If you are looking for that fantastic ‘it’s almost spring’ craft project all your feathered friends are sure to love, then LOOK NO FURTHER! :D
How adorable are these??!
Simple wooden birdhouses, coated with an easy-to-make, non-toxic, edible glue (see recipe below), then adorned with various seeds, cracked corn, nuts, dried fruit, leaves, sprigs, etc., become feasts for the eyes as well as the birds.
This was a really fun and fairly quick project. Great for kids, too. (Oh, and since I had a little glue left over I decided to coat some pinecones as well. Hey, every new cul-de-sac needs some landscaping, doesn’t it? ;-) )
Let’s take a look at some of the finer architectural details…
Our first house boasts clean lines and stuccoed walls embedded with a high-quality seed mix containing millet, cracked corn, sunflower hearts and white sunflower seeds.
The wonderfully patterned roof provides just the perfect touch of color certain to attract the yard’s most sophisticasted of songbirds. ;-)
A bit of peanut butter (the natural kind with as much oil taken out as possible – you want it on the dry side) mixed into the non-toxic glue ensures a solid hold for dried cranberries, blueberries, pistachios and hazelnuts.
Next up, another villa with similar features to the first but with pistachio nut roof trim and the addition of two pretzel skylights. Neat! :-)
Last, but not least, is our cozy, one-room cottage, sporting a picket fence, pretzel windows and black oil sunflower seed heart.
(To create details like the heart, I simply placed a metal cookie cutter on the house after it was smothered with a thick coat of glue. Next, I filled the area inside with black oil sunflower seeds then coated the area outside with a contrasting mix of cracked corn and sunflower hearts).
(Click to view larger)
The black oil sunflower detail is continued all along the roofline while a fresh juniper berry sprig tied off with a piece of red raffia provides the finishing touch.
So, there you have it folks. Yes, I do realize, this is the best these birdhouses will look once word gets out in the critter community. In a
most likely feeble attempt to discourage the squirrels, we hung the houses from long strings on the outer edges of single, lighter-weight branches. But, if I know our squirrels, they’ll figure out a way to get to these tasty treats. Doesn’t really matter to me…for one, Milkay’s Animal Kingdom has always been an ‘equal opportunity’ environment; and two, I can always construct more. :-)
(Click to view larger)
Non-toxic Edible Glue for Bird Seed Houses
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- Small saucepan
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup cold water
- Small bowl
- Mix water, corn syrup, and vinegar in saucepan.
- Bring to a full, rolling boil.
- In bowl, mix cornstarch with cold water.
- Add this mixture slowly to the hot mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture returns to a boil.
- Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat.
- When cooled, pour into an airtight container and let stand overnight. Stir well before using.
Store glue in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You might have to warm a bit in the microwave (20 second pulse) then stir to use.