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4 Fun Bird Seed Wreath Recipes for Your Feathered Friends

If you could be a bird, what kind would you be?  My kids and I talk about this from time to time.  I know this post is about making or buying a bird seed wreath but stick with me, this is a fun game!

Of course, at least one of my kids will say they would be an eagle because who wouldn’t want a 7-foot wingspan and the ability to fly at an altitude of 10,000 feet?

But, let’s be real here, we aren’t all eagles.  Truth be told, my favorite bird is probably the black capped chickadee. 

Why?  Because they are brave and tough and always have a spring in their step, or ummm flight.  Their call is nice to listen too unlike that of a blue jay whose beauty lies solely in its feathers.  If you are patient and stand near the feeder with birdseed in your hand, they will land on your hand (or head or shoulder) and check you out.

Is your personality more aggressive like a blue jay or do you love to sing like a robin?  We have barn swallows by us and they are graceful aerobatics and a pleasure to watch in the evenings when the mosquitos come out.  

While some of us, such as my parents and my neighbor, are die hard bird feeder people, keeping their feeders full year round.  I tend to be a lazy bird lady and only keep my feeders full during the winter.  Living in a cold northern climate makes me want to reach out to my cute chickadee neighbors and lend a helping hand.

Whether you are looking to make a bird seed wreath or gift one, your feathered friends will greatly appreciate it!

bird seed wreath

How do You Make a Bird Seed Wreath?

Bird seed wreaths are fun to make and you can use a variety of materials.  Some use gelatin, others add fun touches such as dried fruit, while others use peanut butter to attract those nut loving species.  

Personally, I hesitate to use more processed ingredients such as gelatin and corn syrup but they do work much better as a glue in warmer weather and are easier if you have young children helping you.  

I have included 2 recipes that call for gelatin and 2 recipes that use lard or suet.  The birds will love them all and this kind of project lends itself to fun experimentation and creativity.

Bird Seed Wreath with Gelatin

This recipe is from Birds and Blooms.

What you will need:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Dried fruit
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups gelatin (not the flavored jello)
  • 5 TBS light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 creamy peanut butter
  • 5 cups bird seed
  • Bundt cake pan
  • Wide ribbon

Directions:

  • Spray inside of the pan with nonstick cooking spray and arrange dried fruit in the pan.
  • Pour warm water into the mixing bowl.  Pour gelatin into water and mix until dissolved.
  • Stir in corn syrup, peanut butter, and flour.  Add bird seed and stir to combine.
  • Press mixture into pan and let sit for 24 hours.
  • Gently flip pan over to release the wreath.  Loop the ribbon through the center and hang under a tree.

Here is another recipe for a gelatin based bird seed wreath.  This one is from Sugar Spice and Glitter.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 4 cups bird seed
  • 1 cup gelatin mixed with 1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup flour mixed with 1/3 cup water
  • Bundt pan
  • Ribbon or twine for hanging

What to do:

  • Grease your bundt pan and then sprinkle in the cranberries, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Set aside.
  • Mix the 1/3 cup water, flour, and corn syrup together to form a natural glue.
  • Add bird seed mix to this natural glue and stir well. The 4th cup is optional, but if you are planning on hanging up your wreath I would add no more than 3 1/2 cups of bird seed.
  • (I encouraged the children to ensure there was no “loose” bird seed because that would just fall out of our wreath.)
  • Prepare the gelatin mixture by placing the gelatin powder in a bowl or measuring cup and dissolving it with the water. It needs to be pourable but super thick (refer to the video).
  • Scoop the bird seed mixture overtop of the gelatin layer and press firmly to compact your wreath.
  • Allow to set in the fridge overnight and then tie your string around the wreath and hang.

Lard/Suet Wreath

Lard or suet is excellent for birds during the cold winter months.  It gives them the fat and energy they need to survive the below freezing temps.  This suet is best hung outside when the temps are below 32 degrees Farenheit.

Also, be warned, if you have a dog, they may be attracted to the lard (don’t ask me how I know!).  Thank you Triangle Gardener for this recipe.

What you will need:

• 1 pound real lard or suet. Do not use Crisco or other such products. Lard is rendered suet; for our purposes, these are interchangeable.
• 4 cups wild birdseed
• 1 cup dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit)
• Bundt pan
• Nonstick cooking spray

What to do:

  • Melt lard in a sauce pan on low heat.
  • In a large bowl, mix seeds and dried cranberries to fill four cups of mix. Using a spatula to stir, fold-in the lard or suet until all of the seeds are coated. Make sure the seed is well mixed with the lard/suet to keep the wreath from falling apart.
  • Spray the Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Using the spatula, press the seed mixture into the pan. Press firmly until the mixture is well packed and even. Set the pan in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Once the lard has hardened, gently turn the cake pan upside down to remove the wreath.  Loop a ribbon through the center and hang outside.

This recipe from Old Thy Me Food Garden has both peanut butter and suet!  Sounds like a feast for our little friends.  If you follow the link, she also explains how to make the wreath a little stronger with twigs.

You will need:

  • 1 cup of suet (1.5 cups if using the bagged suet)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 4 cups of high quality birdseed
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • Bundt pan

What to do:

  • Melt your suet in a large pot at a low heat.
  • Add the peanut butter, stir till it is all melted.
  • Add the seeds and cornmeal, stir till well coated.
  • Spray bundt pan with cooking spray and pour seed mixture into pan.
  • Refrigerate until hard
  • Gently remove wreath by turning pan upside down.
  • Loop a ribbon through the center and hang on a tree branch.
bird seed wreaths
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Best Wild Bird Seed Mix

What kind of birdseed should I use?  It depends a little on which birds you are trying to attract and even which birds you are trying to discourage.  Blue Jays can be a bit aggressive and chase off some of the smaller birds.

  • Black sunflower seeds are the most popular and many seed mixes include them.  You can also buy them on their own. They attract cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, finches, titmice, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, and jays.
  • Nyjer or thistle seeds are tiny and lightweight.  They are high in fat and protein.  Nyjer seeds are best for clinging birds like siskins, goldfinches, repolls, and juncos. Larger finches and quails will eat the seeds that fall onto the ground beneath the feeder. 
  • Millet is a grass seed liked by many smaller birds.  It is high in fat, protein, fiber, and starch.  It appeals most to finches, juncos, buntings, sparrows, towhees, doves, and wild turkey.
  • Safflower seeds are large seeds that look like white sunflower seeds.  They have a tough shell making them difficult to eat for smaller birds.  The good news for bird lovers is that squirrels do not like them.  Safflower is one of the best seeds for cardinals, nuthatches, jays, woodpeckers, house finches, and doves.

Where do You Hang a Bird Seed Wreath?

The fun thing about this post that makes it different from our others is that it is not a front door wreath.  (Check out flip flop wreaths for something fun and different)

Birds appreciate their food placed where they feel safe.  Shelter from trees or bushes will help them feel comfortable visiting your bird seed wreath.

Hang it at eye level and keep in mind that squirrels, chipmunks, and deer would enjoy a bite of it as well (which is not exactly who we are trying to feed here!)  Also, keep the bird seed wreath high enough so cats can not get their own feathery treat.

Bird Seed Wreaths for Sale

Not feeling the urge to make a bird seed wreath yourself?  No worries, we’ve got you covered, or Amazon does anyway 🙂

Pine tree farms have a variety of bird seed wreaths.  This one contains black sunflower seeds, peanuts, safflower, and red millet.

This one is shaped like a bell and while I’m not sure that actually counts as a bird seed wreath, I do like that they have coated the bell with something spicy which will deter squirrels.  Don’t worry!  It is perfectly safe for the birds!

Final Thoughts on a Bird Seed Wreath

Now that you have the tools to get a bird seed wreath into your yard (and hopefully near a window so you can watch from inside) let’s revisit the topic of what species of bird would you be?

Have you decided yet?  Share in the comments below and if you make or purchase any of these be sure to let us know how it worked!  And be sure to check out some of our wreath posts to dress up your front door!  My favorite is the one about farmhouse wreaths 🙂

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