Bird feeder wreaths are fun Christmas or housewarming gifts, typically in a donut shape and hung to beautify a yard or garden area with the presence of birds. Our particular tutorial is for a donut shape, or traditional wreath shape, hung in tree branches, on doors, or in other visually attractive areas that birds will frequent. What a fun project for a crafter and bird watcher, and perfect as a quick and affordable but thoughtful gift for a friend!
Make sure the materials you use are appropriate for birds, because you can be assured that they’ll pick at the construction pieces too, not just the seeds. You may also attract other wildlife to your yard – make sure the types of seeds and treats used are okay for the particular birds that inhabit your yard and they won’t harm – but perhaps won’t be stolen by – other wildlife. A little time researching appropriate bird feeds will bring more joy to you and less danger to them!
To make the bird feeder wreath, you’ll need to collect the following materials:
- A large spoon
- A measuring cup
- A wide ribbon
- A saucepan or baking dish
- Fine cheesecloth
- 6 cups Bundt pan
- Fresh cranberries (or other fresh fruit)
- Wild bird seed
- Dried cranberries
- Roasted unsalted peanuts
- Nonstick spray
Here are the simple steps to create this easy, pretty wreath:
- Divide the suet into chunks about one pound each or smaller, placing the pieces into a saucepan or baking dish.
- Heat in either a 375 degree oven or over low heat in the saucepan. Continue heating until the fat has melted completely.
- Strain the suet through the cheesecloth, then let the suet harden again at room temperature.
- Reheat the concoction to melt the suet and then strain it again. Measure 1 ½ cups of melted suet and place it aside.
- Place the cranberries in the bottom of the pan, either randomly or in a decorative pattern to make it attractive and colorful.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix four cups of wild birdseed and one of dried cranberries and peanuts. Mix the ingredients together very well.
- Prepare the suet, adding the melted fat to the other ingredients with the large spoon you used to mix all the ingredients. You can use your hands to mix it if you don’t have a large spoon handy.
- Cover the inside of the Bundt pan in nonstick spray.
- Fill the Bundt pan with the mixture after having mixed well the ingredients. In the process, make sure you are pressing very firmly to ensure good consistency.
- Let the mixture harden overnight in the refrigerator.
- When it has hardened, remove the pan from the refrigerator and let it stand for five to ten minutes. Then remove it from the mold.
- To finish the project, use the wide ribbon to tie the wreath.
- Look for a place to hang the wreath. Place it out of the sun to avoid sun damage and to keep it from thawing too quickly.
- If you’re giving it as a gift, bag it immediately and place it somewhere cool where critters can’t get to it until you can get it to its new owners – perhaps in a sealed plastic container of some sort.
This project is simply beautiful in its basic form, but there are many customization options. No two will be alike because you can change the ribbon – make sure to choose a durable, wide, and thick ribbon. As it weathers or gets picked at by birds, it may fall apart and cause the wreath to fall. A burlap ribbon might be a simple, rustic choice. In addition, the pattern you create with the cranberries or other dried fruit will be different, but consider these more intentional personalization ideas too:
- Use a gelatin. Instead of baking, you’ll want to use a package of unflavored gelatin, ¾ of a cup of flour, ½ a cup of warm water, and 3 tablespoons of light corn syrup. Mix them together, then add the suet to it and place in the mold after spraying with the nonstick spray. Refrigerate it – in the morning it will slide out of the mold and you’ll leave it on a rack to dry completely.
- Use a different mold – try more elaborate Bundt pans, or little cakelet or muffin pans, Your creativity is the limit! How cute would little owl birdseed molds be? Here’s where you can really personalize to the recipient, if you’re making these for gifts – gingerbread men at Christmas, eggs at Easter, skulls at Halloween.
This is a fun way to brighten your yard and might be an especially fun project with children. Whether the wreaths are for your own pleasure or for loved ones, they’ll bring a smile when they attract colorful, singing birds. Enjoy the easy crafting and its results!