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“You Are So TWEET!” Easy Birdseed Heart Valentines

2014 January 28
by Becky

For the third year in a row, we’re getting excited about Valentine’s Day!

I recently had a conversation with a friend about critics saying we’re “celebrating too much” these days. Making “too big a deal” over silly holidays. Well I disagree. I say why not celebrate more? Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day, Flag Day, heck, even your pet’s birthday. Just a little more celebrating makes life fun, especially for little kids.

So after years of NOT celebrating this “hallmark holiday”, I took Ethan’s arrival as a reason to change my ways. In the last two years we’ve made garlands, watercolor valentines, t-shirts, and special treats. This year?

Birdseed hearts for simple “You Are So TWEET” Valentines.

Bird-Seed-Valentines-YouAreSoTweet

After coming up with a whole construction themed “I Dig You” card, I realized a) it was too complicated and b) wasn’t all that conducive to having a toddler help in the construction.

And isn’t that the point?

I backtracked, trying to think of something more down to earth, more simple. That’s when I remembered these sweet birdseed heart wedding favors I came across a while back. Why couldn’t they be adorable Valentines for Ethan’s buddies to hang outside? Goodness knows the poor birdies need some easy food in these frigid temperatures.

It’s like 12 out there right now. Brrrr.

Here’s what we came up with…

Bird-Seed-Valentines-YouAreSoTweet-2

After nap one day last week, Ethan and I mixed up a batch of seed. The recipe called for flour, water, corn syrup and gelatin. Oh, and birdseed of course. We had the seed sitting unused in the garage but no corn syrup so I substituted honey.

Bird-Seed-Valentines-Mixing

We made these twice. The second time, after making one key adjustment, the hearts turned out perfect.

Instead of just throwing everything in a bowl, I heated the 1/2 cup of water in the microwave for two minutes and mixed in the gelatin, making sure all the graduals dissolved. We poured in the honey, 3 Tbsp, and mixed again. After pouring this mixture into the bowl of my mixer, we added the 3/4 cup of flour, mixing until a thin paste formed. In went the bird seed and, after mixing for a minute, we had a shiny, sticky seed mixture, ready to be molded.

Bird-Seed-Valentines-Mixing

Bird-Seed-Valentines-Mixing

Time to fill our molds. I picked up some heart cookies cutters in the ginormous Valentine’s section at Target, the one we used was about 2.5 inches. The perfect size to fit on our little 4×6 card.

Bird-Seed-Valentines-Cookie Cutter

Bird-Seed-Valentines-Filling Heart Molds

Ethan helped make about three of these hearts, filling the cookie cutters about 3/4 full, using the spoon to really press the seed into the form to prevent “shedding” once they were dry. But, being a three year old, Ethan soon lost interest and I finished the hearts under his supervision—go figure.

Bird Seed Valentines Mold

Let’s be honest, no matter how easy or fun Valentine making is, toddlers are going to stay interested for about five minutes. I vividly remember my mom setting all kinds of fun doilies and glue and colored paper in front of me each Valentines Day, but, after about four cards, I lost my steam, just kind of throwing the rest together…and I was much older than three.

Enough reminiscing….

I definitely followed the advice of spraying our cookie cutter with spray oil for quick release. After using the straw or chopstick to make a hole, we re-compressed the area around the hole to prevent future shedding.

Here is Ethan demonstrating our straw-hole method.

Bird Seed Valentines Making Holes

We let the birdseed hearts sit on a wax paper covered cookie sheet overnight, letting them set up nice and firm.

Ethan, upon seeing the dried hearts, asked “Mom, can we eat the cookies now?” Clearly I had some re-explaining to do about this little craft.

Bird Seed Valentines You Are So Tweet CardsClick here for this “You Are So Tweet” Valentine’s Day Card Printable

TIP: Don’t put these hearts away too soon, and do not put them in an air-tight container. Unless, that is, you like mold. Since it’s another couple weeks still Valentine’s Day, we’ll be making sure our hearts are SUPER dry, then popping them in the freezer to prevent any moisture from reaching our masterpieces.

After adding some pretty dollar-bin ribbon…

Bird Seed Valentines With Ribbon

We poked holes in our cards just below the “so” and threaded our ribbon through, securing it with tape on the card’s back.

Adorable. And fun! We hung one outside in perfect view, watching and waiting for the birds to discover the special treat.

Bird Seed Valentines Hanging Outside

Even though he asked several times to eat these little favors, Ethan finally got it. “We’re making Bird cookies!”

And I’m pretty sure he gets the “Tweet” part too.

These may require a little baggie to protect the hearts. After all, they will be handed out at school. To preschoolers. Safer = better. I’m sure Ethan’s teachers would be less than thrilled with a birdseed covered floor.

Bird Seed Valentines You Are So Tweet

 We had fun making these cute birdseed heart valentines!

Want more fun Valentine’s crafts to do with and for your toddler? Check these out:

Watercolor Elephant ValentinesOur Watercolor Elephant Valentines

Heart Garland Lacing Activity for Valentines DayHeart Garland Lacing Activity

DIY Love Onesie for Valentines DayEasy DIY “Love” Onsie (there’s a girlie version too)

Valentines Day Heart Cake with SprinklesSprinkle Heart Cakes with Georgetown Cupcake’s Buttercream Frosting Recipe

7 Responses
  1. January 29, 2014

    I feel the same way about celebrating those fun holidays. We always made crafts or had books for each one. Fun Times!!

  2. February 5, 2014

    I really like this idea I think my boys would too! Thanks!
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    • Becky permalink*
      February 5, 2014

      Hope you have a great time making them! I think these are a perfect valentine to make with boys…my son loved it!

  3. February 6, 2014

    Love it! I already did our Valentine’s for this year, but I am saving this idea for next year!
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    • Becky permalink*
      February 9, 2014

      Thanks!!!

  4. Shannon permalink
    February 8, 2015

    Great idea! Thanks for the Google doc. I have a 7 year old son with Down syndrome, he is in a special needs class and he totally enjoyed making these for his friends. How did you secure them to the card?

    • Becky permalink*
      February 9, 2015

      Thank you!! I’m SO glad your son had fun making these bird seed hearts! We just punched a hole and fed the ribbon through taped it on the back of the card. I would recommend one more step of putting the cards with hearts in a small cellophane bag to keep them safe and not crushed at the bottom of a Valentine goody bag :) Not the most durable Valentine, but it was fun and the birds were thrilled! (Our dog thought they tasted amazing as well) Good luck!

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