DIY KIDS NATURE

DIY: Pine Cone Bird Feeder

March 21st, 2013 2 Comments

Pine Cone Bird FeederWhen I lived in Michigan (USA) there was only so many things you could do outside in the cold before freezing.  🙂  This wonderful little bird feeder is one thing you can do inside.  It’s a simply, fun and natural craft that I remember as a kid.  So grab the children and dig in!

 

Not only is this a great craft to do (with or without kids) it can add such beauty to your outdoors.  Birds love these, and the materials used are all natural (except for the bit you hang it with).  Place them in gardens, near windows, on fences, basically anywhere that you would like to watch nature enjoy it.

Now I must apologize to those who live in areas that don’t have pine trees (and subsequently, pine cones), but I will post something for you soon.  😉  For those of you who have pine trees, and pine cones, you are going to have plenty of supplies to work with.

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Pine Cones (as many as you want to make)
  • Peanut Butter (Smooth or Crunchy) or Honey
  • Bird Seed or Nuts & Berries
  • A Spatula, Butter Knife, or Spoon
  • Twine, Yarn, Ribbon or Craft “Pipe Cleaners” (for hanging)
  • Newspaper
  • 2 Bowls (medium to large size)

 

What To Do:

  • Go out and get your pine cones!  Be sure they are fully open, any size will do, but the larger the better.
  • Set down your newspaper over your work area, because this craft tends to get messy (at least the kids will love it).
  • Take your chosen hanging material and tie it to the top, thinner, portion of the cone.  I usually use at least 60-90cm (2-3feet).
  • If using peanut butter (PB), mix the PB in a bowl with your chosen bird food.  Mix well.  I like to make sure there is more bird food than peanut butter.  (about 1 – 1 ½ cups feed to ½ cup peanut butter)
  • (PB)  Place extra bird food in second bowl.
  • (PB)  Using a knife/spatula, or fingers, and place the PB mix as deeply into the cone’s opened petals as you can get.
  • (PB)  Once packed full, spread more PB mix along the outside of the cone.
  • (PB)  Take your coated cone and roll it firmly into the extra bird food bowl.
  • If using honey (H), no need to mix with bird food (but you can if you want).  You will still need both bowls though.
  • *(H)  Take a cone and hold it over the empty bowl.  Using a spoon, drizzle the honey into the open cone.
  • (H)  Once honey is in, sprinkle or place your bird food inside the cone.
  • (H)  Just like with the peanut butter, spread it on the outside and roll the cone in the bird food.
  • That’s it!  Once you have your cone(s) covered hang them up outside and watch the cuteness of nature.

 

 

*TIP (H):  If you want the honey to be less runny, and therefore easier to place on the cone, stick it in the fridge until it firms up a bit.

TIP:  To seal your feed to the cones place them in the freezer for about an hour.

TIP:  Be sure that whatever you use to hang your cones with is strong and sturdy, as birds will be perched on them.

TIP:  If you want a completely natural project buy some natural twine.  😉

TIP:  You can bake your pine cones (pre-decorating) at 95-120C (200-250F).  For small cones, 20 minutes is enough. Larger cones may take up to an hour.  Heat opens the pine cones, releases seeds, and glazes or hardens the sap or resin.

 

Conversation Starters:

  • Have you done this project before?
  • What do you do if you don’t have Pine Cones?

 

 

 

About the author

I’m a Goth/Hippie who loves to try new things and dabbles in anything and everything that I find enjoyment in. That can include but is not limited to, cooking, art, digital design, jewellery making, photography, gardening, nature, animals and whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m an optimistic (occasionally) perfectionist (constantly), who can be very sarcastic (incessantly), but all in good humour. :)

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