Just a few months ago my husband and I bought a new house with a big front porch that I love! It’s the perfect place to sit with a cold drink in the summer and watch our boys ride their scooters and skateboards down our long driveway. I’ve realized it’s also the perfect place to hang bird feeders and watch from inside while birds nibble away. The ceiling of the porch gives the birds shelter from rain, wind, and snow. I love watching the variety of birds that are attracted to the birdseed mix that I put out. On any given day we’ll have cardinals, nuthatches, finches, chickadees, and more feeding right outside our window. My boys love watching them as much as I do, and for a craft activity, I thought it would be fun to make our own birdseed mix in fun shapes to hang on our porch and branches nearby. This DIY cookie cutter bird feeder idea is easy, inexpensive, and quick, making it perfect for kids of any age (including adults!). They have a shelf life of about a week. Many people have commented that they will mold if kept for too long, so don’t make them ahead and try to store them. Since this recipe makes about 20 bird feeders, consider giving some away to neighbors or as gifts at Christmas. You’ll have fun making them, and birds will flock to them once they’re hung!
¾ C. flour
½ C. water
1 packet of unflavored gelatin (like Knox)
3 Tbsp. corn syrup
4 C. birdseed mix
Large mixing bowl
Cookie cutters in various shapes
Non-stick spray or Crisco
A straw or chopstick (for making a hole for the string)
Wax or parchment paper
A cookie sheet
Twine, string, raffia, or something else to hang it by (cut into 10-12” pieces)
1. In the large mixing bowl, combine the first four ingredients (flour, water, gelatin, and corn syrup). Add the birdseed and stir well until completely combined.
2. Place your cookie cutters on a cookie sheet that is lined with wax or parchment paper. Begin by spooning some of the birdseed mixture into a cookie cutter. Press it firmly with the back of a spoon (or your fingers) that has been brushed with Crisco. The more you pack it down, the better it will stay together.
3. Using your straw or chopstick, carefully poke a hole near the top. Make sure it goes all the way through and then pull it out. This is where you’ll thread your twine or string through so you can hang it outside.
4. Very carefully pull the cookie cutter up off the cookie sheet, leaving the birdseed feeder intact.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 using the same cookie cutter or different ones until all of your birdseed is gone.
6. Let your cookie cutter bird feeders dry for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
7. Once they have hardened, thread a piece of 10-12” twine/string/raffia through the hole and tie it tightly.
8. Head outside and hang them from branches, porch hooks, and anywhere else you think birds would find them (and squirrels can’t get to them!).
TIP: Spray or grease up your cookie cutters after you’ve used them a few times so the mixture doesn’t start sticking to the inside of them.
Let us know if you made these and how they turned out for you! We’d love to hear where you hung them and what kinds of birds were attracted to them! Leave us a comment below!