Winter Fun DIY: Create a Birdseed Cottage Feeder

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I have a fun winter activity for feeding your feathered friends, an edible birdhouse! I’ve seen these birdseed covered houses/feeders at garden centers and online, priced from $30 to $60.

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They’re an easy and fun winter or snowy day project for little and big kids alike, using a wood birdhouse for your base! I found an assortment of craft birdhouses at Michaels for $5 each, and less if you use a weekly 40% off coupon.

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I used an assortment of seed, a cardinal blend with sunflower, millet, safflower, thistle and some raisins. You can use raw nuts, cracked corn and other dried fruit for edible decoration.

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I used the same recipe that I used for my bird seed ornaments and bird seed wreath for the edible “glue” to coat the house and attach the seed.

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Edible Birdseed “Glue”

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup water

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin

3 tbsp. corn syrup

Mix the gelatin packet with hot water until dissolved. Stir in the flour and corn syrup until mixed with the gelatin. Apply to surface of birdhouse with a brush and add your seed.

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 The glue stays workable for about 30 minutes so it’s best that you have your supplies ready to go once your glue is mixed.

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I sprinkled the seed on the area after I applied the “glue”, using a rimmed baking sheet to collect the excess spilled seed. Press the seed  onto the surface to help it adhere. The smaller seed is easier to work with and you’ll have fewer gaps between the seed. I used my offset spatula to press the seed in the corners and edges. Allow your birdhouse to sit overnight to cure before hanging.

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 I picked up some mini birdhouses for fun that were $1 each. I used packing tape on the rope handle of the mini birdhouse to keep it neat and from getting covered with glue while I worked.

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You can add some greenery or pinecones to dress up your birdseed cottages.

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Rain will wash the seed off so you want to wait and hang your new edible bird bungalow in a sheltered area or after any rain showers have subsided. You can reseed your birdhouse again after the birds feast on their abode. :)

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Alternatively you can use peanut butter or a combination of peanut butter and cornmeal to glue the seed to your house.

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Peanut butter contains beneficial fat and protein for winter months and cornmeal contains fat, fiber, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and folate, beneficial to bird health.

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The birds are a little camera shy and my zoom lens isn’t very “zoomy” but I did manage to get a photo of a Carolina Chickadee checking out this birdseed cottage!

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Snow is in our forecast this weekend and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a few snowflakes! We keep our bird feeders filled year round but I’m particularly conscientious about it in the winter months.

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You can also make easy pine cone feeders . . .

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 DIY Bird Seed Wreath with a Bundt Pan

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Snowy Day Table for the Birds

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If you feed them, they will come!

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Do you have snow or snow in your forecast?

Cardinal

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January 9th update and photos of birds visiting these Birdseed Cottage Feeders after our wintry blast and snow courtesy of Winter Storm Helena:

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 I saw lots of small birds ~ Wrens, Sparrows, Goldfinches, Nuthatches, Titmice and Chickadees, dining at the birdseed houses.

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Along with some larger birds, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Cardinals.

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They were stripped of seed after the cold snowy weekend with all the bird activity and visits and I can recoat them with seed this week.

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You can see the tag I didn’t remove before I seeded these wood birdhouses in the photo above.

Note to self: Remove tag next time!

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,   Wow Us Wednesdays,
 Tablescape Thursday,   Feathered Nest Friday

  59 comments for “Winter Fun DIY: Create a Birdseed Cottage Feeder

  1. January 6, 2017 at 7:51 am

    We are supposed to get our first snow of the season tonight. I need to get another suet cake out as the birds have finished off the last one. Cute birdhouse idea.

  2. January 6, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Awww I love this idea, Mary! It would be a fun project for me and the grands. We have snow flurries in our forecast, too!

  3. January 6, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Those are so cute, Mary. I quit feeding the birds a couple years ago (other than my hummers) in my landscape garden…. our riverbank is an ideal place, though, and it’s away from the main garden, still visible. We were blanketed with 4″ last night. Now may be a good time to get back into feeding the little ones.

  4. Linda L
    January 6, 2017 at 8:23 am

    No snow here in Florida, but I do have a bird feeder. I have the most beautiful painted buntings that visit and cardinals along with some less colorful birds. It’s a foggy, cool morning here and the birds add a welcome spot of color to my backyard view. Lovely post, always enjoy seeing your photos of birds, and in the summer butterflies. Hope you get some “flakes” this weekend.

  5. Alice
    January 6, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Need to fill the bird feeder as we have a foot of snow on the ground and at the moment it is minus 12 degrees. Your idea is right on for this time of year.
    Happy new year and keep up the wonder filled work.

  6. Brenda S
    January 6, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Mary, I love the bird house project and hope that other readers haven’t scooped up all the bird houses available at my local Michael’s. Snow is in our forecast too, I live in Holly Springs NC east of you. Our home is on 5 acres and I have lots of bird houses and feeders out. I think I’ll try the bundt pan too. As always, I am enjoying your blog.

  7. January 6, 2017 at 8:41 am

    You are so good to your feathered friends Mary, the bird houses are delightful! My grandson made us a bird seed gingerbread man for Christmas, it’s so cute I’m having trouble sharing :) Bham is shut down in anticipation of the snow, but I am grateful that my family is all home and safe today, so now we’re just waiting…looks like you’re in for it too, stay cozy!
    Jenna

  8. January 6, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Mary, These are the cutest little birdhouses ever!!! I must make some, and hope that the squirrels or bears don’t just carry them off as bounty to their lairs. We fill the feeders everyday in the winter but I would love to look out and see an adorable bird house village hanging in my trees. We got a few inches last night, and it just stopped but I’m stuck here as the driveway is too slippery to climb until the salt is strewn. Hope you get just the right amount of snowflakes today! Looking forward to seeing photos! Linda

  9. Cyndi Raines
    January 6, 2017 at 9:07 am

    So cute Mary! I know the birds are too happy! Pinning this for sure!

  10. January 6, 2017 at 9:24 am

    These are the cutest things EVER! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful tutorial. I guarantee I am going to be making these.

  11. Tracy
    January 6, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Love these..plan on doing theses with 3 and 4 year old grandsons..I love the mugs in picture..pattern?

  12. franki
    January 6, 2017 at 9:43 am

    This made me smile…when I was “class room mother” (back in the day…) I did this with the kiddos using pine cones and I remember the teacher saying the class voted it was their “favorite project of the year!” I think the birds agreed!! franki

  13. Debbie
    January 6, 2017 at 10:13 am

    These are so cute!!! I’ll have find some birdhouses and make these. I made your birdseed gingerbread house a couple of years ago and my birds love it!!! Thanks for the wonderful ideas! love your blog.

  14. Ellen
    January 6, 2017 at 10:42 am

    I absolutely love this project and plan to make some with my 3 yr. old Grandson next week. I need to get all the essential items this weekend. Benjamin and his “Gem” made the pine cone feeders, but the squirrels decided that they were made for them and they soon disappeared. We had our first real snow early this morning in R.I, about 3 in. that seemed like a lot more when I started shoveling at 6 A.M.. Tomorrow’s forecast is for 3-6 in. throughout the day. Thank-you for this tutorial and as always the beautiful photos too! The birds will be grateful too!

  15. January 6, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Love these cute birdhouses…will try to get some made with my granddaughter! 13 degrees here in Boring, Oregon this morning and a wicked freezing rain storm coming in for the week-end! We are prepared to stay in with lots of food and drink! Stay cozy in your part of the world Mary…love your cardinal picture, we don’t get those out here in the west.

  16. January 6, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Mary, these are too cute and a nice way to take care of our feathered friends. We are supposed to get snow later today! Stay warm and cozy!

  17. Laura
    January 6, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Am sitting here watching the cardinals, finches, chickadees, titmice, & woodpeckers at my feeder.. No flakes falling yet, but at least I’m home with no chance of a repeat of The Snowpocalypse of 2014! Cute houses/feeders!! Tell my favorite brother-in-law hello…Stay warm this weekend! Love, LL

  18. January 6, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Fun! I have five granddaughters under five and this would be a great project. Thanks for the lovely ideal.

  19. January 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Kinda like a Bed and Breakfast:@) Very fun idea!

  20. January 6, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Another cute idea! No snow here, but it is bitter cold. Not interested in a walk today! ‘-)

  21. Paula
    January 6, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    ~Mary~
    I love your seedy idea for these birdhouse feeders!! Just this year I have really been into feeding the birds , which are mostly sparrows right now which is fine by me, I know they wait for me every morning now, so I am sure they will love these little houses to feast off of !!

    Paula
    IN

  22. Ellen Stillabower
    January 7, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Those birdhouses look yummy and I’m not a bird!!! We feed our feathered friends all year…we have acquired several more cardinals and Bluejays plus other new birds…had to get the bird book out to check on their identity. The problem we have is keeping their water thawed…today it’s -0…so there’s no keeping it water and not ice…but I think they will drink the snow… thanks fir sharing…

  23. January 7, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Tooo cute Julie! Great idea ! We feed the birds on our farm and boy ! Lately we have have a couple of hundred! Blackbirds,finches,doves and quail ! So fun to watch them ! We have two feet of snow and makes my heart sing they are feed !! I go through tons of seed ! Ha !

  24. January 8, 2017 at 11:56 am

    I love this idea! I have picked up some of these little birdhouses thinking I would do something with them, but why not this? Now, how do you keep the squirrels away? I may borrow this idea for a Hometalk video DIY in the future, but I will let everyone know where I got it!!

  25. January 8, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Inspiring, Mary. Thanks for showing how easy it is to make these cute and useful birdhouse feeders.

  26. Lisa Montgomery
    January 9, 2017 at 8:28 am

    How cute and our fine feathered friends never had it so good!

  27. January 9, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Muy biennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn !!!
    A eso yo le llamo HUMANIDAD!!!
    Un abrazo amig@s:))))
    Conxita
    tedeternura.com

  28. January 10, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Love this!! I will have to get to Michaels or Hobby Lobby quickly!

  29. January 10, 2017 at 11:48 am

    This is the most adorable bird seed idea I’ve ever seen!! Such a great idea and I’ve seen these little bird houses at the dollar store. The Snow Day Table For The Birds is amazing! Judging by your beautiful photos, tweets got out among the bird community that the fancy all you can eat buffet is at your house. Pinned to share and bookmark :)

  30. Gloria P Hartley
    January 12, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    I love this idea. I think the small ($1) houses would be cute decorated and hung on a tree for the birds at Christmas. I must remember this for next year.

  31. Jan McF
    January 17, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Mary, thanks for a great project! Think we’re going to make these birdseed birdhouse with our garden club!

  32. Norm
    January 20, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    How do you keep the squirrels away/from eating them?We have a persistent one he/she is even taking to pulling out the seeds from the wire cage surrounding the suet cakes!

    • January 20, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Squirrels are the bane of my existence! They haven’t bothered the houses because they spend so much time gorging on sunflower seed at our other feeders :)

  33. Evelyn Suter
    January 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

    How Special!! Love the idea Thank you. This is a real “keeper”! Always looking for ideas for our annual Christmas bazaar..what a sharing way to get others to enjoy watching the birds, to say nothing about the birds’ enjoyment!!
    Best wishes. Happy New Year

  34. Barbara
    January 21, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I love these ideas! My girls and I will have fun doing some of these.
    We love to feed the birds year round, but the squirrels have been feeder robbers, especially during Spring, Summer, and Fall. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to keep them out of the feeders? I have tried the cayenne pepper only for it to bother me more than them. I have tried the baffles only for them to climb the poles from the bottomand then jump onto feeders. I have slicked up the poles (that is humorous to watch them), but you have to keep applying the oil every 1-2 days. It is a headache when you have multiple feeders. Any other suggestions would be tried and appreciated! Thanks!

    • January 21, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Barbara, Squirrels are a problem for me too. It sounds like you’re doing everything right, other than using safflower seed which they don’t seem to care for. I did a quick search and found some Flaming Squirrel Seed Sauce which works like the cayenne but it’s food grade liquid habanero chili pepper and super concentrated. I haven’t tried it myself but it’s worth a try!

      • Barbara
        January 21, 2017 at 11:20 pm

        Thank you! I will have to try that.

    • Beverly Weber
      May 27, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      We have a baffle which works pretty well but placement of the pole is important because it has to be at least 5 feet away from anything they can jump from. We also put a few handfuls of peanuts out every day which dims their interest for birdseed. They also seem to be content to pick at what ever the birds scratch onto the ground. They are very resourceful and smart though. My friend bought one of those expensive feeders that are meant to be squirrel proof and it was no time before they out smarted it…little buggers! In my old house we had a very slack cable line from the pole through the apple tree to the house. The squirrel would try to walk the line from the tree but it was way to slack so he would drop to the underneath part of the line and continue hand over hand, upside down until he reached the feeder, hung on with his back feet, let go with his front and drop down onto the feeder! Comical to watch but annoying! Had to move the feeder. Where those little varmints are concerned, where there’s a will there’s a way and there’s is ALWAYs a will!

  35. October 27, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    What a fabulous idea. Thank you. I see aunts, uncles and grandparents’ Christmas presents already created.

  36. January 8, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Pinned this idea last winter and just got around to making it with my Monday Art Class. We all had so much fun. First we did a watercolor of our favorite birds, and then after lunch made your fun bird feeders.

  37. January 17, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Those are so cute!

  38. Cynthia Konchar
    January 21, 2018 at 6:37 am

    What a wonderful idea I LOVE THIS! Going to have my great grandson make these for next years project (he just turned two) so I’m thinking this will be a lot a fun with him next year!! Edible glue!! GENIUS idea!! Can’t wait to teach little Jonathan how do make these!!

    • January 21, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Hi Cynthia, I hope you and your great grandson enjoy and have fun! I know the birds will! ❄️😀

  39. JV
    January 21, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Omg these and your other birdseed ideas are absolutely magical!!!! Thank you!!

    • January 21, 2018 at 10:45 am

      Thank you JV! Hope your feathered friends enjoy!❄️ 🐦😀

  40. Grammy
    January 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I LOVE THESE!! Unique and so important to our bird friends. I can’t wait to try making these “feeders”! I see you hang them lower with pot hangers: so do I. Do squirrels succeed in eating the treasures on the feeders? Thanks so much for sharing these useful beauties!🕊

    • January 23, 2018 at 7:00 am

      Hi Grammy, I’ve never seen a squirrel on them, probably because we have our birdfeeders filled with sunflower seed which is much easier for them to eat :) Hope you have fun making some!

  41. AdJala
    February 19, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Trying to re-cover a seed birdhouse that I got for Christmas. Really enjoyed hearing and watching the birds. Now I realize I need to go bigger! Thanksfor the great instructions!

  42. Joy Legg
    January 3, 2019 at 9:45 am

    I too have a squirrel problem here in Virginia, but squirrels have to eat too, so I get suet for them and seeds for the birds. However, with two neighbors also feeding the birds, bears showed up and tore down the feeders, ate the seeds, suet, etc. On one occasion the bear who visited our neighborhood was very large. So we all quit feeding the birds. I have since planted plants that provide seeds and berries in the winter. No bears sited sibpncr.

  43. Joy Legg
    January 3, 2019 at 9:47 am

    The last word of my comment should be SINCE.

  44. Beverly Weber
    May 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t follow blogs and am not a crafty person but my son’s girlfriend gave my hubby one of these seed birdhouses for Christmas and I thought it was adorable. I wanted to re seed it but lost the directions so thank you for the glue recipes! Also, it will have to wait a bit because momma and papa wren have found the spot for their “Best Nest” and are busily and noisily preparing it. It is hanging on a low crook close to the deck so I enjoy watching and taking video of them. So entertaining to watch them!

    Your blog is beautiful! Thank you for not filling it with click bait…only beautiful pictures and ideas!

    PS, to the poster above, my hubby eats lunch at 5 guys a lot and always manages to bring home bags of peanuts which we toss out for the squirrels! Free (sort of) peanuts!

  45. Beverly webber
    May 27, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Oh yes! I am totally making these for everyone for Christmas, or birthdays, or whatever! They are even more rewarding when the birds chose to take up residence in one! Ok I’ll shut up now!

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