diy {bird seed feeder}

My 6 year old would rather be immersed in nature, animals, etc. than anything else. He is a budding naturalist and I look forward to seeing how his interests unfold in the years to come. I have much to learn, but we are learning together. He wanted to make some bird feeders because he is concerned about the birds getting hungry this winter. I am not sure that we have enough birds that hang around during the winter to eat our bird seed feeders, but it was a way to encourage his interests and do it together.


  • 2 envelopes Knox Gelatin
  • 2 cups bird seed
  • Cookie cutters
  • Ribbon

(There are a ton of similar recipes online and in books, I combined a few to make mine)

1. Simmer 1 cup of water and dissolve the gelatin.

2. Let the gelatine cool for about 2 minutes, then stir in the seed. If the mixture is runny, add more seed.

3. Press into cookie cutters or make your own shapes. We then put ours in the refrigerator for about an hour to set it. Then let them dry for a couple of days. Add string or ribbon to hang them.

I just hung it here for the picture…we’ll figure out the best places to hang them in our yard.

I found The Practical Naturalist at the library. My boy is eating it up. Actually, all three boys have been reading it together in the afternoons. I am going to have order our own copy soon. It is such a great book. If you, or someone you know likes to ‘explore the wonders of the natural world’…I highly recommend it!

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  • maggie - Awesome 🙂 thanks so much for sharing! And I’m sure even if the birds don’t eat it, something will! 🙂

  • Kaytie - Have you all read the story, Night Tree? I used to work at a school where that story was read around the holidays, then the children would make “gifts” for the animals, like bird food, etc. to hang outside. A sweet idea that you just reminded me of! 🙂

  • Tonya - We have a good variety that hang around. Might have to try this 🙂

  • J. Johnson - This is awesome! What a wonderful idea for Christmas gifts, too. I think I will make some for my mom, and maybe some other ladies too.

  • betsy - I was researching this project earlier this week! I’d seen cute bird seed ornaments as wedding and shower favors sold on etsy and wanted to see how difficult they were to DIY. So cute! I remember doing a craft as a child where we smeared peanut butter and bird seed all over a big pine cone and hung it out for the birds. Your son might enjoy that one, too!

  • Lyn - Love that book. My oldest is going to be a zoologist someday at this rate. We take that book everywhere we go!!!

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Your feeders turned out beautifully! We will check out that book for sure- looks great! Do you have any of the “take along guides”? Like Tracks, Scats and Signs? Those are great field guides for kids. Also, Nature in a Nutshell is a great one as well.

  • karen - beautiful!! you got to get a pic of that in use!

  • Jenna Kaye - i have a question. did you make the ribbon hole with a straw before putting in the fridge or did you drill it out after it set up for a couple of days?

  • Jenna Kaye - nevermind. i see the straw now.

  • Amy G - I have been wanting to make these with my girls for so long. Thank you for making it seem so simple! Maybe I’ll actually do it now! Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Natalie - Winter is one of the best times to feed birds as there is not as much in nature for them to eat. Homemade suet is fantastic for them as getting enough fat is really important as they burn a lot trying to stay warm. I started feeding a few years ago in Winter and let me tell you – if you “build it” they WILL come!

  • Tammy Kay - What a beautiful bird feeder. Love reading about his love for nature. Have you ever looked into the Jonathan Park audios? I think he is at the perfect age to really enjoy them. The first sets are better. It would make a great Christmas gift too. Have a great time at craft weekend. ( I follow you on IG too)

  • misty - Leave it to you to make a measuring bowl of bird seed look divine ; ). Those pops of aqua, green and pink seeds are simply precious. Thinking that book & bird feeder would make a great Christmas gift for a certain nature-loving grandpa I know. For him to read, learn & explore with the grandkids….

  • Alison - That’s awesome!! I remember reading somewhere once that if you start feeding over the winter, you have to keep going throughout the winter, because the animals learn to depend on your treats as a food source. I’m sure you guys won’t have any problem with that!

  • Brianna - OMG, I love these! I did ones similiar to those in teh shape of a B for my wedding favors last year 🙂

  • D'On - Way cute idea! I MUST do this! hahaha Thanks for sharing!

  • RachelC - super cute! great project.

  • eeny - great idea. guess i have to make these with my little friends next time i have to babysit them.

  • Jenifer - What a great idea. I have been thinking that I need to have a bird feeder and this looks like a great project.

  • Kari S. - Another fun idea, especially if you happen to have a pine tree or access to a few…take a pincone, smear on a heaping amount of creamy peanut butter and sprinkle with bird food. Hang in a tree!

  • Elizabeth - The Millennium Falcon one is by far my favorite!

  • Serene - Oh, great idea. I’m going to make these as a Christmas gift for my neighbor who is big on birds. Thanks!!!

  • Sara Torbett - We live in the country and my 16-month old is already so fascinated with nature! She would love watching the birds eat this birdseed! Thanks for the good idea :). And I loved yesterday’s post-made me tear up, seeing your sweet girl becoming so comfortable and joyful, and feeling so safe.

  • Mary@ Finding Healthy Hope - these are completely awesome!
    and do-able!
    thanks, girlie!!

  • Barbara - Really cute idea… won’t be able to use it here in Sao Paulo… (not enough birds… ) but at my parent’s beach house maybe!

  • mallory - What year did this book come out? I’m trying to find it online with no luck. I’ve been known to be techno-challenged, tho… Would love to get this book for my little one this christmas!

  • Teresa - Love these. I’m goning to pinterest this and use if for spring gifts. It’s so fun to give gifts when they are least expected. Thanks Ashley.

  • Lisa Reed - Great idea! Can’t wait to try it using gelatin. I’ve never heard of doing it that way. Looks like you bought fancy bird food meant for pet birds though. I’m sure wild bird seed would be cheaper but I’m sure they’ll eat the fancy stuff too!

  • dee - I love it.we get a lot of native birds here as I have grown some really good plants that attract the birds so this will be a good project to do with my Litttle Man-thanks love dee x

  • Becky @ Farmgirl Paints - these are SO adorable!! my girls would love this project. i was hunting around for your email and couldn’t find it. can you reply back and give it to me pretty please;) i’ve got a few pics to send you.

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  • Carol - Love this site. Would appreciate a “newsletter”. Thanks for the ideas for our feathered friends

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  • SPUNKEONE - I was thinking about making these for my wedding in October. Can they be made months ahead? Will they keep that long? My future step-daughters will be visiting this summer and this looked like a project we could do together.

  • Susan - Does anyone know a way to make the bird feeder water proof? The seed falls off slowly when the rains start.

  • Mandi - Hi, Is that one cup of water per packet or one cup (1/2 cup per packet) total. Thank you!

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