DIY Cookie Cutter Birdseed Ornaments


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

These quick and easy DIY birdseed ornaments make a perfect handmade Christmas gift for friends, family, neighbours, teachers or even just for the birds in your own backyard. And they can be made with simple, supermarket ingredients for just a few cents a piece! A fast and frugal gift idea for everyone on your list! #homemadeornaments #easyhomemadegifts #birdseedornamentsThese easy DIY birdseed ornaments make a perfect homemade gift at Christmas. They also make a nice ornament for your tree and serve a functional purpose by feeding hungry songbirds in winter. And all you to make them is a bit of birdseed, some gelatine and a little water.

 

A Fast and Frugal Homemade Gift Idea

I first tried making these birdseed ornaments for Christmas a couple years ago. The process was pretty easy and I ended up making half a dozen of them as gifts for people. But when I had finished making them, I put them in an airtight container to store them until Christmas. Big mistake.

The container trapped the moisture that remained in the gelatine mix and all of my ornaments went moldy! Needless to say I did not give them as Christmas gifts that year.

I decided to give them a go again last year, but I allowed them to cure in the open air for longer (about a week) and then I packaged them up in little gifts bags with “breathing” holes punched in them. This worked great! My mom still has the one I gave her and it’s like new.

I decided to make another small batch this year to gift to a couple of friends and (one to keep for ourselves). Ours is currently hanging on our Christmas tree:)

I picked up a 15 kg bag of birdseed from Costco for $11.99 (because it was cheaper than the 5 kg bag another local supermarket was selling for $17.99). I got a 12 pack of gelatine for around $6.00, and I already had some cookie cutters, so all in all this project cost me less than $20.00 and would yield at least 60 ornaments before I ran out of gelatin, with birdseed to spare. This makes this a super frugal handmade gift idea averaging around 30¢ an ornament. Box up a pack of 3 as a gift for friends, family, neighbours, co-workers, teachers and bird lovers in your life!

This project is also super quick and easy, and although I prefer to let my ornaments cure for at least a couple of days before I hang them, you could also make this the day before gifting it and it would be just fine. It only takes 3 ingredients (including water) and under 20 minutes to make and uses ingredients you can pick up at your local supermarket (if you don’t already have them on hand).

So if you find yourself a little late on your Christmas shopping or gift-making, these birdseed ornaments make a great last-minute homemade gift idea and don’t require any great level of skill to put together.

These quick and easy DIY birdseed ornaments make a perfect handmade Christmas gift for friends, family, neighbours, teachers or even just for the birds in your own backyard. And they can be made with simple, supermarket ingredients for just a few cents a piece! A fast and frugal gift idea for everyone on your list!

These quick and easy DIY birdseed ornaments make a perfect handmade Christmas gift for friends, family, neighbours, teachers or even just for the birds in your own backyard. And they can be made with simple, supermarket ingredients for just a few cents a piece! A fast and frugal gift idea for everyone on your list!

 

So break out your festive cookie cutters and get that list checked off! Or just make a few for the birds, and bring some life back into your own garden this winter. I don’t know about you, but by about February I’m more than ready for spring to make a return. A few songbirds hanging around in winter help me to remember that warmer, more bountiful days are just around the corner:)

Merry making!

P.S. If you love all things homemade and homestead-related, be sure to check out my Free Resource Library where I’ve got free downloadable e-books, guides, templates, checklists and printables to help you create a life you love, from scratch:)

 

 

 

DIY Cookie Cutter Birdseed Ornaments

DIY Cookie Cutter Birdseed Ornaments

Ingredients

To Hang the Ornaments:

  • A few plastic straws cut into pieces (to form the holes for the ribbon)
  • Some ribbon or twine (ribbon works best for hanging outdoors as twine is a more natural material that breaks down in the weather)

Instructions

  1. Bring ½ cup of water to a slow boil on the stove. Add in 2 packs of gelatine and stir well to combine. Stir until gelatine is dissolved and then remove from heat. Let cool for a minute or two.
  2. Add in 2 cups of birdseed and stir to mix well and coat all of the birdseed.
  3. Place cookie cutters of choice on parchment paper and scoop birdseed into the shapes, pressing down firmly with the back of the spoon. Fill the cookie cutter shape all the way to the top and then some, pressing firmly to pack tightly.
  4. Insert a straw wherever you'd like the hole for the ribbon to be. Then pack birdseed mixture around the straw as well as you can. Use a square of parchment paper to press birdseed into cookie cutter with your hands.
  5. Let moulds set for a couple of hours while they harden. You can put trays of them in the freezer to speed up this process. Then when they're ready, gently push them out of the cookie cutters and take the straws out. Make sure that the straws have punched a hole all the way through.
  6. Tie the ribbon or twine through the hole and then allow ornaments to cure in the open air for at least 24 hours before packaging them up in breathable packaging. This can be done sooner if it is a last-minute gift and you're in a hurry. But the longer you can leave them to cure for, the better:)
  7. Gift to someone special or hang them in your own backyard and enjoy the songbirds all winter long!

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32 Comments

  1. Laura

    I just made these the other day, and they are really squishy. I hung one in the tree and it fell apart. What am I doing wrong? I followed the instructions. They ended up being about 2″ thick. Could that be the problem?

    Reply
    • Ashley Constance

      Hi Laura – my guess would be that the thickness might be preventing them from drying out fully, yes. You could try popping them in the freezer and seeing if that helps. Otherwise, maybe try again but make them a bit thinner! Good luck! -Ashley (assistant)

      Reply
  2. Lei

    Do you have to spray the cutters with Pam to prevent sticking?

    Reply
    • Ashley Constance

      You certainly can if you’re finding that you’re having issues with sticking. -Ashley (assistant)

      Reply
  3. Nestor

    The recipe doesn’t indicate who many decorations it makes. In the introductory paragraphs you mention that you made 60 ornaments before running out of gelatin. The recipe quantities obviously can’t make 60! Please advise.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Nestor,
      I don’t indicate how many ornaments this will make as it really depends on what size and shape of cookie cutters you use. I use a variety of sizes and different shapes and I usually get anywhere from around 6 to 8 ornaments. I don’t get 60 ornaments out of a single batch, I was just saying I got $60 out of a single box of gelatin and a bag of birdseed (and still had birdseed to spare:) I hope that clarifies things!
      Anna

      Reply
  4. Kathleen

    Hi, I am excited to do this as a family project for Christmas this year. Ornaments come in a variety of sizes. Would you share the size you utilized?

    Reply
    • Ashley Constance

      Hi Kathleen – Anna has used a wide variety of sizes of cookie cutters for this project, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand! -Ashley (Assistant)

      Reply
  5. Caroline Reed

    Have you ever used Agar Agar in lieu of gelatin to make these?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I haven’t and I admit I’m unfamiliar with Agar Agar!

      Reply
      • Caroline Reed

        Thanks for your speedy response, I can’t seem to find powder gelatine here…have you made it with the sheets and if so what ratio did you use?

        Reply
  6. Gina

    Hi am going to try this for sure. However I live in the Caribbean where it is 80F every day, 24/7/365. Would these stand up to the heat and not get moldy?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Gina,
      I can’t say for sure how these will hold up in the Caribbean as I’ve never attempted it! I would try a batch and see how it goes. The heat shouldn’t be so much of a problem as the humidity/moisture in the air, but since they’re for hanging in open air I’d assume they’d be okay. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
    • Susan

      Someone already asked this but you didn’t really answer, about how many does your recipe make? Going to do this with grandkids and want to have enough for all. Thanks

      Reply
      • Anna Sakawsky

        I honestly am not sure as it depends on the shape and size of the cookie cutters. I’ve used a combination of small, medium and large stars and gingerbread man cookie cutters before but I haven’t made these in a few years now and can’t remember exactly how many I got.

        Reply
  7. Carol

    I plan on making some and using them as wedding favors. How can I store them and for how long could I store them?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I would definitely make sure they are completely dried out before packaging them up, and to be safe I’d poke a few holes in the bag if you’re going to package them in plastic. (I’ve had some mold on me before when I packaged them up when they were still a bit moist). Otherwise they should last for quite a while. I wouldn’t make them months ahead, but a few weeks should be fine:)

      Reply
  8. Christel

    I was wondering how much gelatin to use if I cannot find the same brand? How much is in each package? I couldn’t tell from the link on Amazon if 1 package is 1 oz or if the entire box of 4 packets is 1 oz total. I have some gelatin in bulk at home so this would be helpful, thank you!

    Reply
    • Jamie Pearson

      Hi Christel,

      There are approximately 2 1/2 tsp in one package of gelatin.

      Reply
  9. Jean F

    These are a great idea; thank you for posting. One thing about the gelatin – it needs to “bloom” in cold water first. This will prevent clumps. I do that in 1/4 cup cold water and once it’s stirred, I add in a 1/4 cup boiling water.

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Jean,
      I haven’t noticed any problem with skipping the “blooming’ process so far but you make a good point. It is a good tip if someone is having any difficulties with the gelatin clumping at all.

      Reply
  10. Magi

    Will these fall apart outside? Because I’m thinking of doing some of these for my cage feeders instead of constantly buying cakes.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Magi,

      These hold up surprisingly well outside! I’m sure if you had consistent stormy weather or something then they may not hold up for as long. But in my experience they’ve always held up for at least as long as it takes for the birds to eat them:)

      Reply
      • Jamie

        Can you use the liquid gelatin instead of powder packets?

        Reply
        • Jamie Pearson

          Hi Jamie,

          Anna has never used liquid gelatin but doesn’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work. You would just need to figure out the conversion from powder to liquid to determine the amount you need for the recipe.

          Reply
  11. Leeat

    How many ornaments does this recipe make?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      This depends on the size and shape of the ornaments/cookie cutters you choose.

      Reply
  12. Corinne

    Thank you for this! I’ve tried other recipes and this is the best. Plus my two year old could help!
    We rolled aluminum foil and made our own shapes, it was easy and they came out great.

    Reply
  13. Melissa

    Worked really well. My chickens love them!

    Reply
  14. Ann

    How much powdered gelatine is in 1 package?

    Reply
    • Natasha

      I came to ask the same thing as I get it bulk! I think it is about 2.5 teaspoons if I recall.

      Reply
  15. Deena

    The kids made these tonight! Super easy and perfect for young ones to do for indoor activity.

    Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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