Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

How to Make a Bird Seed Wreath

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Bird seed wreath hanging from tree

Bird seed wreaths are easy to make and make great gifts

This holidays season, give a gift that’s sure to please both human and feathered friends alike! A bird seed wreath is an easy, fun project that makes a great gift. It’s a perfect project to do with kids, and there’s no limit to the possibilities of designs and colors.

Read on to find out how to make your own bird seed wreath!

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50 Comments on “How to Make a Bird Seed Wreath”

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  1. TRU @ TRU TALES FEATS Says:
    December 20th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I just made this for a Christmas gift. I had some old peanuts in the shell that I shelled and used for half the recipe and the other half mixed birdseed. It was a good way to use the peanuts and not have to waste them. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  2. Official Comment:

    Julie Day Says:
    December 21st, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Sounds pretty! These make great gifts. And the birds and squirrels love it – I made the one for the article photos last week, and it had birds on it by the next morning and is now munched to oblivion.

  3. D. Skupien Says:
    April 12th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I made the wreath and the recipe worked like a charm. This wreath can tolerate warm weather, too.

  4. J C Says:
    July 1st, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I made a wreath with a bundt pan. I let it sit for about 24 hrs and it felt hard. I hung it in the tree and within a few minutes had a chickadee on it. When I looked again it had fallen to the ground like it split in half. What did I do wrong? Anyone had this happen and found the fix? I don’t know if I didn’t let it sit long enough or maybe didn’t mix the ‘glue’ enough?
    Will be trying again…

  5. Official Comment:

    Julie Day Says:
    July 21st, 2011 at 8:28 am

    JC, if you made the wreath in July, my guess is that the heat softened the gelatin, which made the glue fall apart. They work better in cool weather as a holiday treat.

  6. Connie Says:
    December 7th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I want to make some of these for Christmas gifts this year. Should they be kept in the fridge if they will not be used right away? Also, do you think they could be shipped? Anybody ever used food coloring in the recipe?

  7. Official Comment:

    Julie Day Says:
    December 8th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Connie, they should stay hard at room temperature, but if you’re going to store them for a while, it wouldn’t hurt to keep them in the fridge or a cool garage. I imagine they could be shipped if they’re well-padded – you might want to wrap them in plastic to keep the seeds from rubbing off against the packing material. I haven’t tried coloring them, but be sure to use a natural (rather than chemical) food dye, to keep it bird-safe. Good luck!

  8. Leila Luttringer Says:
    January 7th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    OOOH, how sweet and cute – I love your ideas for making seed bells and wreaths and I am now anxious to get started and try and make some myself for my rosella’s and cockatiels and quails that I own. I spend a lot of time inside my outdoor avery with them, trying to spoil them in different ways with little treats.
    I do have one question though! My birds really love their apples and mangos when I treat them with it, can I add these to the seed bell mixture as well?
    Thankyou so much.

  9. Official Comment:

    Julie Day Says:
    January 8th, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Leila, I’ve never tried putting fresh fruit in these, but I’d definitely give it a try, especially to the smaller bells that’ll get eaten faster. If they spoil too fast, you could always substitute dried fruit!

  10. Laura Says:
    July 20th, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Don’t forget some dried meal worms!

  11. Paula Ball Says:
    August 4th, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I am looking for something other than gelatin,something vegan. Any ideas?

  12. Sheryll Says:
    September 12th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Has anyone tried to mold these using a birdseed suet (lard/Crisco/peanut butter) recipe rather than corn syrup/gelatin?

  13. labrador Says:
    November 8th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    to keep the mold from breaking, how about adding some kind of reinforcement in the middle of whatever design you choose, like chicken wire…that would not bother the birds.

  14. pamela Says:
    December 11th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I have been making them from just rendered beef suet. 3 cups of suet to 6 cups of seed. I have found that you have to pack them hard and solid and DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE GET COOL. I have an older mold that is a 1/2 round I have used just cheap floral/craft wire to anchor it as I filled the mold. Seems to work great. I am going to try this recipe next. The suet is nice to use but a pain in the butt to render down about ten pounds took about 12 hours in a 350 oven.
    Have fun crafting. if you try the suet let them sit for 24 hours and use a hot water bath to loosen to unmold. works like a charm. :)

  15. rick Says:
    December 20th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    As for the ingredients question, we’ve made bird treats for years using a combination of crisco & peanut butter. Then again we only make them in the winter when the little guys need something that sticks to their ribs!
    Ps: its currently -25 outside and they’re all over them!

  16. Linda Says:
    December 26th, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Made two wreaths and they turned out beautifully but it rained the next day and they both fell to the ground. What can be used to keep this from happening ? The rain must cause the Karo syrup to dissolve . I would like to make these for friends but I don’t want them to fall to the ground.

  17. mary bradford Says:
    November 7th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Is it a fact that these wreaths need to be used fairly soon
    after making them —- some of us made them, stored them and then discovered they had molded!
    HELP

    What should we do?

  18. Anne Marie Dennis Says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I made 230 of these last year. Yes…that’s not a typo. 230. I used wire in the middle of the mold for re-enforcement and it worked fine. You can also freeze them if you are not going to use them for awhile. They will mold after awhile if not stored properly. Anyone know what the exact recipe is for the peanut butter Crisco recipe? How much of each ingredient? Thanks. Would like to try something different this year.

  19. John & Wendy V. Says:
    December 17th, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Anne Dennis – we have surpassed your 230 since October and demand is still very high. We use a straight gelatin mix with the seeds and a string in the middle of the mold. After setting in the fridge for about 6 hours, we put them on a screen to dry for a day or two. Sometimes we put them in front of the woodstove to help dry them. I still have some that mold. Any suggestions?

  20. Renee Says:
    December 17th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    My daughter and I made a bunch of these the other day and wonder if anyone used either a vegetable oil or pam spray on them after they dried to make them not so white. They will be gifts so I want them to look nice. Thoughts?

  21. holly Says:
    January 5th, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I am so surprised and happy when I found this recipe. I prefer to make gifts especially at Christmas. This made a wonderful gift for Craig. He is a major bird lover! I am wondering what Anne Marie Dennis and John and Wendy sell them for? Also what kind of wire did you use in the mold? Chicken wire? And how did you use it? Filling the Bundt pan halfway,putting the wire (remember the type used) in and then filling with the rest of the mixture? Also just for some info, bed and bath beyond sell mini bundt pans. Think cupcake pans but mini bundt cakes. How cool is that? Think I am going to use my 20% coupon for them. Here in Va they cost $17.00 dollars. Thanks for the info and please let me know how much do you charge? Also a string in the middle (is that in the mixute itself) do hang rather then a ribbon ? I am looking forward to make some to earn some money making them and my sewing as well.! Hope all had a wonderful holiday season!

  22. John & Wendy Says:
    January 7th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Holly -
    We wholesale them for $5.50 and make about $3.00 each for our time. We tried wire, but takes too much time. Try using braided mason’s string found at any hardware store. Tie the string together and then put a small loop in it. This sticks out of the birdseed so it can be hung on a nail or hook. We fill the mold half then lay the string on the seed and fill the mold the rest of the way up. Pressing the seed in the mold for a firm jell. We use ribbon to tie a bow on the wreath. Where in VA are they selling for $17.00? We are getting requests for other molds this winter and are looking for different types of molds. Good luck with making them

  23. holly Says:
    January 13th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    The local bird store was selling them for that. I am Richmond Va. Our local southern states is selling them for $14 I believe. That’s why I wanted the info from you. BTW, thanks for the speedy reply and information. When I made my first one I made sure to press the seed really tight in the mold. It came out really well, I couldn’t have asked for more. Also,another thing when do you start making your 230! Most impressive. Do they mold? Where do you make them, in the house, and then store them in a cold place like a gararge or freezer? I really need to make some extra cash. Like yourself I am trying to think of different shapes. I think I am going to use the mini bundt pans to get some smaller shapes. Wilton Baking company makes 3-D molds, you should check into that!! I am really thankful for this. I wish there was some way I could get my email to you without giving it out to the world. I am looking for other molds so maybe I could help you out and I could pick you brain for some more info on this money making thing. Thanks if you know a way about the email addresses let me know.

  24. John & Wendy Says:
    January 14th, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Holly – I requested the web master to see if we can email back & forth, so we’ll see how that works. We have had two problems with the wreaths, meal moths & mold. The moths were in sept/oct and we had to freeze the seed & wreaths for 3 days then added a piece of euqliptis(spelled wrong, but at any craft store) in each box. Mold has been a major problem for us and we have been drying them for several days next to a wood stove in bread trays. This seems to work. We are working for a holding oven for next fall. We have been looking for other molds thru chef & cooking supplies websites. We haven’t tried Wilton Baking or Smartware, but will. PS we sold over 550 wreaths (wholesale) between Sept 1 and Jan 1.

  25. Anne Marie Says:
    January 16th, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Hi everyone…. I haven’t had a problem with mold, unless they sit for too long. A freezer helps to store them in. John and Wendy, do you ever have a problem with them falling part to easily or too fast without the use of a wire in them? Iwhen I first did them without the wire, they didn’t last as soon as the birds pecked through it. With the wire I don’t have that problem. I also use the flour and corn syrup with the gellatin. I don’t feel it was time consuming for me, I made up the wire ahead of time in loops. I believe it is 12 gauge. My ribbon I tied around after because I made big beautiful bows..like the one pictured in this original ad. I sold them for $15.00 each. I only make them in the fall and winter. As most people don’t feed the birds in the summer. And plus they wouldn’t hold up too well in the heat. Kudos to you for making so many. I also made in addition to the regular size bundt pans, I made little ones in the mini bundt pans and I used donut molds also and made sets of six little rings with red bows. I packed all my wreaths in window cake boxes lined with tissue paper. I would never be able to wholesale them for $5.50 each. With the cost of the birdseed , the flour, corn syrup, gelatin, bakery boxes, the tissue paper and the ribbon…..not to mention my time. And I did it alone…I did not have someone helping me. And I used a very good mixture of birdseed with nuts and fruit and black sunflower seeds. People got a choice of red , green, burgundy, burlap, rust or olive color ribbon. A lkitchen aid mixer comes in handy too! And someone had a quest about the Pam cooking spray…I used it in the bottom of the bundt pan before I put the seed in it. It made the wreath come out easier and kept it shiny and not so white. Also…unbleached flour helps with that whiteness when they dry. Good luck everybody!

  26. Anne Marie Says:
    January 16th, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Another idea…you could render suet and do it that way. Martha Stewart has a video on YouTube on how to do that.

  27. Julie Day Says:
    January 16th, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Great tips everyone! We also have a tutorial for making bird feeders using suet or peanut butter at:

    http://www.todayshomeowner.com/how-to-make-a-suet-bird-feeder/

  28. John & Wendy Says:
    January 16th, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Anne Marie – The wire that we tried was around the farm and was too stiff to work well and still have a loop to hang it with. We use a straight gelatin mix with the seed and it holds up very well. This summer, we hung one out to test for heat and rain. It held up for about two months before it came apart & we are not sure if a squirrel hit on it while we were at work. We use several types of local bird seed and get local sunflower seed and are able to keep the cost down and it takes me about 70 minutes to make 6 of them but about half of that time is waiting on the seed to absorb the gel. If you are having problems with the seed holding together, try increasing the amount of binder. My wife ties the bows and boxes them for me to deliver so we only have about 15 minutes in each one. We hope to go to some craft fairs & bazaars this fall and retail them for $10. We looked into using suet and the cost is very high even with us getting scraps from our local butchers.

  29. Anne Marie Says:
    January 16th, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Hi everyone….thanks for sharing the link for the peanut butter ones. I used that to cover cheap bird houses with that and the birdseed. They turned out cute.
    Joy and Wendy..don’t sell yourself short, you can easily get 15.00 each for those wreaths. When I first started, I thoughts about 10 or 12 dollars each, but to my surprise, people were more than happy to pay the 15. You can always go down. And you can always do 2 for 24 and 3 for 30 special at craft fairs. That’s what I did and they were a hit! I put my information /telephone number in the box for refill orders. Strangers from last years craft fairs were calling me for Christmas gifts this year. It really has been a good run with these. I am going to try just using the gelatin without all the other stuff and see how that works out. I haven’t had a problem with mine falling apart with the recipe I’m using, I was just wondering if you had a problem with just the gelatin. What exactly is the recipe? How many packets of gelatin to a bundt pan size wreath? Thanks.

  30. John & Wendy Says:
    January 17th, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Anne Marie – We use a label to close the pie box and it has all the typical info that includes ingredients, Peanut warning, storage, & contact info along with some nice graphics. We are setting our retail price based on what the retailers we wholesale to are selling them for. Everyone that we have talked to seem to think that $10 is a fair price for our area. Don’t buy envelopes of gelatin, too costly. Try to find Knox in 1 lb cans. We are in the DC area and get it from International Gourmet (a food specialty wholesaler) With your seed mix, I am not sure what the ration of gelatin would be, but I would try 0.125 oz per cup of seed and see how that works for you. Let us know how it works. Also, what area of the US do you live in? There maybe other sources for ingredients to help you out. I have been told that gelatin sheets work the best, but have not tried them and everyone tells me that they are easy to find. But I don’t know. Best of luck & keep in touch.

  31. Anne Marie Says:
    January 19th, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Thanks for the information John and Wendy. Never heard of the gelatin sheets. I live in a very small town in upstate New York. The amount of wreaths I sold surpassed the amount of kids we have going to our school. I am going to try doing it with just the gelatin and see how it works out. I’ll just have to experiment until I get it right. And I will look for the bulk gelatin. With all the resources on the internet, I’m sure I’ll find it. I’ll let you know how I make out. Thanks again for the info!

  32. holly Says:
    January 19th, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Hey all, well I tried thinking of different shapes I could use rather then the wreath. As I previously posted bed bath and beyond sell a pan of 6 mini bundt cake pan. Then I thought about a cupcake. Then I thought but a cupcake needs frosting. I did a search and found that Drs Smith and Forest sell a peanut butter froasting. Folks have plastered tree trunks with it, or suet cakes. So when money gets better, I am going to buy both or the latter items. I want to thanks to John and Wendy for all the help they gave me. Never have I “met” so helpful people before them. Thanks to both!

  33. Anne Marie Says:
    January 19th, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Hi holly….you can do the cupcakes and frost them with the peanut butter frosting! That would be cute.

  34. holly Says:
    February 3rd, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Hey folks, just wanna submit an FYI, Walmart (or as I prefer for it to be called, wallyworld) has bundt pans for $5 and the mini bundt cupcake form for $10.

  35. Julie Day Says:
    February 6th, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Great deal on bundt pans! You can also use jello molds, which I can usually find by the armload at the Goodwill store.

  36. Ellen Dawe - DaweWood Farm Says:
    April 1st, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Great info! I made some four days ago and they are moldy, gelatin recipe. Ill try again but need to address the mold problem.

  37. John & Wendy Says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Ellen -
    Once they are out of the mold/form/pan, they need to dry for several days. We are currently using a proofer oven at 80 degrees for 2-3 days and are not having problems with any mold growing. Before the proofer, we were air drying for 3-5 days depending on weather and location of drying rack. It was suggested to put them in the oven, but wife said no and not sure if temp would be too high. A gas stove pilot light might be OK, just not sure of the inside temp.

  38. Paula Says:
    April 10th, 2014 at 10:04 am

    My dad passed away Sept.. 2012. We have a huge old some sort of evergreen tree rt in front of our house. My dad had 5 old bird houses in the tree and every year he loved to watch the sparrows and see their babies mature. It’s strange, last summer not one bird of any kind came to the bird houses. The houses R still there and I’ve seen a few this year but so far none stay. I want to see if the wreath will attract them. Is there anything I can substitute for the plain gelatin.

  39. Gail from MI Says:
    May 2nd, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Hi everyone!
    I just found this site and am so interested in all of your posts. 2 years ago I made the large wreaths for Christmas presents. Like all of you, I put them in window boxes lined with tissue, put huge satin bows on them and decorated with pine cones from the local park, raffia ribbon, nuts and pieces of pine bough I got free from Home Depot – the Christmas tree trimmings they were going to throw away. It was so cool to find things at the park to put on my wreaths that are natural to the birds too. I wish we could upload pictures for you to see mine. Everyone was so impressed they suggested I sell them. It’s been in the back of my mind but the molding and melting from heat and especially rain have held me back. Now, after reading all of your posts, I’m rearing to go again. We have farm markets all over the immediate area June through October where I could sell them. Also craft fairs in the fall through Christmas. Where do you buy a proof oven, are they expensive? I dried my large wreaths in a very low oven for several hours (of course I didn’t have 230 to dry) and it still took almost a week for them to get rock solid. I’m sure if I sell them, I’ll be doing it in a smaller scale. Maybe the large ones just at Christmas time. I’d love to chat back and forth with you guys about this. Too bad we can’t email each other.

  40. John & Wendy Says:
    May 3rd, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Paula -
    We have tried Agar with some success but only on a small scale. You have to heat the liquid before mixing the seed in it and it would take some time to figure the correct ratio, but I have been told it works.

  41. John & Wendy Says:
    May 3rd, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Gail –
    Let us know if you get an email from us.

  42. John & Wendy Says:
    May 3rd, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Gail -
    You can view 2 of our wreaths at http://www.jandwfarm.com We are just starting production with a mini bundt wreath.

  43. Gail from MI Says:
    May 5th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    John & Wendy,
    I did receive an email with your request to forward your email to me. I’ve tried twice to send an email to the one I was given and it has come back twice – mailer demon. I have no idea what the problem is. Maybe you can figure it out.

  44. John & Wendy Says:
    May 5th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Gail -
    Try thru the website.

  45. Gail from MI Says:
    May 5th, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I did try through the website with the same results. I’ll try again.

  46. John & Wendy Says:
    May 6th, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Gail -
    If you want, you can give me a call. I am home most every morning.

  47. Gail from MI Says:
    May 6th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    OK I’ll wait until next week. Busy with work all this week. I’ll have more time then. Maybe we can get the email thing straightened out. In the meantime I’ll try the email one more time. Thanks

  48. Jackie from MI Says:
    June 2nd, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Doing these for the first time at a small local craft show in fall. Worried about them falling apart and molding, any suggestions are appreciated. Packaging, I heard if you use plastic type cello bags you must make holes in them to keep from molding. Can i dry in my oven? what temp?

  49. Gail from MI Says:
    June 2nd, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Hi Jackie,

    What area of MI are you from? I haven’t had a problem with mold yet – knock on wood. It does take forever for them to dry rock hard. I haven’t put any in cello bags yet and was going to wait until the last min to do that. Holes in the bags sounds good. I have started mine drying the the oven by turning it on the lowest temp I can get which is 170, then turning the oven off because they could melt and fall apart. So once it starts to feel just warm, I lay them on cookie sheets and put them on the oven racks. But I have found air drying works too. You feel like they are never going to get hard but they do, eventually. John & Wendy above bought a proofing oven for their wreathes but I haven’t gotten that far in my business yet. I think it would be a good investment though. Hope this helps a little bit.

  50. Dani Says:
    October 4th, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I have been making these for a few years now but I have one problem- the birds always eat around the hanger first and it falls apart! Does anyone use anything to hold them together, maybe yarn through the inside or wire- something. thanks in advance.

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