Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to Make an Edible Birdhouse

In my last post, I showed an adorable edible birdhouse that my mother-in-law had gotten.  I love that after the birds eat all of the seeds off of the birdhouse, it can be turned into a functional birdhouse.

Store-bought edible birdhouse
I thought it would be fun to make one for the birds here at the Red House Garden, not to mention cheaper than buying one!

Step 1:  Assemble ingredients
  • Birdhouse - you can either make one or buy one for fairly cheap at a craft store
  • Edible Glue - there are many recipes out there, or you can even just use peanut butter.  The recipe I used calls for flour, corn syrup, and gelatin
  • Different types of birdseed, raisins, dried fruit, raw nuts, etc.
  • Decoration - I went outside and gathered some pretty stalks of grass, holly berries, and sweetgum tree balls.  Use anything you can find (as long as it's not poisonous to the birds!)

Step 2:  Make Edible Glue - I used a common recipe that I found online:

1/2 cup water
1 pkg. unflavored gelatin (1/4 oz.)
3 Tbsp. corn syrup
3/4 cup flour

Heat up the water and then dissolve the gelatin in it.  Then mix in the corn syrup and flour.  Using whole wheat flour will make a light brown glue, white flour will make a white glue.  Whole wheat flour is preferable for the birds as it is more nutritious. 

Edible glue
I found that this glue is pretty workable for about half an hour before it starts setting up too much.

Step 3: Glue Birdseed and Decorate

Starting from the top down, spread a thin layer of edible glue on the house and then press birdseed, dried fruit, nuts, etc. into it.

Decorate and viola!

Edible Birdhouse

The kids also had lots of fun decorating their own little houses for the birds!

Step 4:  Let dry for a few hours, then let the birds enjoy!

Brown-headed nuthatch on edible birdhouse
Decorative and delicious!  I think some of the birds were even checking out the living arrangements for next spring.

Carolina chickadee checking out the edible birdhouse
The only problem with this edible birdhouse was that it took the birds awhile to figure out how to land on it.  The bigger cardinals didn't want to land on it at all and were rather disgruntled that I had switched out their regular feeder.  That's something to keep in mind when choosing a birdhouse and hanging it.

Brown-headed nuthatch looking for a place to land
This was definitely a fun project, and it was great to watch the birds enjoying it.

After the birds have finished all the birdseed, I will wash the house and hang it.  We'll see if any birds move in this spring!

Carolina wren
Wouldn't you like to nest in a cozy little birdhouse at the Red House Garden, little wren?


  1. Great project. We may have another "snow day" tomorrow, so I will probably try my hand at some edible birdhouses! Thanks for the instructions!

  2. I will definitely be doing this with my kids! Thanks for the step by step directions. Your birdhouses turned out great!

  3. One day I must try very nice. I have tried peanut butter then seeds on pine cones. The birds liked those. These are so attractive and more functional, however.

  4. Have fun! The kids had a blast making these!

    A tip: I put the birdhouse on a lipped cookie sheet with a sheet of wax paper in the bottom. Then I could just collect all the fallen birdseed (and there will be a lot) in the wax paper and pour it back into the bowl.

  5. I am bookmarking this post. I bought two last year and they are so expensive and the ones you made are every bit as nicely constructed. Loved this creative post how to.

  6. Looks like a very fun project!!! Might have to try this one. Only thing is...the birds will eat themselves out of house and home -- Ha!

  7. That is SO cute!!
    I love the photo of the Carolina chickadee checking out the birdhouse! Adorable :)

  8. With the size of the hole on your bigger house, I would be surprised if the house stayed empty til spring. I predict chickadees or wrens will move in maybe soon. I don't think a chipmunk with his cheeks full can get in your houses. He could still visit though. Great project!

  9. At first I thought, too bad my kids are all grown up, but why should only the kids have fun with such a neat project. I'll do this for just ME ;) (and the birds of course)
    thanks for the glue recipe :-)

  10. What a creative and useful how to post. Great gifts too.

  11. hahaha, but will those birds be picking and eating those seeds on their house? If so, will it be difficult for them to pick?

  12. That is a fun idea. I might have to try this! I like all the cute details you added.

  13. HAHA!! Talk about eating yourself out of house & home! What a brilliant it! x

  14. Those are extremely cute! What a fun project. I'm sure the birds would agree :-)

  15. Thanks for the kind comments!

    Eating themselves out of house and home, haha.. :)

  16. WOW - I've made edible bird houses before but never so artfully! Yours are gorgeous!!!! Always a great project for kids, too.

    I love your recipe for a "glue." I can't wait to try it - I've only ever used peanut butter before, which works okay, but is a little too greasy and messy.

    Great post!

  17. Hi! How did you hang the bird houses that your kids made? I just bought a bunch of little bird houses to decorate, but can't figure out how to hang them! Thanks, and I'm looking forward to this project with *my* kids!

    1. I tied string around them under the roofs and then made a loop. Honestly, the little houses hung rather crookedly, but my kids didn't mind. I hope you and your kids have fun!

  18. I've often wondered how to make these edible bird houses, I am so glad I came across your page. Thanks so much! I can't wait to try them this weekend!!

  19. Has anyone ever reseeded the bird house again, after all the seeds are gone? How well does that work?

    1. I haven't tried, but I'm assuming it would be fairly easy. Just thoroughly wash and dry the house, and then reapply.

  20. This looks like a great idea to make to sell at our church bazaar in November. I'm wondering how far ahead these could be made- would it help to refrigerate them if made ahead of time?

    1. These could probably be made quite ahead of time as long as you use decorations that will last longer. The part that would go bad the earliest in the edible glue is probably the flour, which is fine for 3-6 months. Looking online, bird seed is fine for at least 3-4 months in a cool dry place and probably longer. It might help to refrigerate them, I would think, but I've never tried. Good luck!

  21. How do you treat the wood to make sure that it does not mold/rot?


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