Hanging Ice Ornaments / Bird Feeders - How To Guide
These ice ornament feeders are a fun alternative way to help out your feathered friends when their food sources are sparse through winter, and a great way to get your children out into nature and absorbing their surroundings.
Hanging Ice Bird Seed Ornaments
These winter ice, birdseed ornaments are easy to make and sparkle in the sunlight on a cold, crisp day. They're also a brilliant way to provide a food source for the garden birds.
It's often hard to motivate my children to go for a walk when it's freezing cold, but this craft got them excited to wrap up warm and go searching for natural materials. Also it's a lovely activity to do as a winter solstice craft.
What you will need
- Muffin Tin (which will dictate your bird feeder ornaments shape)
- Natural Materials (berries, holly, ivy, fir tree)
- Hessian String
- Small Shape Cutters
- Citrus Fruit Skins (Orange, Lemon, Lime)
How to make your bird seed ornaments
1. Bundle up nice and warm and head into your garden or on your local nature walk to start collecting your natural materials. We try our best to pick things off the ground, like berries that have fallen etc.
2. Once you're home, lay everything out (or in my case divide everything equally between your kids so no squabbles!). If you've picked bits off the ground rinse with water to get the dirt off. Now is a good time to use your mini-cutters to cut shapes into your citrus fruit skins.
3. Fill your muffin tin compartments 2/3 with water and start by putting a small handful of bird seed into the water of each one.
4. Add in your holly, berries etc and your citrus skin shapes. We used orange skin hearts for ours.
5. Cut your hessian string into 8cm pieces and place both cut ends into the water leaving the loop outside - Make sure your loops don't go into the water of the other compartments or they'll freeze into the ice ornaments. Pop into the freezer overnight.
IMPORTANT: Don't put a knot in the ends of your string as it could be hazardous to wildlife.
6. The next morning we took the ice cube ornaments out of the freezer. Turned the frozen tray upside down on the patio and poured a jug of warm water over the bottom of the tray to loosen the ornaments. Out the ice bird feed ornaments came! Then all you have to do is hang outside on your tree.
Obviously these diy birdseed ornaments will eventually melt (unless you live in Siberia and have prolonged freezing temperatures .. which could result in an 'ice bird' or an 'ice cube bird'!?!) but when this bird seed ornament melts, the thankful birds will scavenge the contents from the floor. We found these to be excellent things to hang in trees around your local community and we often take these on our adventures to randonly hide, in the hope that other wanderers can find unexpectedly find them.