How To Make Edible Christmas Ornament Treats for Birds & Wildlife

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Dabney Frake)

If you love making Christmas cookies, add in a batch of edible ornaments for wildlife this season. Hang them outside on a tree outside your window and watch your outdoor space become a resting spot – and holiday dinner table – for birds and squirrels.

What You Need


  • Gingerbread dough (like this one from The Kitchn)
  • Bird seed glue (optional)
  • An array of leaves to use as a template
  • An assortment of bird-friendly seeds


  • Toothpicks or a pounce wheel (optional)
  • Rolling pin
  • Knife
  • Cookie cutters (optional)


1. First thing is to collect a bunch of materials: seeds, leaves, birdseed, and pumpkin seeds. Take a walk in the park and just see what catches your eye.

2. Make your dough according to the recipe.

3. Roll out the dough to 1/4- to 1/8-inch thick.

4. Use cookie cutters to create your desired shape. Or, use real leaves as a stencil.

Tip: It helps to put dough back in fridge when it gets warm as your work. This was an important step, especially since if you take a long time to mark up and decorate the dough.

5. Using a toothpick or pounce wheel, make a decorative pattern if you like.

6. You have two options for decorating: 1) Before you bake, adhere the seeds by pressing them into the dough before baking them into the gingerbread. The seeds will stay on just fine and add to the wonderful smell while baking —especially pumpkin seeds. 2) After the cookies are baked, you can decorate with birdseed glue made from flour, corn syrup, gelatin and water. The glue is fine, but messy.

Tip: Don’t forget to poke a hole into the dough for a string to hang!

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