Intro: Bird Seed Wreath
Thanks to 1plus2isfam for getting me started on making wreaths for the birds. The original Instructable is at https://www.instructables.com/id/Gelatine-bird-seed-wreath/.
This Instructable is intended to add some details to the construction process and to help you get going on your own birdseed wreaths.
3/4 cup flour
1 packet of dry gelatin
1/2 warm water
3 T corn syrup
4 C mixed seeds, cracked corn, etc.
Non-stick cooking spray
OPTIONAL- peanuts, whole cranberries, decorative evergreen sprigs
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
Large bowl or stand mixer, if you have one
Large serving spoon
Circular Jello mold or cake pan (maybe one from a thrift store instead of your good one)
Heavy string... about 36" long tied into a loop. Tie small hanger loops so that the knot is about 2-3" from the end AT EACH END
Wire cooling rack (nice but not necessary)
Step 1: The Mixture
Add the 3/4 C flour and the dry gelatin to the bowl and mix to evenly distribute the gelatin. Add the water and stir the mixture into a thick paste. Add the corn syrup and mix, scraping the bowl to incorporate all the dry ingredients. Get the lumps out. Add the 4 cups of bird seed to the paste and combine so all the seed has a thin coating of the paste.
As soon as you have the bowl empty, get it and any utensils, into water because the paste will dry into a really hard layer and is quite difficult to remove.
Step 2: Assembling the Wreath
Spray the inside of the pan with the cooking spray. This will make wreath removal easier later.
If you want to pretty the wreath up for gifting ,or to add a little variety for the birds, you could add some peanuts, cranberries etc. to the bottom of the pan. Spoon about 1/4 of the mixture into the pan and press it firmly into the pan. This firms up the mass and removes any air holes. Add another 1/4 of the mix for layer # 2 and firmly press and smooth this layer into the pan.
Position the string on top of layer #2. Keep the small loops out of the mix since these will be used later to hang the wreath. The small loops should be opposite each other.
Add layer #3, pressing and smoothing it. Finish off with layer #4. Scrap the bowl and apply all the paste to the layer. Press and smooth the final layer. Put all utensils in water to prevent paste hardening.
Let the wreath sit overnight to let the paste and gelatin set up completely.
Step 3: Finishing
After the wreath has set up overnight, hold your hand over the top of the pan as you invert it and give it a few taps to cause the wreath to drop out onto your hand. Set the wreath on a cooling rack and let it dry in a warm place for a day. We put ours on top of the blower housing for the wood furnace where there is lots of warm air circulation.
Hang the wreath from a nail at least 5' off the ground to discourage cats from poaching. Squirrels may be a problem that I can't help you with.
You can reverse the wreath, top to bottom, as the birds eat away at it. By reversing the wreath it may remain hanging longer for you instead of chunks falling to the ground. We add the chunks to the sunflower seeds in the flat feeder.
These wreaths make great gifts for friends who feed the birds. You could do a Martha Stewart and just hang the wreath by a broad ribbon. Making these could become a minor cottage industry.
Birds we get at our wreaths include 3 varieties of woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Juncos, Chickadees and Bluejays. Juncos, Cardinals and finches clean up anything that gets dropped.
Again, thanks to 1plus2isfam at https://www.instructables.com/id/Gelatine-bird-seed-wreath/.