The lure of the birds

  • How To: Make Your Own Birdfeeder<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • How To: Make Your Own Birdfeeder<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • How To: Make Your Own Birdfeeder<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • How To: Make Your Own Birdfeeder<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • How To: Make Your Own Birdfeeder<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • How To: Make Your Own Birdfeeder<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • How To: Make Your Own Birdfeeder<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • How To: Make Your Own Birdfeeder<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • How To: Make Your Own Birdfeeder<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

The snow is gone and the birds are back from their southern migration. Kids love to watch birds at their perches, and what better way to attract them by hanging out a bird feeder? Here’s one birdfeeder you can make yourself and one that the kids will be able to say they made themselves.

Step 1

You will need about 3/4 of a cup of birdseed, water, a small envelope of unflavored gelatin, cookie cutters or other small mold, a length of ribbon or string, a length of tinfoil and non-stick spray.

Step 2

Mix the gelatin packet with about 1/4 cup of water in a stove top pan. Heat to a simmer and stir until the gelatin has dissolved completely. Remove the pan from the stove, and let it cool.

Step 3

Stir in the birdseed until all water has been used. Add additional seed if there is still water left in the pan.

Step 4

Spray your tinfoil and the insides of your chosen molds with non-stick cooking spray, and lay out your molds on your tinfoil.

Step 5

Fill the molds halfway with your birdseed mixture. Lay your ribbon in the mold, with the open ends at the bottom, and a closed loop at the top. Then fill the top half of the mold and pack down the mixture tightly. Alternatively, pack the mold completely, and use a straw to poke a hole through your birdseed, and then add a ribbon when the process is complete.

Step 6

Allow the seed to dry in the mold overnight, turning them over every so often.

Step 7

Remove your birdfeeder from the mold, hang it up, and watch the birds come to enjoy.

If you have very young children, or are just looking for a five-minute craft, there is a simpler way to feed the birds. Here’s an even quicker way to make a birdfeeder, with no stove required.

Step 1

You will need a clean toilet paper roll, smooth peanut butter and a rubber spatula, a length of ribbon and a plate of birdseed.

Step 2

Take the toilet paper roll and peanut butter, and spread the peanut butter thickly and evenly around the surface of the roll. Alternatively, you can use another surface — pine cones work well for natural decorations, and you don’t have to worry about cleaning up the litter after the birds are done with their treat.

Step 3

Roll the peanut-butter covered toilet paper roll in the birdseed until the surface is completely covered.

Step 4

Run the ribbon through the center of the roll, and tie the ends for easy hanging. Alternatively, you can also just put your roll directly on a tree branch, but hanging it from a branch or a porch nail will work to discourage unwanted pests like squirrels (as much as squirrels are ever discouraged).

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