Tutorial: Gift for the Neighbors, and the Birds

Animals have a hard time in the winter, too. An economical upcycle neighbor gift for their outside trees is just what the season calls for. This tutorial will help you make a birdseed ornament and a gift wrapping to place it in. Use what string and papers you can find to make these. The randomness of the materials only adds to the look. These are perfect for placing a little holiday greeting on the neighbors’ doorknob for them to find. They will enjoy using this indoors, and eventually putting it outdoors to share with the wildlife in their yard.

Step 1: Make Ornament Base

Use recipe at www.wikihow.com/Make-Bird-Seed-Ornaments.

Follow the directions listed ‘for gelatin ornaments.’

Use your collection of regular canning jar lids as molds. Remember to use non-stick spray as you would on a cookie cutter in the recipe.

Instead of sticking the hole for string right in the middle of ornament before it dries, we planned string holes a bit more towards the top to accommodate a label.

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Step 2: Make Label

Make a little seasonal doodle, like our ‘Peace on Earth,’ or type a little message.

Scan in your doodle, size it appropriately, and replicate with copy and paste function in Word. (Or copy and paste your typed message.)

Print out Word document on a colored piece of paper. Perhaps the back of a scratch paper can become your canvas for your labels. Any paper that has a blank side and made to go through the printer will work.

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Step 3: Decorate the Ornament

Cut out labels and use water based school glue to stick them on to the ornaments.

Use whatever appropriate material you have at home for the string. Our purple gift ribbon was given to us by a hostess- a leftover from her event.

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Step 4: Prep Wrapper Paper

Cut a  10″ square from a paper grocery sack, leftover wrapping paper, newspaper, etc.

Fold twice, from corner to corner on each side.

Leave folded on one fold, creating a triangle.

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Step 5: Create the Pocket

With fold facing you, pull bottom left corner flush to bottom of top third of opposite side.

Repeat with bottom right corner. 

Fold both layers of top corner down.

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Step 6: Create Ribbon/String Holes

Make a hole through all top 6 layers of the paper near corner that points down. That includes the sides that were folded over, but excludes the bottom 2 layers.

Cut a very small notch on the fold of top layer of paper at the top of the wrapper, directly above the hole you just punched. It should be just big enough for the 2 layers of string on the ornament to go through.

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Step 7: Wrapping it Up

Lift top layer of envelope so that it points up.

Place ornament inside pocket.

Pull string/ribbon on ornament through the notch on top.

Fold down top layer of wrapper.

Pull small length of string/ribbon through all the holes near the bottom and tie into a bow that your giftee can easily undo.

A small ‘To:/From:’ label can be easily added!

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All ready to spread Christmas cheer!

As an alternative use: This wrapper is ready to gift any ornament of comparable size.

Use this Neighbor Gift idea to help create a more sustainable holiday for your family and neighborhood.

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