June 04, 2015 | 0 | posted in DIY'S
My friends who have kids wrapping up school this June asked me for inspiration on a unique gift idea for the teachers. Something that would engage their kids, be sensitive to the environment, but be practical for the summer months ahead. So, while brainstorming, this little seedling came to mind…
Charming Eco-Chic Bird Feeder
- Bird Seed (we use a wild bird variety)
- Agar Powder*
- Boiling Water
- Large Cookie Cutters
- Wooden Sticks or Twigs
- Large Bowl
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment or Wax Paper
- String (jute, baker's twine or rustic ribbon)
*What is Agar Powder you might ask? Agar is a naturally gelatinous powder derived from marine red algae. It is an ideal substitute to the typical gelatin a project like this might call for, but I was really turned off by the fact that gelatin is a form of hydrolyzed collagen, proteins and amino acids that come from the boiled skin, tendons and ligaments of animals such as cows and horses – good god! So Agar it is, and it’s vegan! What does Agar do? It simply acts as a glue to hold the seeds together and hardens completely overnight. The end result is just like a crunchy cookie, only for birds! Where to find it? Through your local health store, specialty food shops or online, such as here.
Dissolve 10 tsps of Agar Powder in 1 1/2 cup of boiling water.
- When Agar is completely dissolved, add 2 cups of the bird seed.
- Mix for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the seeds to soak up the Agar mixture. Depending on how absorbent your seeds are, you may have some excess Agar mixture - not to worry! It won't matter one bit in the end.
- Place your cookie cutters onto a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet and carefully fill them with the bird seed mixture. Be sure to overfill them just a bit, because you'll want the seeds to be nice and tight inside the cookie cutters.
- Cover the filled cookie cutters with another sheet of parchment or wax paper and press the seeds down firmly.
- Gently insert a stick into each shape in order to create a hole for the loop of string or ribbon you'll be adding later.
- Allow the bird seed cookies to dry for 3 or 4 hours before gently pushing them out of the cookie cutters and letting them finish drying overnight.
- In the morning, gently pluck out the stick or twig from each and add a loop of string or ribbon for hanging.
- Package in a little box and you’ll have a charming eco-chic gift to present to your little one’s teacher.