Spring is coming along slowly this year in New York. It seems like for every 40 degree say we have we get five 18 degree days in return. But the longer days and reappearance of actual ground underneath the piles of snow are keeping us hopeful, and we’ve been looking for some fun spring crafts to celebrate the beautiful weather we know is just around the corner. This Spring Bird Seed Ornament Craft is one of my favorites. It’s inexpensive, easy and can be done with children of all ages. The end result is a birdseed ornament that can be hung outside your window so the kids can really reap the rewards of their work when they get to watch the birds as they come to eat. They also make great little gifts, and this year we’ve wrapped some up to give to our friends and family on Easter.
To get started you will need:
- Bird Seed (you can get it at any supermarket or pet store)
- Knox unflavored gelatin
- String or twine (we used colored baker’s twine)
- A straw for poking holes to thread the string through
- Cookie cutters (we used some Spring and Easter shapes, but you can use anything that strikes you. Using gingerbread cookie cutters would be fun for Christmas too!)
First you’ll want to cover some baking sheets in wax paper. Then mix 1 package of gelatin with 1 cup of water and simmer until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about five minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 1/4 cup birdseed. Mix well, then place your cookie cutters on the wax paper and fill them with the birdseed mixture. We had chosen some very large cookie cutters, so in the end we make about three batches (3 cups water, 3 packages gelatin and about 3 1/2 – 4 cups bird seed).
Once the cookie cutters are filled cut your straw into pieces and push one piece through the top of each ornament. When they dry and the straw is removed there will be a perfect hole for the string.
Let the ornaments dry overnight, preferably someplace cool. Then gently push them out of the cookie cutters and tie the string through them.
Hang them outside in a sunny area for your feathered friends. We find that early mornings are the best time to catch birds eating, and the kids are excited to gather around the window after they wake up to see how many birds stopped by for breakfast.
If you’re kids are really into it, a beginners guide to identifying birds would be a great addition to this, so they can keep track of the different types of birds they see!
For Easter we wrapped some gently in wax paper and tied it with the colored twine to give to family along with our colored eggs. This is a really great apartment craft as well, if you don’t have space for a traditional bird house or bird feeder these ornaments are small and can be hung just about anywhere to attract gorgeous feathered pals!
This craft works really well in a larger group too because it is easy and doesn’t require too much individual supervision. And it definitely cures some Spring Fever!