How to Make a Natural Bird Feeder With Unflavored Gelatin

Experiment with different seed mixtures and observe which ones attract different birds.
••• Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Many birds, such as chickadees, cardinals, titmice and nuthatches, love bird seed cakes. Making your own natural seed feeders with unflavored gelatin provides an indoor activity for cold winter days and saves money. Once you’ve mastered the basic method, experiment with different shapes and designs and try a variety of fruits, seeds and nuts. For a basic science experiment, children can note the types of birds attracted by different ingredients. Homemade bird feeders, decorated with ribbon, acorns or dried flowers, also make inexpensive, useful gifts.

    Mix together the flour, water, corn syrup and gelatin in a large bowl. Use ice cold water to help the gelatin set quickly.

    Add bird seed, a little at a time, to the gelatin mixture. Keep adding seed until the dough is thick and workable. Consider adding nuts and fruit pieces.

    Use a variety of shapes when cutting out the seed cakes.
    ••• Jupiterimages/ Images

    Scoop the mixture onto wax paper and spread it out until it is about the same thickness as your cookie cutters. Cut out the shapes and remove the extra mixture from around the molds. Spread this excess mixture onto another sheet of wax paper and cut in the same way.

    Poke a hole near the top of the cut shapes with a drinking straw. Let the seed cakes dry for eight hours. Then, turn the cakes over and let them dry for another eight hours.

    Loop a small piece of string through the hole once the cakes are completely dry. The feeders are now ready to hang from trees and bushes in your yard.

    Things You'll Need

    • ¾ cup flour
    • ½ cup water
    • 3 tbsp. corn syrup
    • 1 package plain, clear gelatin
    • Bag of commercial bird seed
    • Cookie cutters
    • Drinking straw
    • Wax paper
    • String
    • Optional:
    • Raisins
    • Nuts
    • Dried fruit pieces


    • You can also use this recipe to make square seed cakes that fit into the wire suet cake feeders available at hardware stores. Use a baking pan to mold the seed mixture and, once dried, cut the cakes to the size of the feeder.

      Include black oil sunflower seeds in all of your seed cakes. According the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this seed attracts the widest variety of birds and, because of its thin shell, is easy for almost all seed eaters to crack open. It also provides a high fat content that is important for birds' winter survival.


    • Make sure you don't have too much gelatin mixture and not enough seeds or birds may not be attracted to your feeder.

Related Articles

How to Make a Pine-Cone Bird Feeder Without Using Peanut...
How to Make Squirrel Food
How to Feed Wild Birds and Doves
How to Make Hummingbird Nectar
Homemade Finch Bird Feeders
How to Make a Peanut Butter Bird Feeder
How to Clean Bee Hives
How to Make a Pine-Cone Bird Feeder Without Using Peanut...
Homemade Squirrel Feeders for Kids
Can You Feed Salted Sunflower Seeds to Birds?
Birds That Eat Pine Cone Seeds
What Part of the Plant Makes Seeds?
Are Poppy Seeds Bad for Birds?
How to Make Lilac Fragrance
Cooking With Kids in the Classroom
How to Grow Salt Crystals
How Are Clover Seeds Spread?
Different Species of Cardinal Birds
How to Make Flubber Without Borox or Liquid Starch
The Uses for Watermelon Rind

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!