Sunday, December 8, 2013

An Easy, Homemade Christmas Gift

I'm excited about this post. This has been they year of Pinterest crafts for me. Not only have I amassed an amazing collection of boards and pins, but I'm proud to say, I've actually tried a LOT of them!

This pin is one of my most recent craft attempts and since I deemed the final result nice enough to give as gifts, I thought I would share it here. The original post can be found here. I quadrupled the recipe so we would have lots of gifts. It's a good thing I did this because we had a lot of errors in our trials, but there were still plenty of successful ornaments. I say "we" because the boys helped me with this one.

Bird Seed Ornaments

Mix  1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cups water and 3 Tablespoons of corn syrup in a large bowl

Mix in 4 cups of bird seed and stir everything together.
From here, lay a piece of wax paper over a cookie sheet and spread the bird seed mixture evenly over the wax paper. It's best to let it sit at this point for about an hour to harden a little bit before you start cutting into it. I forgot to take pictures of this step, but you can see in the next picture how it looked on the cookie sheet. The mixture is very gooey at the beginning, but becomes brittle as it dries. You have to handle it with care throughout the process.
I saw some recipes for this that said to put the cookie cutters into the mixture and then leave them there until it has completely dried. If I do this again, I will probably do that because even after an hour, the mixture wants to fall apart. I left the cookie cutters on while I lifted from the pan to the counter to finish drying. Then I removed the cookie cutter.


Here are the final products as they were left to dry for several more hours.

Throughout the drying stage, I tried several different methods of stringing the ornaments so we could hang them up. When the mixture was still gooey, I tried putting a straw through it to make a hole, but the whole ornament fell apart when I did that. After it was pretty set and dried, I also dried putting a hole in it, but then it was too brittle and the whole thing just cracked.

Here was my ultimate solution that worked like a charm. I strung some string through a large needed and then threaded it right through the ornament. I had to be careful to not get it to close to the edge or it all fell apart. I did this after they had dried for about 5-6 hours.

Ta da! I think it turned out really nicely. I wish I had thought to take a picture of them hanging outside on the tree.

Here were all the scraps from my trials and errors. I will just pour them into our bird feeder.

All packaged up and ready to gift!

Happy crafting!