Thursday, December 27, 2012

DIY Birdseed Wreaths

Here's an easy project that actually works...
For the market this Christmas, I put together these cute birdseed wreaths (that were a hit). You never know what will sell, but next year I'll definitely come prepared with more of these Christmas wreaths!

There are a lot of these DIY wreath recipes out there, but I tweaked a few and came up with one that holds together well and looks nice too. The original recipe used flour and water as a glue to hold the seed together, but after it dries the wreath has a white appearance. I tried cornstarch (which dries clear) and the wreaths looked great :)

Here are the steps to my popular birdseed wreath...

(makes 2 wreaths)

3/4 cup flour)
1 cup warm water
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 package unflavored gelatin (sometimes I use 3)
8 cups bird food (such as seeds, peanuts, berries, dried fruits)
2 bundt pans or other molds
Nonstick cooking spray

Stir the gelatin into the water and heat over medium heat until dissolved. Whisk in the corn syrup and flour. Stir well until there are no more lumps. It will make a thick gooey paste. Add the birdseed and stir until all the seeds are coated. Place the mixture equally divided into two greased Bundt pans. Using a greased metal spoon, press the seed mixture into the Bundt pans (be sure to press the mixture down firmly until it’s well packed and even). Place the pans in the refrigerator until set then carefully remove them from the molds by turning them upside down onto a cookie sheet. Let the wreaths dry over night (turning them occasionally so that they dry throughout).

Update! I've started adding a wire ring insert to the wreaths. It holds the wreaths together and keeps them from falling apart when the birds eat through one side. Add have the birdseed mixture to the pan - add the wire ring - then the remaining mixture. Continue as above...

Tip: Use the wreaths within a week or refrigerate them until ready to use. I've had them get moldy at times when I haven't done this..

Add a string or ribbon - Hang the wreath outside - Watch the action!

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse and Downy Woodpecker

Male Downy Woodpecker

Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch 

Nuthatch balancing act!
Camera Critters
Outdoor Wednesday
Down Home Blog Hop
I'd Rather B Birdn'

49 comments:

  1. This looks easy enough even I can do it! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  2. This is such a great idea! I put out a lot of seed in the winter but like the idea of making wreaths and hanging them around the yard. :o)

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  3. So clever! I love it ... and that last shot especially. Beautiful!

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  4. fantastic......great pix and super idea....

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  5. I love that idea! I love to feed and watch the birds... Thanks for the recipe.. Blessings!

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  6. Rebecca,
    I got one of these as a Christmas present. Just hung it out this morning. Thanks for the tweaked recipe!!

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  7. I love this! Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.
    Brenda

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  8. I am blessed to view your blog so that I could learn how to make one of these wreaths for the birds to enjoy. Thanks for the recipe.
    Happy Holidays!
    Joyce M

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  9. that is so cute! i'm going to have to save this recipe!

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  10. How awesome! Now I totally want to do this!

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  11. I've seen those type of wreaths in craft fairs this year and loved them. It's great to see one in action.

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  12. Great post and thank you for the wreathe recipe. These would make great gifts for bird-loving friends, and also for the birds of course. Happy New Year!

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  13. Very cool, the wreaths do look popular with the birdies.

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  14. Love those! What a great gift to make for someone!

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  15. What a great idea. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  16. This looks really easy -- I will have to try it out with my kids. They love nature related crafts and since we have Tufted Titmice also they would love to make something for them :-)

    Visiting via Camera Critters :-)

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  17. How I LOVE this post!!!! Such a perfect, wonderful share...you did yourself proud. Great bird action too.

    Thanks for lending and sharing your link this week at the Bird D'Pot!! And, have a happy New Year!

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  18. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea! My birds will love it.
    Your bird photos are great!
    Have a Happy New Year!

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  19. Rebecca,
    The gift seed wreath we got for Christmas lasted a week. One long rainy day melted it and it fell apart.. Have you tried yours in a bit of rain?

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    Replies
    1. It will fall apart in the rain. :(
      Either take the wreath inside if it looks rainy or let it fall apart and foraging ground birds will appreciate it. :)

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  20. My daughter & I just tried this and came across 2 questions that we had to guess at. 1. When do you take the mixture off of the medium heat? 2. How many ounces is a package of unflavored gelatin? My husband bought a box of 32 envelopes because it was cheaper than the individual boxes but I don't know what counts as a "package". Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I continue stirring the mixture over medium heat as I add the cornstarch and corn syrup. Stir constantly and it will make a thick paste. - Then quickly add the birdseed.

      One envelope equals one package. - I use two envelopes or packages and I buy the large box of 32 envelopes also.

      Hope this helps!

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  21. Can this recipe be used for ornaments instead of wreaths?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, It works great! I use plastic molds...
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegardenroofcoop/9002561947/

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  22. Hi! Would it be okay to use maple syrup instead of corn syrup?

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    1. I think it would be okay, but I'm not sure if it would work as well - to make the wreath hold together. Wouldn't hurt to try though...

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  23. What do you use for the wire ring? Where can you find them?

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    Replies
    1. Anything cheap and easy to bend. Galvanized wire from the hardware store... I've also used grapevine that I've picked up around my property...

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  24. Rebecca, how long does it take for the wreath to set in the fridge?

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    1. I usually let them set in the fridge an hour then remove them from the pan and let them dry for a few days (turning them every 12 hours). Here's a new tip: use the wreaths within a week or refrigerate them until ready to use. I've had them get moldy at times when I haven't done this...

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    2. Thank you for responding. They have turned out beautifully! Wonderful idea and process.

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  25. What did you use for the wire ring?

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  26. I'm betting you could use old wire coat hangers and would be a good recycle idea.

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  27. Does anyone know how well they do in sub-zero snowy winters???

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    Replies
    1. Yes! They do great in cold and snow. - Not as well in summer rains...

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  28. Right now I have a huge bag of all black sunflower seeds for birds...has anyone ever had success making wreaths with these seeds alone??

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    Replies
    1. Yes - I've made them with sunflower seeds alone. I works well - just make sure every seed is coated!

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  29. I just tried this recipe. No success on the water, gelatin and cornstarch mixture. Nothing but a big messy lump of lumps. Did you sift your cornstarch beforehand? I really hate wasting ingredients.

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    Replies
    1. I've switched to using flour instead of cornstarch. - It seems to work consistently much better!

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  30. Can I put a paperclip/wire in the top to attach the string?

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  31. Did you substitute all cornstarch and no flour? I am going to make these for Christmas gifts...so cute!

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  32. Hi what can I use as glue in hot climates...wont the gelatine just melt?

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  33. How fun! I've seen people use cut out cookies and use a straw to make sure to keep an opening for the string. It's nice for areas where you're prone to get lots of snow and rain.

    I loved all of the birds you get in the winter, how fun!

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  34. This worked great! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  35. Hi there! Thank you for the recipe. I am currently ready to take my molds out of the fridge. At what temperature works best for drying and how long until they are dry enough to hang?
    Thanks again for sharing!

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  36. Hi, I was wondering what type of packaging you use when selling your wreaths. I want to make a couple as gifts and would like to use a box that has a clear window. Any idea where to get those?

    Thanks!

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