Crafts to Chirp About: Pine Cone Feeders

by
Johanna Gross

Between the prolonged days of cold and rain, you might find yourself going a bit crazy if you’re cooped up in the house with bored kids. Here’s a simple craft idea to keep little hands busy until the warmth of spring finally arrives—and stays for more than a day or two!

Pine cone feeders are an easy and affordable craft to attract local birds.

Here’s what you’ll need.

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pine cones

string

peanut butter

wild bird seed

scissors 

a knife

a plate

Most of these materials can be found in your house or backyard. I had to go out and find some pine cones, but that wasn’t a problem. Just a quick walk on the greenway and voila! 

Step 1: Tie the string around the top of the pine cone.

Cut 10-12 inches of string for each pine cone. Take one end and tie the string around the base on the pine cone, preferably underneath the first row of scales. This makes sure that the pine cone won’t fall to the ground. Also, this prevents you from trying to tie the string later and getting peanut butter everywhere. 

Step 2: Put peanut butter on the pine cone.

Now here is where things can get a little messy. With the knife, slather peanut butter onto the pine cone. Make sure to get it into every nook and cranny you can. 

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Step 3: Roll it in bird seed.

Now I used a bowl for this, but you’ll want to use a plate, especially if you have a longer pine cone. Pour some seed onto the plate so that it covers the plate. Next, as carefully as you can, roll the pine cone in the bird seed until it is completely covered with seeds. 

Step 4: Hang it up!

Now you have your very own pine cone bird feeder! Find a nice place to hang it up, preferably in a tree somewhere. Make sure it’s not to close to any of your windows. The last thing you want is for your kids to be looking out the window and have a bird accidentally fly into it.

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Enjoy your visitors, and let us know which birds you see snacking on your pine cone feeder at gatewaynaturecenter@gmail.com.

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Johanna Gross is a senior studying Creative Writing and Environmental Studies at Salem College. She has always had a deep love of words and the outdoors but has always wondered how to combine her two passions. Now she has. She is currently a writing intern at the Gateway Nature Preserve and is enjoying seeing the intersection of her favorite hobbies.