I started making bird wreaths back in the 90s for myself and for friends and family who loved birds and bird feeding and who were hard to buy for during the holidays. I have continued to make them for over 20 years and love this tradition each and every year. Since the invention of Bark Butter, my life has gotten easier as I no longer have to try to mix the ingredients to get just the right consistency. Over the years, I have found that after the first rush of visitors eats up all of the ornaments on the wreath- it makes a great and easy feeder for Bark Butter for the rest of the season (By the end of winter- the wreath is pretty much “done” and I feed Bark Butter on my other Bark Butter feeders).
Making wreaths is easy. You can get really creative and make them as an original, interesting gift – or just bang out a simple one for yourself.
The birds love them. It seems like they are attracted to the ‘naturalism’ of the grape wreath, and they devour it in a relatively short time in my backyard. It is a fun project for all ages and makes me feel very “Martha Stewart”-esque.
(You will have leftovers on some items)
14” Grape Wreath, about $5 at a hobby/craft store
Bag of cranberries
1 Tub of Bark Butter
3 pine cones
Wild Birds Unlimited Bird Seed Blend
13oz. dried fruit mix container
Ever green clippings from a tree in your yard or woods
3 halves of a bagel. (
Tip cut the bagel the night before so they can sit out and dry, making it easier to spread the Bark Butter.)
Three small terra cotta pots- about 60 cents at a hobby/craft store
Florist wire, 24 gauge, in 18 – 24” length (Note: Do not buy paddle wire, you need this wire to be straight, which makes it easier to weave through the wreath.)
Wind the florist wire around the base of the pine cones. This is so you can secure the pine cones to the wreath.
Smear the pine cones with bark butter; use a fork and your hands to get the Bark Butter into the scales of the pine cones. Go crazy and squeeze cranberries in between the scales, then apply the Bark Butter.
Once the Bark Butter is on the cone, roll it like a meat ball or a chick pea ball for you vegetarians!
Roll the pine cones in the bird seed blend. Press/squeeze the seed into the Bark Butter, to ensure the seed is mushed into the Bark Butter
Secure the florist wire to the miniature terra cotta pots by running the florist wire through the bottom and over the side of the pot. Fill the pot with Bark Butter and top it with bird seed.
Smear the bagel with Bark Butter and press bird seed into the Bark Butter and give the bagel a good squeeze.
The hardest part is securing the florist wire to the bagel. First string the florist wire with several cranberries, or pieces of dried fruit. Center the berries on the wire. Place a sprig of greenery over the center of the bagel; basically cover the hole in the bagel. Bend the wire on either side of the cranberries down 90 degrees, sticking them through the bagel, one on either side of the sprig of greenery.
Follow the same steps as preparing the bagels to prepare the orange slices, except you do not smear the oranges with Bark Butter.
See the photo below for a variety of creative ways to prepare the foods. You are only limited by your imagination.
Securing the food to the wreath
Start by selecting one of your foods and tying it to the wreath by weaving the wire ends through the wreath so they come out on the back side of the wreath then twist the wire tightly to the wreath so it is secure. Clip off the extra florist wire. Repeat for each food item.
Accessorizing / Turning it into a gift
Add additional greenery to wreath in between the foods. To jazz up the wreath for a gift, add colorful bows and raffia.
I hope you have just as much fun as I do creating a beautiful wreath for the birds. Let us know how your project turns out and share some pictures with us on Facebook.
Here are some wreaths that I have made in past years that I especially have enjoyed giving as gifts and sharing with nature.