A Feathered Christmas

I’ve always wanted to string popcorn but didn’t really want it on my live tree in the house, figured something else to sweep up daily and I’m not one that likes to clean. The thought came to me that birds would eat popcorn so I decided to make a bird friendly tree outside for the non-migrating feathered friends. I actually have no little trees to decorate outside our house so my thought turned to how I could accomplish this without going into Lowe’s dept purchasing new baby evergreens to plant.

After some thinking, fake Christmas trees are plentiful this time of year but also expensive so I turned to Facebook and posted an add looking for fake Christmas trees that people were looking to unload or even toss in the trash, I wanted to re-purpose them and give them new life. I ended up obtaining 3 of them! I’m very excited that now I can line our short walk with bird trees.

Of course the trees looked bare with just popcorn garland so added lights, bird seed ornaments and some pretty red bows, prefect & festive!

Popcorn Garland

Popcorn garland is pretty straight forward.

Materials:

  • Natural flavored popcorn, the cheapest, store brand I could find of course since birds aren’t picky.
  • Small Needle (recommend a thredder as well)
  • Strong thread

Directions:

  • Pop popcorn in the microwave
  • Thread needle with 3-4ft piece of thread
  • Start stringing popcorn!  I like to tie the first kernel at the end of the thread for better security and they won’t keep falling off the end.

Popped 3 bags for one 5ft tree, a lot more than I expected but wanted enough strands of garland on the tree to see.

Note:  I’ve been told if you let the popcorn sit out overnight to get stale it is easier to string but we didn’t have a lot of issues with the fresh popcorn.

Bird Seed Ornaments

Warning, these can be sticky and messy, but great memories.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water
  • 3 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 4 cups bird seed (your choice)
  • String or ribbon

Additives: optional
unsalted peanuts, dried/fresh cranberries, grapes, etc

Directions:

feather_christmas

  1. Heat water, gelatin and corn syrup together over low heat until dissolved, boiling isn’t necessary.
  2. While mixture is heating, mix flour and birdseed together.
  3. Slowly mix the liquid mixture into the birdseed mixture until fully incorporated.
  4. While it’s cooling for safer handling lay out wax paper and choose your cookie cutters.
  5. Spray cookie cutters with cooking spray, and your fingers.
  6. Half fill cookie cutter with birdseed mixture, insert ribbon or string and fill remaining way. Once filled, place a sheet of waxed paper on top and press firmly to pack down the mixture.
  7. Gently wiggle the cookie cutter to release the birdseed.
  8. Complete until mixture is used up and put completed ornaments in a cool, dry spot to dry and harden. I ended up putting ours in the fridge over night.

Note: You can also use a straw or round spoon handle to poke a hole during forming for stringing later.

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