Get outside: Make a simple pine cone bird feeder

[ 14 ] November 14, 2009 |

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.

Category: activities: outdoor, crafts, kids, nature/science, preschool, tweens

Elyse Major

about the author ()

Elyse (Press) Major has been creative since childhood. In addition to being a longtime contributor to Kidoinfo, Elyse has authored craft and DIY home décor books, and been featured in, produced projects and written for many home décor publications. She lives in her beloved Rhode Island with her awesome boys and husband. Follow Elyse / tinkered treasures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog

Comments (14)

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  1. laura says:

    can the peanut butter be substituted for something else?

  2. Bridget says:

    not only fun but good for the birds!

  3. Suzyn says:

    Awesome idea! I will try it today!!

  4. Bethany says:

    Oh fun. And yummy for the birds. I love your image of pinecones as wooden roses constantly in bloom. I don’t know if I’ve ever made one of these, but they’ve always fascinated me and I’m glad to know just the proper steps now. I like the hurling up into the tree things too. Fun for adults too.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lizzie Davis says:

    This looks like a really cool idea!…and they look so sweet hanging from the tree!…I bet kids will love doing this….It’s a terrific idea for teachers to use in the classroom, too..simple and inexpensive!!…NICE!!!!

  6. Rema says:

    Great idea! We’ve done this with bread, but I like the pinecones even better!

  7. Elyse Major elyse says:

    to answer laura’s question: i’m sure any edible sticky substance could work, like honey. thank you.

  8. jane says:

    my kids would LOVE this!


  9. Alda says:

    This looks like a great idea! Hopefully with no rain I can do this with my kids today. Thanks!

  10. V:) says:

    I too love pine cones! What a great idea. We will try it thursday when the kids are home from school. Thanks!

  11. My daughter’s preschool class made these…with a variation. Because a little boy in the class has a nut allergy, the teacher subsituted icing (store bought is fine) for the peanut butter. Either way, they are cute and simple!

  12. looks like fun, thanks for the post, love the pictures ! !

  13. jdlw says:

    You could also use crisco (vegetable shortening) or lard in place of the peanut butter (it would provide a source of fat which the birds need during the cold winter!)

  14. a good bird seed is of course Sunflower seeds, birds like them coz they are tasty`;’

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