93. Bird Seed Ornaments


Bird seed ornaments are a great gift for bird lovers. This is another project that uses only a few ingredients, and is easy enough that kids can make (or help make) them.
There are several different recipes out there, so let's clarify a little. For a while it wasn't clear if peanut butter was harmful to birds, but experts now tell us it's fine to use. (I didn't use it for this recipe, but you probably could.) Most bird seed ornaments you find at the store use suet (or fat) as a binder for the seed, but if you don't have a can of lard on hand, no worries. I've culled the simplest recipe that I could find.

You'll Need:
  • 2 cups Bird seed (you can get this at most hardware stores, as well as the big box discount stores, and feed stores)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbs corn syrup
  • Wax paper
  • Cookie cutters
  • A straw (or something to poke fairly large holes in the ornaments)
  • String or ribbon

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the birdseed, flour, water, and corn syrup until all of the birdseed is coated & you have a thick "dough."
  2. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and press out your dough into a uniform layer (a 1/2 inch to an inch thick is fine).
  3. With your cookie cutters, cut out shapes. (If you don't have cookie cutters, use the rim of a glass or jar—or shape by hand.)
  4. Set your ornaments aside, on another sheet of waxed paper, and press out the dough remnants to make more ornaments.
  5. Use your straw to make holes in the ornaments, making sure to go all the way through the ornament.
  6. Allow the ornaments to "dry" for a couple of hours then flip them over.
  7. Let them continue drying / hardening overnight.
  8. Tie a string or ribbon through the hole in the ornament.

Note: some recipes also call for an envelope of unflavored gelatin. You can add this in with the other ingredients, but you may need to double the rest of the ingredients so the ratio of gelatin to other ingredients is consistent. This is one of those recipes that you don't have to be absolutely exact on the measurements in order for it to work out.



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