birdseed favors

If you don’t like the idea of spending a bundle on favors, or if you are opting for favor donations instead, birdseed wedding favor hearts are a sweet, simple, eco-friendly way to thank your guests – and the birds:)

Birdseed wedding favor hearts are so easy to DIY, my second grader can make them. And they’re incredibly inexpensive.

Here’s the DIY:

Birdseed Wedding Favor Hearts

(Makes approximately 21 two-inch hearts)

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2.5 teaspoons)
  • 3 tbsp corn syrup
  • 4 cups birdseed

You will also need:

  • large mixing bowl
  • heart shaped cookie cutter
  • nonstick spray
  • chopstick or bamboo skewer for making a hole in the ornament
  • parchment paper
  • cookie sheet
  • jute or raffia
  • card stock
  • rubber stamp
  • ink
  • rounded corner punch
  • hole punch

Mix flour, water, gelatin and corn syrup. Add birdseed and stir well.

birdseed favor

Spray the inside of a heart cookie cutter with vegetable cooking spray. (You could also wipe it down with veg. oil.)

Place cookie cutter on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Spoon mixture inside of cookie cutter, pressing mixture firmly with greased fingers. (The more you press it down, the less shedding of seeds you will have.)

birdseed favors

Using a chopstick or bamboo skewer, make a hole near the top of the heart.

birdseed wedding favors

Remove chopstick.

birdseed wedding favours

Carefully pull cookie cutter away from birdseed heart.  Repeat until all the mixture is used up. (You should spray the cookie cutter after every six hearts, that way it won’t stick.)

birdseed hearts

Let dry 6-8 hours. (I let mine sit overnight.) Cut 10-12 inches of jute for each heart. String jute through heart and add a tag. I created my thank you tags by using a rubber stamp, card stock and a rounded corner punch.  Tie the jute in a knot after you have added the tag. (You can tuck the knot inside the hole so it doesn’t show.) You can hang these from branches at your wedding, or place inside bags or boxes.

Note: A couple of brides left comments stating that they made the favor hearts a couple of weeks prior to their wedding, and they molded. If you are making these before your wedding, don’t make them more than a few days ahead just to be safe.

Don’t want to make them yourself? Check out our sponsor, Little Things.

birdseed favours
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79 Comments  |  Filed Under: DIY Favors & Gifts, DIY Wedding

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  1. Posted by Kirby on April 4th, 2011 at 8:59am

    Such a great idea! Especially for those doing simple outdoor weddings coming up. I'll will definitely be passing along this DIY project.

  2. Posted by Helby on April 13th, 2011 at 10:16am

    This is such a great idea! I'm saving this one.
  3. Posted by Lane' on April 22nd, 2011 at 4:15am

    This may sound strange, but do you know how long they last? I love these and they look easy enough I'd make them, but I'd want to make them well in advance of our wedding this summer (August). I didn't know if I could make them say in June if they'd still be "good"?

    Thank you!!
  4. Posted by Christina on April 22nd, 2011 at 9:56pm

    Hi Lane. I'm really not sure how long they would last. My guess is that they would probably dry out if left that long... or perhaps you could store them in ziploc bags. It would be worth some experimentation.
  5. Posted by Ashley on May 19th, 2011 at 12:19pm

    This is a really great tutorial! I'm getting married this July and I've already started making them. My first batch is looking a little bit dried out right now and I made them 2 weeks ago. Also 3 or 4 of the hearts are pretty moldy on one side! I kept them in a Tupperware container on top of my fridge for some time, so maybe it was too warm?

    I suggest making sure they are in a very dry place and keep flipping them every so often to keep mold from growing. I've packaged the others in sealed, clear plastic bags, so I'm hoping this will keep them "fresh" until the wedding!

    I would also love to do this with a group of kids as a craft (at the Boys and Girls Club) - I think they would dig it!
  6. Posted by Christina on May 21st, 2011 at 11:01am

    Thanks for the tips Ashley!
  7. Posted by Marsha on June 2nd, 2011 at 12:44pm

    I'm making these for my church ladies group w/ the verse from Matthew 6:26.
  8. Posted by Christina on June 2nd, 2011 at 1:01pm

    Hi Marsha,
    I wouldn't make them too far ahead because they could dry out. You could try storing them in a sealed container. I made these and put them outside the next day for the birds, so I don't know how long they would last.
  9. Posted by Patti on August 22nd, 2011 at 11:04am

    These would be great to decorate a tree outside at Christmas. We always look for holiday ideas for the yard, and the kids could help with these!
  10. Posted by Christina on August 22nd, 2011 at 1:58pm

    Yes, they would be perfect for the holidays! But they won't last long... at least if they're as hungry as the birds in my neighbourhood!:)
  11. Posted by susy on September 27th, 2011 at 1:34pm

    This would be a great idea to make with the kids for Christmas. Then they could make handmade gifts for family & friends - how fun would that be?
  12. Posted by Daisy on October 18th, 2011 at 6:55am

    Hi. This was so easy but mine came out like if I'd dusted them in flour. I followed the recipe. Any suggestions? I'd love to try them again. Thanks!
  13. Posted by Brandie on April 27th, 2012 at 8:44am

    Thanks for this perfect idea! Where did you find your stamp? Thanks again :)
  14. Posted by Christina on April 27th, 2012 at 11:27am

    I bought the stamp at Michaels. Glad you like the project!
  15. Posted by Jessica on May 1st, 2012 at 12:31pm

    These are so cute! But I wish I read the comments. We made them for my grandparent's 50th anniversary about a month in advance, bagged them in plastic, put them in a box, and left them in my basement laundry room assuming it was cooler so they'd be fine. So glad I checked on them, they all went super moldy (so moldy there's heat coming off them). At least we still have a week til the party and they were so simple to make we will just remake them this week. They come out so wonderfully though and we made 4" hearts instead of 2", which we loved!
  16. Posted by Christina on May 1st, 2012 at 12:49pm

    Sorry to hear that Jessica! It's probably best to make them closer to the date.
  17. Posted by Alicia on May 9th, 2012 at 3:57pm

    I am in love with this! Thank you so much for posting, I will be using this as my wedding favor!
  18. Posted by Meghan on May 20th, 2012 at 11:38pm

    I'll echo the sentiment that mine molded :( My wedding is in two weeks, and I made these about 3 weeks ago, put them in a large storage container, layered between wax paper. I started stringing them up tonight, and they had molded :( We love the idea so much that we'll be doing them again two days before the wedding, but MAN. What a bummer. Didn't really see myself having to do this two days before the wedding. I think the fact that they could mold should be stated in the instructions. Mine were not completely closed up, and were not in a warm space, and still molded. Oh well - learned my lesson! Off to make more!
  19. Posted by Christina on May 21st, 2012 at 9:16am

    Sorry to hear that Meghan! I just added the info to the post.
  20. Posted by Erica on May 21st, 2012 at 10:21pm

    Would it prevent mold to put them in a fridge several weeks in advance? Has anyone tried this?
  21. Posted by S on May 22nd, 2012 at 10:39am

    I made these for my June wedding and after 2 weeks they were moldy. Very disappointed.
  22. Posted by Israel Heilmann on June 5th, 2012 at 10:58am

    You made a number of nice points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found the majority of persons will consent with your blog.
  23. Posted by K Gravert on June 5th, 2012 at 8:08pm

    I just made 60 for shower favors - a baby shower w/ a wilderness theme. I used standard plastic cookie cutters (butterfly, duck, bear, squirrel) -- I put the hole in the center or strongest area. However, I'm still having troubles with breakage as I'm running the jute through. I did only let them dry 2 hours (I'm in Colorado where it is dry) and thought that was long enough for the jute part then I was going to let them dry overnight. But perhaps not. Thoughts?
  24. Posted by Jill on June 16th, 2012 at 6:30pm

    I am making these for a friends wedding this coming Saturday. If I make these tomorrow or Monday will I still have a molding problem? Thank you!
  25. Posted by Laurie on June 19th, 2012 at 4:14pm

    Can they be frozen after making them to keep them fresh? Anyone tried that?
  26. Posted by Christina on June 19th, 2012 at 6:14pm

    Good idea Laurie. If anyone tries it, do let us know!
  27. Posted by Jan on June 24th, 2012 at 8:22pm

    I made these for Vacation Bible School "thank you" gifts ... very cute and eco-friendly. However, I had some of the same "mold" problems. The way I solved it was to let them dry a day or so, then put them in a low oven (about 180 degrees) for a few hours. I made them about a week before I needed them, and they turned out great!
  28. Posted by Christina on June 25th, 2012 at 10:33pm

    Great tip Jan!
  29. Posted by Alli on July 11th, 2012 at 4:16pm

    Great tutorial, thanks! I am making these for my sister's wedding favors. I figured out a way to mix the ingredients so that the flour doesn't get lumpy and figured I'd share... I whisk the water and corn syrup, then whisk in the gelatin, then slowly whisk in the flour. That made a nice, smooth mixture instead of all the lumps I got when I added the water to the dry ingredients. Then I added the bird seed and stirred with a spoon. They are turning out perfect!
  30. Posted by Christina on July 17th, 2012 at 12:28pm

    Thanks for sharing Alli!
  31. Posted by June Decker on July 24th, 2012 at 10:54pm

    We need these favors by August 4th...made 1 recipe today...have drying in the garage where it is fairly
    hot. Now want to know ASAP if anyone has frozen them and how they turned out. Really want to get
    them done sooner than 3 days out! HELP!
    Gramma June
  32. Posted by Milo's Mom on August 30th, 2012 at 11:54am

    I made these several weeks ago. I baked them at a low heat for about an hour, let them dry out for a day, and then froze them. Now I'm finishing them and they're holding up nicely. They do appear to have some white film on some areas, but I think that's just the gelatin or flour.
  33. Posted by Laura on September 5th, 2012 at 2:59pm

    Has anyone received complaints from guests about the favors getting moldy? Or do you think most guests put them outside ASAP?
  34. Posted by eve on October 20th, 2012 at 12:22am

    If they mold are they even safe to feed to the birds we want to feed them not kill them???
  35. Posted by Myk on November 14th, 2012 at 12:41am

    I've made these with just two ingredients--the unflavored gelatin and birdseed. I would think that with the flour & corn syrup that's where the mold is coming into play. I made them with a few of the kids I worked with and they turned out pretty good. They went outside a few days after we made them, and it was winter time so we didn't have them long enough to observe if they got moldy or not but I bet omitting the flour and corn syrup might lessen the chance of mold.
  36. Posted by Elies on December 23rd, 2012 at 3:25am

    I've made these for Christmas and they were absolutely gorgeous. But I made them a week in advance and am now very sad to discover the molding problem. :(
    Luckily I have enough birdseed to make plenty more! But I'm a little hesitant now I know they mold.. I've been looking for alternatives that don't mold, but none are quite as gorgeous as these little beauties.
    Still, they're fun to make and it's a great DIY!
  37. Posted by Sue P. on January 17th, 2013 at 1:59pm

    Can these be frozen if made in advance?
  38. Posted by Christina on January 17th, 2013 at 2:01pm

    Sue, it's worth a try!! Let me know how they turn out.
  39. Posted by Jeff on January 25th, 2013 at 7:14pm

    Has anyone tried making these with quick mixing flour to keep it from having the residual white film?
  40. Posted by Jeff on January 25th, 2013 at 7:15pm

    has anyone tried making these with quick mixing flour to elimate the residual white film?
  41. Posted by Christina on January 26th, 2013 at 10:04pm

    No Jeff, I haven't. In fact, I don't even know what quick mixing flour is. If you try it, let us know how they turn out.
  42. Posted by LINDA CHRISTMAN on March 8th, 2013 at 12:37am

  43. Posted by WeyMama on March 12th, 2013 at 6:57pm

    I'm not sure whether this would solve the molding problem or not, but I've done a similar project making vegan suet for Solstice and Christmas with just oats, birdseed, and peanut butter. Mixed it, molded it, and froze it for a week or two. Personally, I can't see corn syrup and gelatin being terribly healthy for birds, and as someone else mentioned, those are likely to be what's contributing to the mold. Whereas a jar of peanut butter (even the natural, organic stuff we buy) will sit unrefrigerated for a good long time without growing mold. Just some thoughts. I will definitely use a cookie cutter the next time, though. The heart I shaped by hand broke easily since it was not as compacted as the large ball I also made.
  44. Posted by Megan on March 13th, 2013 at 9:55am

    Has anybody tried vacuum sealing? Going to try these this week. I think by totally drying out the favor via cooking, then vacuum sealing after they cool might work to avoid molding. Any thoughts?
  45. Posted by Denelle on March 15th, 2013 at 1:37pm

    Did the oats, seeds, and peanut butter take away from the beauty of the one made with gelatin?
  46. Posted by Denelle on March 15th, 2013 at 1:40pm

    also what is the purpose of the flour? I
  47. Posted by Shannon on March 29th, 2013 at 9:53am

    I made a version of these for my wedding last month and thought I'd share for others!. I did not put flour or corn syrup, just birdseed, gelatin, and water. I made them one week before the wedding, let them dry overnight on the counter in a single layer. After drying overnight I put them in a dehydrator for about 6 hours. They have to be dry before going into the dehydrator. I let them sit out for another few days just to be sure then I wrapped them in favor bags. I made just over 100 and have about 20 left. They are now 6 weeks old and they still do not have any mold.
  48. Posted by Christina on March 29th, 2013 at 11:55am

    Great info Shannon! Thanks so much for sharing this with everyone!
  49. Posted by Erin on April 2nd, 2013 at 9:50am

    I made these favors for my upcoming May wedding back in February 2013. They're still fine, I had no trouble with mold. Don't wrap them in anything and you'll be fine. Make sure they're thoroughly dry before adding the string, and I made sure to flip them over probably every six hours so that they dried really well after reading the molding stories. It's been two months and they still look great!
  50. Posted by Christina on April 2nd, 2013 at 11:01am

    Thanks for letting us know they turned out so well, Erin!
  51. Posted by Nikki on April 3rd, 2013 at 4:44pm

    So Erin how did you store them if you didn't wrap them up? And you used the flour and corn syrup and everything?
  52. Posted by Erin on April 4th, 2013 at 9:14am

    I used all of the ingredients. I kept them on several cookie sheets (I made 90 of them) and I laid them out in our extra bedroom. Each morning and each evening I went in and turned them all to make sure they dried evenly. They're still on the cookie sheets they're just stacked now and they have the rope and tag on them now. They look as good as they did the day I made them. I think they're going to be quite the hit next month at my wedding :)
  53. Posted by Holli on May 22nd, 2013 at 1:57pm

    I am trying this right now, and the mixture before the seeds is extremely thick. I'm having a hard time getting the bird seed to mix well.... And I've only added 2 cups so far. I did subsitute the gelatine with fruit pectin. Could that be the problem? Suggestions anyone?
  54. Posted by Christina on May 23rd, 2013 at 1:08pm

    Hi Holli... I'm not sure why it is thick. It could be the fruit pectin you used.
  55. Posted by kim on June 5th, 2013 at 1:55pm

    I made these for my daughter's wedding. The trick is that they need to be baked (300 degrees for about 1 hour). No molding whatsoever! Also, another blogger said that they saw a white film; I mixed the wet ingredients well first, then added whole wheat flour and gelatin. Again, mix well. Then add the birdseed. My final suggestion is that I used a plastic straw for poking the holes in the heart. After poking it through to one side, blow the excess birdseed out, turn the heart over, pack it down well (this makes the surface of both sides of the heart smooth and uniform) and poke the hole through again. I added a little cardstock tag that said, "tweet!" to the jute.
  56. Posted by Anna on June 28th, 2013 at 12:29pm

    Hi there!

    Great idea!
    But is it possible to create these little hearts without gelatin? I love pigs too much!
    I really like to make them for our wedding!

  57. Posted by Mollie on July 4th, 2013 at 4:18pm

    I followed the exact recipe but mixed all the wet ingredients and then whisked the flour in. Then I added birdseed. I ended up adding about one extra cup of birdseed as it was just too goopy. I baked in a low 200 degree oven for a little over an hour. I also used a straw to poke holes.
    I then hung the hearts on jute string and stored them this way.
    Putting them in an airtight container is simply a recipe for disaster. I would not recommend it.

    I am so happy with how mine turned out. I did a practice batch 3 weeks ago and they are still as good as the first day.
  58. Posted by Larissa on July 13th, 2013 at 11:54am

    I am making these for my wedding as favors! I've made a couple trial batches, and definitely do not freeze them! They were perfect when I put them in the freezer, but when I took the hearts out two weeks later, they crumbled apart. I'm going to try baking them next!
  59. Posted by lynne fox on September 9th, 2013 at 9:04pm

    I am making them this week for shower and plan to freeze them.
    I am going to put them in snack baggies so they don't make a
    mess and can be handled easily. If they are in freezer, i don't have
    to worry about them molding or melting.
  60. Posted by shannon on September 20th, 2013 at 10:50am

    Help!! Made these last night for my wedding TOMORROW and I let them dry overnight and this morning they are crumbling when I put the string on. I think my cutters were a bit bigger than 2 inches. Ahhhh!!
  61. Posted by Mary on September 20th, 2013 at 10:58pm

    I am making these for my daughter's shower for the end of October. I will need 100 of them so I started now. I have been storing in containers in the refrigerator but after reading the comments below I am concerned. Would you suggest that I bake. I do not see any mold yet and did not think if I stored in the fridge this would happen.

    Could someone please advise. I do not have enough cookie cutters to make in one or two batches.

    Thank you
  62. Posted by Lindsey on October 8th, 2013 at 9:58pm

    For everyone who is concerned about making these ahead of time and them getting moldy or crumbly - I made these (about 200 of them) for my wedding in 2012 and had a few leftover that are still totally intact (1 year and a half later). No mold, totally solid. Don't worry too much if you make them ahead of time!
  63. Posted by Emily on February 5th, 2014 at 11:23am

    Lindsey, what did you do with yours after you made them to keep them from molding or crumbling? I need to make about 200 also. I have already made one batch and they grew mold because I put them in a Tupperware container. I recently made about 50 more as let tem dry for about 2 weeks flipping them the second day. I just put them in cellophane bags but now after reading these comments I think maybe I should bake them first just to be safe. I am really not tryin to make 200 of these just days before my June wedding. I'd love to hear what your trick was to keep them lasting that long!
  64. Posted by Patricia on February 13th, 2014 at 5:14pm

    Do not have gelatin - might I substitute cornstarch?
  65. Posted by Kirstin on February 24th, 2014 at 2:25am

    Hmmm...should we be feeding birds corn syrup? I think if you increase the amount of gelatin a bit (but not the water) they should hold together without the flour and corn syrup. Silicone ice cube or muffin trays work great, too--you can embed a knotted, looped string into it when wet so it will be attached when dry. They are often available in heart shapes.
  66. Posted by Amye on March 8th, 2014 at 3:55pm

    You can make these ahead and freeze them.
  67. Posted by Bernice on March 30th, 2014 at 4:27pm

    Such a neat idea! I want to make these but I have a question. For those that bake these, do you bake right away or wait for it to dry first? Thanks in advance!
  68. Posted by Cindy on April 10th, 2014 at 11:41am

    Thank you so much for this. It looks easy. I would love to do this for my niece's rustic outside wedding in May. Thanks again. Hugs and blessings, Cindy
  69. Posted by Liz on April 18th, 2014 at 2:21pm

    Super cute idea! Has anyone tried to use honey instead of corn syrup? I've never seen honey mold or perhaps a molasses. Perhaps even substituting corn starch instead of flour. Perhaps trying some of these combinations will find a fix to the mold issue. I'll be doing these as a craft project with some kids for Easter (two days from now) so I don't have to worry about any mold, but it may help those trying to make a lot at once big events like weddings.
  70. Posted by Jacy on April 23rd, 2014 at 8:53am

    An idea regarding the mould/mold issue:- What about using "kitty litter" crystals to store them in until the event? The crystals use silica, which is highly absorbent of moisture. If you want to be super sure that they won't go off, maybe bake them in the oven after they set, and then store them in a tray of silica/crystal kitty litter.
    I am making these for my wedding in a few weeks, and will report back on my results later.
  71. Posted by Liz on May 2nd, 2014 at 2:29pm

    Just a quick update on the feeders I made. I subbed out corn syrup for honey and we gave most of them out for Easter gifts, but the four I had left over sat for two weeks in a rubbermaid container in my car trunk. (I really just forgot they were there, oops) But after two weeks I didn't have any mold at all on the feeders. Using honey just might be the answer to the mold problems. :)
  72. Posted by Elise on August 3rd, 2014 at 5:26pm

    Made these for my son's wedding favors, using star-shaped cookie cutters.

    Whisked the wet ingredients, then slowly whisked in the dry ingredients. Then hand-mixed in the birdseed. We used whole wheat flour & thus had no white film like other posters mentioned. Baked them at 190 degrees for about an hour and a half, then laid them out for a day or so before bagging them for the wedding. No mold issues, no crumbling.

    Beautiful! We received many compliments.
  73. Posted by Annette on November 14th, 2014 at 11:36pm

    Hi, so I have let mine sit overnight and as of now, they are still fairly soft. should I let them dry outside or is it too cold. In front of a window maybe? Need them done by Sat night. Still need to string them too. Btw, these are AWESOME! Great idea :)
  74. Posted by JoAnn Tomsich on March 11th, 2015 at 9:21pm

    I wonder if you could make these early and the stick them in the freezer. They would probably keep then without molding. I am referring to the Birdseed Wedding Favor Hearts,
  75. Posted by Michelle on March 26th, 2015 at 10:14am

    I am just wondering how long these can be frozen or stored in a fridge in advance, definitely doing this for my wedding!! Thanks :)
  76. Posted by Kelly on April 6th, 2015 at 12:56pm

    Hi Christina,

    I made them and they look great, but started to crumble. I doubled the batch, so maybe that is why, but do you know of a spray or any tip that will help keep them together for when they dry?
  77. Posted by Nancy DeAngelis on April 25th, 2015 at 5:46pm

    I just finished making these with my 10 year old daughter. We loved this idea! We are using them for place settings for my sis-in-law to be wedding luncheon. It is a second wedding for her and my brother, so they want to keep it low key. I love the fact that these will be used to feed the birds and not sit in a china cabinet for eternity! Thanks so much for the idea.
  78. Posted by Kim C. on May 1st, 2015 at 9:08pm

    We made these as our favors for our low key backyard wedding. They turned out great!! I loved them. My nieces had a lot of fun helping. We needed four batches to make about 45 favors. I think our cookie cutters were a bit bigger (I purchased the 7 piece Wilton metal heart cookie cutter set from Amazon). They were really cute. Held together well (assuming you do as suggested by packing it tightly). Thanks so much for the recipe!
  79. Posted by savannahh on May 23rd, 2015 at 4:16am

    Can anyone think of a way to stop these getting mouldy?
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