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Heart-Shaped Bird Feeder DIY

By Cindy Hopper

For the love of birds

Homemade bird feeders not only help our feathered friends, but making them is a fun family activity perfect for cold winter days!

Homemade-Heart-Birdfeeder

Supplies for Homemade Bird Feeders

3 cups birdseed

2 – 1/4 ounce unflavored gelatin packet

cookie cutters

twine

Sprinkle two packages of gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Let it sit a couple of minutes until gelatin has absorbed the water. Heat 1 3/4 cups water in a pan, then add in the gelatin mixture. Stir until dissolved. Stir in 3 cups birdseed.

Allow mixture to cool until gelatin is thick and coats all the birdseed.

Wrap a piece of foil along the bottom and up the sides of a cookie cutter. Spray foil and cookie cutter with cooking spray. We used a 5 inch heart cookie cutter. This mixture was enough to make three bird feeders.

Pack birdseed mixture inside cookie cutter. Place a piece of straw in birdseed to leave a hole for hanging the bird feeder.


Allow mixture to harden and then remove from cookie cutter. We placed ours in the freezer for about and hour to speed things up.

Add a piece of twine for hanging.

A perfect treat for the birds!

Update: please see author’s (Cindy’s from Skip to My Lou) comments below on how to tackle any issues you may be having with this recipe.

About the Author

Cindy Hopper

Cindy Hopper was fortunate to be raised in a family who appreciated the arts. This background led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education. With a keen eye for design and color, Cindy has cont...

Cindy Hopper was fortunate to be raised in a family who appreciated the arts. This background led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education. With a keen eye for design and color, Cindy has continued her love of art and is now passing her creative skills on to her three children. Cindy’s family and friends are the beneficiaries of her passion for fun and meaningful creative projects.

Cindy’s personal blog, Skip to My Lou, has taken her love of a project to new levels. Postings keep the family busy -– from testing new recipes for holiday treats to designing and building floats for a neighborhood parade to making fabric rolls to hold crayons to creating themed parties. Cindy seems to have an unending supply of ideas for gifts, parties and rainy days.

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Comments

75 Comments
  • Kerry @ SparkPicks.com

    January 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

    This is so cute!  My daughter will love this project.  

  • Gail

    January 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

    what a wonderful idea..can’t wait to try it..tfs.loves ya..Gail

  • Heather

    January 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I love this idea – what a great project… will definitely being doing this with my kiddos

  • Trisha

    January 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    This is such a great idea and a super family project.  Thank you!!

  • sara

    January 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Love this! A Valentine’s Day for the birds!

  • Amy

    January 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Birds can eat the gelatin? I know certain things are not ok for animals….gelatin is ok?

  • […] laukinių paukščių ir gyvūnų. Sunku susirasti maisto, be to tyko nemažai pavojų. Tinklapyje alphamom.com (nuotrauka iš ten pat) radau idėją, kaip stilingai palesinti […]

  • Rebekah

    January 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Great idea! My son and preschoolers would love to make these. Thanks for sharing.

  • […] seed. I only have sunflower seeds from the garden. I could see lots of other cool shapes too! Heart-Shaped Birdfeeder […]

  • Scentsy Wickless Candles

    January 15, 2011 at 12:00 am

    What a cute and cleaver idea. I love this idea and will try it out myself. Thank you for sharing.

  • Tooth Fairy

    January 15, 2011 at 12:00 am

    ♥ What a sweet treat idea for feeding the Birdies! ♥

  • Scentsy Wickless Candles

    January 15, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Very cute and clever idea. I will definitely use this idea and see how well I do. Thank you for sharing.

  • Mark the Birdhouse Builder

    January 15, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Very clever, I’m going to try to make one that’s the size of baseball.

  • Andrea S.

    January 15, 2011 at 8:59 am

    How many feeders does this recipe make?

  • Nadia

    January 15, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Love this idea. It’s so cute. I will do it.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Jayne

    January 16, 2011 at 8:56 am

    i LOVE this! and tried it yesterday. My hearts are, well…. flexible, bendable! I’m not sure what i did wrong as i followed the recipe. Any ideas on how i might be able to harden them so i can hang them up? I’m dying to see them hanging from tree, being enjoyed by our sweet finches. Thanks!

    oooh! i just remembered…. i did add 2T of peanut butter to the mixture because i’ve heard its wonderfully nutritious for the lil guys, could that be the cause of the hearts not hardening enough??

  • Nancy

    January 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    We are going to make them for V-day gifts for my son’s class!

  • Many Little Links: January 17, 2010

    January 17, 2011 at 2:05 am

    […] Heart-Shaped Bird Feeder DIY – Alphamom Great winter project to work on with the kids!  Love the shape of it too. […]

  • Susan W

    January 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    @ jayne – i think yours did not harden because of the pb…i’ve made this type of feeder w/ the kids before but it was w/ birdseed, pb, & lard (or crisco)…they didn’t hold shapes really well and we would pack this mixture in open pinecones and hang them from the trees.
    i’m really looking forward to trying this recipe, i like the idea of the gelatin to hold a shape…..

  • […] source […]

  • Katie Brown Workshop

    January 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Looks lovely…what a cute Valentine’s Day gift for the birds!

  • Hollie

    January 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    This is so cute! LOVE IT! Thanks!

  • Monica

    January 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Cute….a definite Valentines idea! Thanks.

  • […] This homemade heart shaped birdfeeder from Alpha Mom looks easy to make and just in time for Valentines! […]

  • Exposing my crafty side! « Kaezmum's Blog

    January 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    […] Since my daughter came along, lengthy projects have been replaced by finger painting and recycled masterpieces!  Not a toilet paper roll or piece of string is safe in my house.  She has a sixth sense for the potential in everything (and a bedroom gallery to prove it!).  I think its great that she is so creative.  Lately, she is really into making her own books.  She will draw, paint, use stickers and cut pictures out of magazines to illustrate whatever story she has made up, then binds it all together with string or ribbon, and even twist ties for one of them!  At the dollar store we found some little photoalbums that she turned into books by inserting her drawings on one side and the words on the other, and at Micheals we found blank chipboard cutouts with a little spiral clip and those worked great as presents for her grandparents at Christmas. And the best part is that they come in a variety of shapes and are only $1.50 With my parents heading back to Ottawa tomorrow, and our holiday season coming to an end (my husband is so happy that we are finally taking down the Christmas tree!!!) I thought it would be nice to do a fun, simple, wintery craft this weekend. My nephew will be spending the day with us Sunday so that will be a perfect time to make these super cute little bird feeders I found at Craft Magazine Original post and picture from Cindy at Alphamom […]

  • […] of Skip to My Lou guest blogs on Alphamom with this great homemade heart-shaped bird feeder project. These birdfeeders not only help our feathered friends, but making them is a fun and easy […]

  • For the birds « What To Do With Kids

    January 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    […] to nuts, I try to look for things that don’t include them to post for general public. This recipe from alphamom.com uses gelatin. Of course heart cookie cutters are great this time of year, but if […]

  • Kids Crafts… | Elisa's Ramblings

    January 24, 2011 at 9:41 am

    […] Heart-shaped (or any shape!) bird feeder finally…a use for all my unflavored gelatin!  I just need to go get bird seed. […]

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  • Britta

    January 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    We tried this with a group of pre schooler, and I could not make the gelatin harden. Did anyone succeed with this project? What is the secret??????

    • Jesseca

      February 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Mine came out great after adding one small step…. A fan! I let them sit overnight and woke up and they were still pliable. Well I pulled out a small table fan and put it on them for 24 hours. They hardened right up and are packaged in baggies for my daughters valentines day party this Friday.

  • […] shaped bird feeder from Skip to My Lou via Alphamom: Show the birds some love too! Related Posts:How to: Make Sewn Valentines21 Valentine’s Day […]

  • Deb @ Living Montessori Now

    January 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    These are so cute – and a wonderful gift for the birds! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

  • […] of temporary tattoos might be met.  To continue our tradition, this year we’re making some heart-shaped bird-feeder valentines inspired by alphamom unless we run out of time and then we’ll be punting with one of the ideas listed […]

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  • Rachel

    February 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I want to do these with a preschool class – how many does the recipe make?

  • Kristen

    February 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    We tried these with my moms group. They were easy and super cute however once defrosted from the freezer they just fell apart. I followed the directions exactly. We hung our feeders on the tree only to find a few hours later they fell right off the twine to the floor. Really cute idea but, it doesn’t work.

  • cindy

    February 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I think adding peanut butter might be the reason the gelatin didn’t set.

    The gelatin simply acts as a binder, for us it made the bird seed just sticky enough to hold together. The bird seed was well coated.

    It is very cold where we live, so the bird feeder was frozen most of the time.

    Make sure you allow the seeds to absorb the liquid and the mixture is cool and starting to thicken before.putting in the cookie cutter.

    I hope this helps everyone!

    Here is a slightly different recipe from FamilyFun.com . It uses a bit less water.

    1/4-ounce package of unflavored gelatin
    2 cups of your favorite wild birdseed

    Three 4-inch mini bundt or fluted pans
    Colorful ribbon

    Instructions

    To make a batch, bring 6 tablespoons of water to a boil. Empty one 1/4-ounce package of unflavored gelatin (we used Knox brand) into 2 tablespoons of cold water in a large bowl. Let the gelatin sit for 1 minute, then add the boiling water and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until the gelatin has dissolved.

    Next, stir 2 cups of your favorite wild birdseed into the gelatin, mixing thoroughly. Let the mixture set for a few minutes, then stir again. Repeat this process a few times, if necessary, allowing the seed to absorb the liquid. Spoon the seed mixture into three 4-inch mini bundt or fluted pans (available at many housewares stores–we got ours at Linens ‘n Things–or online cooking supply sites, such as http://www.nordicware.com).

    Place the pans in the refrigerator or a cool room and let them set for at least 3 hours. Remove the wreaths from the molds by inverting the pans and tapping along the bottoms. Allow the wreaths to air-dry overnight.

    Finally, tie colorful ribbon around your wreaths and hang them outside in a protected spot, such as under an awning or eaves, where the rain won’t melt them.

    • Trudico

      November 27, 2013 at 10:38 am

      This really doesn’t work.  I followed the directions exactly, and the gelatin set quite well.  But the seeds just fell right off, the whole shape crumbled easily, and the ribbon pulled out through the holes as soon as I tried to pick them up.  I am very disappointed, had them in the refrigerator overnight with hopes of giving these lovely-looking things to a bunch of relatives tonight for Chanukah.

  • i <3 u « mainely stitching

    February 9, 2011 at 9:13 am

    […] Feed more than just your soul with some heart-shaped birdseed feeders: https://alphamom.com/family-fun/crafts/heart-shaped-bird-feeder-diy/ […]

  • Cherie

    January 12, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Thank you for a wonderful project I can do with my grandson who is TERRIBLY allergic to peanut butter. I’ve seen many ideas for similar projects but they all called for peanut butter. Thanks again…I can’t wait to have him over to make these 🙂

  • Day 266: Birdseed Ornaments « Kat's Weblog

    January 21, 2013 at 6:43 am

    […] greased silicone bundt pans and it was super easy to get the birdseed molds out. You can use the quantities here but I vehemently suggest a bundt over the finicky cookie cutter bit. Rate this:Share […]

  • Crafty Winter | Gewoon Marieke

    January 23, 2013 at 8:43 am

    […] Klik hier voor de uitleg. […]

  • Hayley

    January 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you so much now I have something to give to my teachers

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  • Chrissie Barcelona

    April 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Hi there.  I will be sharing a link to your bird feeder on my next blog post:  10 Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with Kiddos. http://www.partypaperscissors.blogspot.com.  

  • […] Heart-Shaped Bird Feeder – Alphamom […]

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    November 26, 2013 at 11:12 am

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    November 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    […] Decorate an outdoor tree for the birds. Make these bird feeders from Alpha Mom. String popcorn and cranberry garlands to drape. You can even just tie string around day-old bagels […]

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  • Jennifer

    December 10, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I did this my sons, followed directions exactly, and they fell apart. Boys were quite disappointed as this was supposed to be a Xmas gift for their great Grandma. We have lots of seed, so we’re going to try again, but double up on the gelatin.

  • Dee

    January 9, 2014 at 1:27 am

    What about making this heart using a marshmallow rice krispie style mixture. i think the gelatin would be soft but the marshmallow would harden up well so long and you use it sparingly the sugars should not hurt the birds. You could use PB instead of the butter.

  • Judy. Evins

    January 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I made a trial run before Sunday! And mine would not harden! Want preschoolers to do this

    • AJ

      February 12, 2014 at 11:36 am

      I made these last night and just added one more pack of gelatin and that seems to have worked. I also left the straw in the hole and put the hole lower. They’re hard this morning and can’t see why they wouldn’t hold up. I’m going to wait another day before hanging though.

  • […] From: Alphamom.com […]

  • Alli Hogan

    April 8, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Can I use honey as a binder?

  • Stephanie Leigh

    November 17, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Use an extra pack of gelatin or I love the idea of a previous comments made of packing with pinecones and hanging as to not waste your mixture.
    This recipe, may benefit from more gelatin/ little less water should do it

  • Karen

    December 7, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Yours are lovely.  
    Mine were a hot mess.  
    Oh well… Glad I tried!  🙂

  • Cindi

    December 20, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Although they look good on a cookie sheet ours were an Epic Failure. Completely fell apart. Looked good until they thawed out. We even used extra gelatin. Extremely disappointing for the 6 yr old who wanted to give these as a Christmas present 🙁

  • DeeDee

    December 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but mine are all falling apart. Followed the recipe exactly. Ornaments were gummy and flexible. They tore when I tried to hang them. So l doubled the amount of gelatine. Same result. I tried using melted marshmallows, even omitted all the butter… so it was just marshmallows & birdseed. I thought for sure this would work. It doesn’t look like these are going to hold together either.they are starting to split into big cracks.. I thought about making a paste (flour,water, & sugar) to see if that would hold them together…

    Advice?

  • Katie B.

    February 9, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I’m not sure about birds eating the gelatin. you could try suet instead. 

  • Katie B

    February 9, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Birds should not eat marshmallow. and I’m not sure gelatin is ok either. a good alternative would be suet and mold into the shape of a heart.  

  • Caroline perigo

    February 19, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    These are very watery, wondering how long.to wait until they firm up? I was going to use these for a favor at my daughter’s baby shower. Wish it would work!

  • Bez

    March 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Jessica is right, what these need is drying out, not freezing. I put mine in a very low temp oven (I used the bottom oven of my Aga, but an ordinary oven set as you would for meringues will do). I left them for about one and a half hours – until they were firm to the touch. Once out of the oven and cooled, they peeled off the parchment paper I had used just fine and feel just like the feeder blocks you can buy in store. Will definitely make more of these, now that I know I can make them successfully.

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  • Ingrid

    February 13, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Love the blog!

  • Shelley

    February 25, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Followed directions, and still can out with a sticky mess.

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