How to Make Birdseed Ornaments

A Scandinavian Tradition for the Birds

Do you need an inexpensive but thoughtful gift for your neighbors or teachers? Birdseed ornaments are an easy DIY recipe to make with your kids, no matter what their age. 

The Scandinavian countries have a tradition of encouraging kindness to the birds at Christmastime. They believe if you spread birdseed outside your doorstep on Christmas morning, it will bring you good luck in the New Year. This tradition came about because they wanted to prevent the birds from getting their stored grain. They would put away the last sheaves of grain from the harvest and hang out a bundle for the birds on Christmas (called julkarve), hoping the birds would stay out of the barn where their harvest was stored.

We were so excited when we learned about this tradition since we have always loved making birdseed ornaments. A simple craft for any age and a great treat for the birds in the winter. You can also gift this by simply scooping up handfuls of bird seed in a bag with this printable.  

Birdseed Ornament Recipe:


2 cups birdseed

⅔ cup water

2 packets of unflavored gelatin

Donut pan or muffin tin 

Straws (if using a muffin tin) 

Cooking spray

Twine or ribbon


To make the birdseed ornaments, follow these simple steps.  

In a small pot combine water and gelatin over medium heat. Mix well until gelatin dissolves. 

Remove from heat and stir in birdseed until well blended. (note: I added slightly more than 2 cups and they turned out great). Next spray your muffin tin or donut pan with cooking spray then fill with birdseed. Make sure you pat down as you fill them to the top. If you have younger kids, this is a perfect stage for them to get involved in the process! If you are using muffin tins, once you fill each tin you will need to insert a straw into the middle to create a hole for their string.  

Refrigerate for an hour or until gelatin settles. Pop out of tin using a toothpick or butter knife. Then add twine or ribbon.  

You can either hang outside for the birds to enjoy or put in a baggie and tie them up as a cute and thoughtful gift! 

Ann is an entrepreneur working in the Twin Cities parenting world for over a decade. She is a St. Paul girl at heart, born & raised. Together with her husband Brian they raise their energetic boys, Ethan & Declan while also wrangling their dogs Tucker & Greta. You can connect with Ann on Instagram @simplyme_ann


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