As a part of our advent of service, one of our tasks was to do something kind for an animal. Somehow, I envisioned that the 10 and 4 year olds would want to buy some jingly balls or mice for our kitty. Nope, This year, as we are giving, I am beginning to think that they maybe getting this whole service concept. They decided that they wanted to make sure the birds in the back yard had food too. Well then, let’s do that! Our back yard has some stunningly beautiful birds all year, but especially in winter. The bright red cardinals always make me think of my grandmother. She loved them, and they always make me feel she is near. I thought we might focus on them a bit.
For our project, we made a popcorn and cranberry wreath. The base of the wreath is a 12 inch wire frame that you can pick up in any floral department for only a few dollars.
In addition to the wreath frame, you will need thread or fishing line – I used quilting thread to give the birds some nesting material –quilting thread is a little stronger than regular thread, and will hold up in the wind and possible rain that is on its way to us.
Materials for this project:
popcorn – plain
1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 spool of thread
2 floral wires
1 meal wreath frame (reusable)
For our food product,we used strings of popcorn – plain popcorn, no butter or salt which could be harmful, and fresh cranberries.
Much to the delight of my 4 year old, we made popcorn that exploded! That was what he perceived the air popper as doing. He kept wanting me to make more exploding pop corn. What a little nut! You can use the microwave version but do get the“plain” or “unbuttered” varieties for the birds. I had the best time stringing popcorn on the thread,and by the time we alternated four to five bits of popcorn with four cranberries and continued to make lengths, it was so beautiful. It made me think of turn of the century settlers making strings of popcorn to hang on the tree.
My only advice is that if you are working with small children, be careful with the needles. They are easy to lose in bowls of popcorn and are quite sharp. My almost 4 year old did really well, but my anxiety level was through the roof!
I worked in three foot strands to make the project a little easier. To start the wrapping, I took my first strand and tide it to the wire frame, wrapped it around the wreath and tide the end to the frame when the string was completely wrapped. I continued this process until I had covered the entire frame fully.
To finish the wreath I secured the last tail of popcorn string to the frame and then joined a few of the kernels to secure the ends before hanging. I made a small bow of cranberries by using floral wire. I was a little concerned that the wire would be a little too sharp for tender beaks and little bird mouths. To help prevent any potential injury I curved the ends of the wire up to secure the berries and make sure that the birds didn’t accidentally get scraped. I also used floral wire to create a hanger on top of the wreath to secure it to the post that I wanted to hang it on. Easy breezy!
I can’t wait to see what birds we attract with these wreaths. This may be a repeating process during this winter to provide a little extra food for our feathered friends,and make sure the kids continue to act as stewards of our environment and all creatures in it.
Drop a pic of your wreath and let me know what you do to provide treats for animals in your yards.
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