Winter Fun DIY: Create Bird Seed Cottage Feeder


A fun winter activity for feeding your feathered friends, a bird seed cottage feeder! I’ve seen these bird seed covered houses/feeders at garden centers and online, priced from $30 to $60 a piece. You can make one easily in a about an hour for around $5 with some birdseed and dried fruit using an edible glue.
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
These birdseed cottages function as a Bed and Breakfast! After they are stripped of seed by the birds, they can be recoated with seed and rehung to feed the birds through the winter months or during spring nesting season.
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
This is 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, less if you use a weekly 40% off coupon.
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
I used an assortment of seed, a cardinal blend with sunflower seed, millet, safflower, thistle and some raisins. You can use raw nuts, cracked corn and other dried fruit for edible decoration.
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
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.
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.
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
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.
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
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. Add some greenery or moss for some curb appeal and dress up your cottage if desired.
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
I saw lots of birds ~ Wrens, Sparrows, Goldfinches, Nuthatches, Titmice and Chickadees, dining at the birdseed houses during our 7" snowfall this weekend.
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
Titmouse at birdseed cottage
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
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. The snow didn't seem to have the same effect as rain does. You can reseed your birdhouse again after the birds feast on their abode.
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
You can see the tag on the back of the house that I didn’t remove before I seeded this birdhouse.
Note to self: Remove tag before reseeding!
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
Birdseed Cottage Feeder with raisins, millet and cardinal blend of sunflower and nuts
winter fun diy create bird seed cottage feeder, gardening
If you enjoy feeding and watching the birds in winter, you'll enjoy this fun project! More photos and ideas on feeding the birds in winter at the link to my blog below!
Mary @ Home is Where the Boat Is

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • GS
    on Jan 15, 2017

    These are really cute! But, not all birds are omnivores. Gelatin is made from animal proteins. Wouldn't it be better to use a vegetarian gelatin?

  • Debbie Saracina
    on Jan 15, 2017

    I live in the south, will the high temperatures just melt the edible glue or peanut butter?

    • Beth Booth
      on Feb 7, 2017

      I don't know why you think birds can't have peanut butter. Many birds love it and it is a great source of fat and protein. We used to make suet pudding for them. It was half suet, half PB, melted together. We added bird seeds and put it in plastic containers. It was also fun to coat pine cones with the melted mixture and roll them in seeds for decorations.

  • Marsha
    on Feb 1, 2017

    I have those birdhouses from Michaels but unfortunately I painted them with paint. Do you think it would hurt the birds if I now used peanut butter and covered them with seeds? I would not want the birds to get sick from the paint.

    • Marsha
      on Feb 5, 2017

      Thank for answering my question. I figured it would cause a problem. It is a great idea.

Join the conversation

2 of 43 comments
  • Chantal Vanderlinden
    on Feb 3, 2017

    lovely

  • Carey
    on Feb 3, 2017

    Suet could also be used to adhere the birdseed. In winter they need the fat so you can melt the fat, cover the birdhouse and adhere the seed as it cools. This is a neat idea and I think that I will give it a try next winter. I have avoided feeding migrating birds in winter since it can cause them to not migrate. But I have seen some small birds that have stayed all winter and I saw one feasting on thistle seed in my back yard this winter and being very careful not to dislodge the seeds that he didn't pick, even to sitting in the snow while he ate! They are pretty smart little critters!

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