heatwave.
This easy step by step guide explains how to make attractive birdseed ornaments to hang in your garden, balcony or patio. Before you start make sure you have your twine and scissors ready and either a hollowed-out orange or some biscuit cutters.
All images: Annie Sanderson
Learn how to identify garden birds in our handy guide.
You Will Need
- Birdseed (540g)
- Flour (100g)
- Agar Agar or Unflavored gelatin (2 and a half teaspoons) (approx. 2 and a half teaspoons), Agar Agar is a vegetarian alternative to gelatin
- Corn syrup (3 tablespoons)
- Water (112ml)
- Cookie cutters, We recommend using smaller cutters so they aren't too heavy to hang
- Baking tray
- Baking paper
- A touch of oil
- Straws (2)
For the Agar Agar
- Water 300ml (1 and ¼ Cups)
Pour 300 ml (1+¼ cups) of water into a pan on the hob. Add 2 and a half teaspoons of Agar Agar. Mix with a whisk until the powder has resolved. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer until thickened. If you are new to using Agar as a gelatin substitute, bear in mind that it solidifies a bit quicker than gelatine.
In a bowl mix the flour, water, Agar and birdseed together until it is all bound together.
Coat the cookie cutters with a little oil and place them on a paper-lined baking tray. Spoon in the mixture until the cookie cutter is filled half way. Press it down firmly with the back of the spoon to pack the mixture into the cookie cutters as tightly as possible. Then tie your twine into a loop and press the knot into mixture and let the loop hand over the edge.
Add another layer of mixture over the top, continuing to press down firmly to create a compact mixture. Make the ornaments into any shape you like – hearts, stars, animals. Fill your orange halves the same way, compacting with the spoon as you go.
Cut the straws into three-inch segments and press the straw into the top quarter of the birdseed-filled cookie cutter. Make sure the hole goes all the way through the mixture. Leave the straw in the ornament and allow to dry for three to four hours.
Once the birdseed ornaments have dried, take out the straw and carefully remove the ornaments from the cookie cutters. Allow to harden overnight.
Tie twine through the holes so that they can be hung. Hang them in your garden and let the birds enjoy.