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Get outside: Make a simple pine cone bird feeder

By Elyse Major

I have always liked pine cones. To me, they are like wooden roses in constant bloom. Because my backyard abuts a wooded area, it often looks very much like an autumnal wonderland. One would never know that just days ago, my family and I spent the day collecting fifteen bags of fallen leaves. However, I can’t quite bring myself to bag-up the pine cones so yesterday my boys and I gathered them up for a favorite outdoor craft: pine cone bird feeders.

Pineconecraft-webAfter making many bird feeders and festooning the yard with them, there were still plenty of pine cones left for some outdoor decorating.

pinecone-done-webEven if you don’t have your own backyard, this is a fun take-along activity to do at a local park. Just be sure to watch for aggressive squirrels (Gladys Potter playground devotees will understand).

Bird seed
Twine or string
Peanut butter
Pine cones

Gather pine cones
Cut a piece of twine a yard or two in length and tie one pine cone to each end
Slather peanut butter over each pine cone with a dull spreader
Roll the covered pine cone in bird seed
Hang the pine cones from a tree branch (My boys enjoy this part and aim for high branches, hurling the pine cones high in the air for the twine to catch on a branch)

Elyse Major lives in northern Rhode Island with her husband and 2 sons. A “mostly” stay-at-home mom, Elyse works as a communications consultant for Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island. When she is not avoiding oatmeal raisin cookies, Elyse can be found making things for her Etsy shop, Tinkered Treasures. Elyse’s article “De-Stressing by Distressing: A Mom Embraces Cottage Style” was recently published in Romantic Homes magazine.

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