I’m all about feeding the birds!
I’ve been wheeling my shopping cart past the cute gingerbread house kits in the grocery store since Thanksgiving. I’ve also admired the edible birdhouses at specialty bird seed stores and garden centers, available for sell in December. It occurred to me that I could make an edible feeder using a gingerbread house. More palatable for the birds and my wallet, rather than a wood house base and the $40 – $60 price tag of the edible birdhouse/feeders.
This would be a fun project in January for the kids and the birds using a gingerbread house kit on sale after Christmas.
I picked up my gingerbread house kit at the grocery store for $9.99.
I used a combination of peanut butter and cornmeal as the adhesive for the seed and edible materials to cover the gingerbread house walls and roof. Chex wheat cereal became ‘cedar shakes’ on the roof, trimmed with raisins.
I read that peanut butter by itself can cause birds to choke so I mixed it cornmeal to give it some texture and grit. I’m not sure whether this is true or not, but I added it to the peanut butter just to be safe, since cornmeal is also an ingredient in most bird treats. I microwaved the peanut butter mixture to make it easier to spread on the gingerbread. Crackers become edible windows and doors and then I filled it around them with seed.
I kept the gingerbread side walls plain and made Chex window panes, sprinkled with seed trim.
The gingerbread house kit comes with royal icing as the ‘glue’ to set the foundation and hold the walls together. Since my gingerbread house was going to be an outside feeder, I used hot glue instead and ran a bead between the walls and in the tracks of the building tray to give it more stability. Also, hopefully to prevent the squirrels and raccoons from running away with it like they did my edible bird seed treats.
After I attached the roof panels, I made a ‘ridge vent’ with a layer of Chex cereal roof tiles to span the seam of where the two roof sections met, and then attached the chimney.
I sprinkled the white plastic building tray with seed to camouflage it and attract the birds, but you set the house out any additional seed.
You can make this gingerbread house bird feeder as fancy or as simple as you want, using a combination of seed, popcorn, pretzels, crackers, nuts or dried fruit. Set it outside and wait for your feathered friends to enjoy their edible house and treat!