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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Well This is for the Birds!

I have decided to continue my handmade Christmas gift post on a semi regular basis.  You might wonder what the inspiration for today's post is and I will let you in on a little secret.  I made this as an add-on gift for my BIL, but wanted to start dinner, so I put them on a cooling rack and moved it from the kitchen counter to the laundry room then completely forgot about it until I was cleaning up in there yesterday.
Oops, sorry D.  It really is ok because we also ordered him some Omaha Steaks and will have them delivered next week (I did not have the freezer space to hold them until Christmas, so I just wrapped up a box with a picture of a steak in it with a promise to take them to him as soon as they came)  Fortunately they only live a couple of miles from me so I can run both gifts over as soon as the steaks are delivered.

Deiter (not his real name but it is what My Beloved Sister calls him about half of the time) feeds birds in their yard regularly.  I saw this little craft at the creative savv blog and thought it worked for my time and skill level.

Hanging Bird Cakes

Ingredients?
2 envelopes  unflavored gelatin (Try a latin market store brand. They cost about 3 times less than Knox at Public
1/2 cup really hot water (I boiled mine)
birdseed (the  cheapest you can find)

Supplies:
big glass bowl
spoon
large cookie cutters (use the kind that are totally open on both sides)
pam to spray the insides of the cookie cutters
twine, ribbon,string, cord, shoelaces?
chopstick
waxed paper

Mix the water and gelatin in a large glass bowl and mix until the gelatin is totally dissolved. Stir in birdseed (I did not measure how much I used 2 cups maybe?) until it is well coated and kind of mushes together when you press it in your hand (but it will  fall apart after you release it).

Set the cookie cutters on waxed paper on a solid surface that you will not need to use for a couple of hours. (I am very technical so I used the kitchen counter)  I plopped the birdseed mix into 5 cookie cutters and pressed it to make it somewhat level and somewhat smooth.  (You have to press it hard and compact or it will not form a cake. I let it sit for about 30 minutes and them I used the fat end of a chopstick to make a hole for hanging later (My chopsticks have a round fat end, a ball point pen cap would work just as well).  Walk away and let them sit for a couple of hours. Then very gently and carefully start pushing the cakes out of the cutters. (Less of  a design is more here. This is not the time to get all fancy) Once they are out just let them sit until you can pick them up without them crumbling. Mine worked right away but after reading other people's complications it might take a bit longer.  After releasing them from the cookie cutters I put a sheet of parchment paper on 2 cake cooling racks and set them out of the way to dry

When you finally remember you made them it is time to finish them (providing they are totally dry when you remember) Thread ribbon, cord, twine, shoestrings, whatever you wish,  through the hole but make sure you double the length you want them to be. Tie 2 simple knots to hold the ribbon in place and you have a pretty cool gift for next to nothing.  Mom flipped over them so I will make her some for her birthday in March.  It will be great because I can use the remaining birdseed. (I no longer feed the birds because the neighbor on the other side of my back fence lets her cat stay outside all the time and he used my bird feeder as a bait station and the fences and trees as a launch apparatus.)

These can be tied to branches in trees or wherever a really good hitching place is, but you need to tie them somewhere birds will have a place to settle while gorging on them. Even birds don't want to do fly by eating. Oh yes, and you have to take them down if it is going to rain or all the birdseed will scatter and fall on the ground.  Which could also be ok since the birds could still peck away.

Easy peasy__Cost, 2 bucks total (including the ones I will make for Mom)__Dry time, 2 days maybe__Skill level, less than 1.

p.s. Be careful when tying these. If you drop them they break. Really break!  Deiter is only getting 4 now!

18 comments:

  1. These are really cute and a great gift idea for bird lovers.

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    1. They really are cute and so blooming simple!

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    2. They are really pretty - kinda like Christmas for the birds! Now if only I could keep the crows and the magpies away ..... Anna

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    3. Yep you can't hang them and segregate the birds. Its a bird free for all!

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  2. Are you getting some snow?? It's pretty snowy and blowy here in London, ON. Staying in and being cozy! I saw a similar project (though I forget where) and the person used a bundt pan for the ingredients and then hung it outside as a wreath with a ribbon on a shed door. Looked nice and the pictures showed birds munching away. I would expect, however, that once the birds had nibbled away at the top of the wreath that the rest would fall to the ground as it wasn't encased in any mesh.

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    1. We had a little snow but mostly ice. Since we have no ice removal and the area is really hilly it easily becomes a night mare with cars sliding into other cars and then the roads become blocked and impassable (Contrary to most opinions only south Alabama is flat)

      The bundt pan idea sounds really cute. Mom has some ancient metal ring shaped jello molds that might work for a similar effect

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  3. I think you just sorted the last of a Mother's Day gift for my MIL. A few months ago a found a pillow and beach sign for the new cabin. These will be a welcome addition (she's a bird watcher), and will keep the cost very low for a wrapped gift. I'm not trying to be a tightwad, just frugal, as we will be taking her shopping as well to pick out a few new things I am sure she will decide to not move back into the cabin once she see's the newness of everything.

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    1. It sounds like you are like me and give several gifts instead of just one big one. I always try to have a few things to wrap that are cute and very very cost effective. I had not thought of making these for the lake place, but I am now!

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  4. Very nice! I have both the gelatin and the bird seeds - should try making some.

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  5. Very neat idea - thanks for sharing!

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    1. Anytime! I just wish I were not such a great "stasher" and could remember that I had actually made and stashed a gift before I intended t give it.

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  6. I'm sure that if I tried this it would just be added to the list of things that look easy and I fail at :)

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  7. I saw these on creativesavv but after I had already been in PA for Christmas, I think. I'm filing them away, though, as they are perfect for my brother in law. And my parents, for that matter.

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    1. They are a cool idea! I will be making them again

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  8. Love this idea, but know the squirrels would get to them first!

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    1. Probably, but the squirrels used to hit my bird feeder pretty hard too

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