Low-Waste Bird Seed Valentine
We love to birdwatch on our homestead so when I saw these homemade heart-shaped bird seed ornaments on Pinterest, I knew they'd make the perfect low-waste, handmade Valentine's this year. This craft stretches across a wide range of ages and gives the kids a great opportunity to practice measurements, fill molds, count, scissor skills, writing their names, and tying. It's the perfect rainy day activity, a great alternative to candy or plastic trinket Valentine's, and your feathered friends will be grateful.
You Will Need
1 cup warm water
3 tbspn pectin
8 cups bird seed
6 tablespoons corn syrup
1 ½ cups flour
raffia, twine or yarn
heart-shaped cookie cutter
chopstick or reusable straw
cooking spray (canola or vegetable)
- Mix together the warm water and gelatin in a large bowl with wooden spoon.
- Add the remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly.
- Spray the inside of your cookie cutter with cooking spray and then place it on your cookie sheet.
- Hold it firmly with one hand while adding a heaping scoop of the bird seed mixture and pressing it firmly into the mold. Be sure press down hard to get rid of air pockets. If you're using a metal cookie mold instead of cutter, hold it in the palm of your hand when filling and pressing it with the seed mix.
- Before lifting the cutter up, use the chopstick or straw to form a small hole to feed the raffia or twine through.
- Carefully slide the cutter up and the mixture shape should hold in place. If it crumbles apart, the mix may need a teaspoon more syrup. If it's too gooey, add more seed a couple tablespoons at a time.
- Repeat steps 4-7 for as many bird seed Valentines as you'd like to make.
- Let them dry overnight. In the morning, flip them to ensure both sides are hard. Continue to let dry a couple more hours, if the underside is still soft.
- Cut your raffia or twine about 10" long and loop it through the hole and tie loosely to act as a hanger.
I added a two-sided tag I made with my home printer, craft paper, and a round paper cutter. I punched a small hole in the top and let the kids pick out a Valentine-themed ribbon at the craft store. The gift tag gives them an opportunity to practice writing their names.
Changing up the mold shapes to snowflakes, mittens or snowmen can also make these great as evergreen tree ornaments during Christmastime, as in one of our favorite holiday children's books, Night Tree.
General purpose wild birdseed is a great option and can be found at most grocery, general and hardware stores. I choose one that has sunflower seeds since birds love those.
These bird feeders are great gifts for classmates, teachers, coaches, family members, friends, and neighbors.