We really did enjoy watching the birds eat everything off of our ballerina birdfeeder. I wanted to incorporate that idea into a type of valentine. This is what I came up with!
We live far away from all of Clementine's grandparents and I thought this would be a fun surprise for them. (If you're reading this now, surprise, this will be arriving in your mailbox soon!) I thought we could go with the ol' " a little birdie told me..." phrase, which led me to this:
They are very easy to assemble, and even though it looks like a lot of steps, they go together super quick.
Here's what we used:
Red heart doilies (we used 6 inch)
cardboard (think shipping box, shoe box, cereal box, etc. really, just grab something from your recycling)
brown paper grocery bag (or any sort of kraft paper or construction paper will do)
glue stick (preferably a stronger bonding type)
bird seed (we used straight oiled sunflower seeds. I liked how it looked all black, but any seed variety will work)
peanut butter and/or vegetable shortening (you can use either on its own or combine)
brown waxed sandwich bags or natural parchment
scissors and a hole punch
Start with one doily.
Using a pencil trace the heart shape onto a piece of cardboard.
Cut out the heart shape. If you are making more than one bird feeder valentine, use this heart to trace others. Once those are done, set aside and get your brown bag or paper.
Trace your cardboard heart on the bag and cut out. Now it's time to assemble.
Cover the cardboard heart with glue. Place the doily on top.
Press down to secure. Flip over. The glue stick will remain a little tacky, so it would be best to work on a sheet of wax paper or parchment. Or you could let it dry completely before moving on. Repeat for the other side.
Glue the paper heart on top of the doily. If you used a box that has print on one side, choose that side to cover. This step is totally optional. I really just added it because even though the glue stick is non-toxic, I wasn't sure if the birds should be pecking at it and eating it.
Punch out a hole in the center top of heart.
Tie a piece of twine through the hole and knot it.
Spread the peanut butter or shortening over the paper heart as neatly as possible avoiding the doily.
Put the bird seed into a shallow bowl or pan.
This is where the little miss liked to help out. Press the peanut butter side down into the seeds. Turn over and use your hands to cover any spots that need it. Really press the seeds into the peanut butter.
Give it a shake so that the extra seeds that didn't attach fall off. Done! When it is hung from a tree it will be birdseed on one side and a red heart on the other.
Place in the freezer to set while you clean up and get the packaging together. This is not a necessary step, of course, you could skip ahead to packaging. Since we have to mail these I thought it would make packaging them up a bit of a neater process.
Place bird feeder valentine in a brown, waxed paper sandwich bag. I, unfortunately, was all out and wanted to make use of what I had on hand, so I made envelopes out of natural parchment. Wrapping them up like present in waxed or parchment paper will work as well.
Maybe you can think up your own fun saying, we used "Let the little birdies come tell you how much I love you!" That seemed appropriate for a toddler to say to her grandmas, but after I had some time to think about it (that would be post-Clementine bed time) I came up with this:
"The birdies will come from miles away to tell you you're loved and missed this Valentine's Day!" I always like a rhyme.
OR, say you were making these to give to a child you could say:
Hang me up and you will see the little birdies come to me.
Listen as they say, "Tweet, Tweet. Be my valentine, you're so sweet!"
I know Clementine LOVED watching the birds! (I'm not saying she wouldn't prefer something of the sweeter, say edible, variety but she would definitely enjoy this in addition.)
There are so many ways to package it up. You could just use twine and go with a simple natural look, or think like a two year old who said, "pink, mama, pink!"
Anyway you wrap it up, it's still a different approach on a classic doily valentine and the birds will love you for it too!