Your kids will love watching wild birds eat the seeds off this DIY pinecone bird feeder in your yard. This bird feeder craft is simple to make and takes less than 10 minutes to make.
If your kids are like mine, you probably have at least dozen pinecones in your house. They love to pick up anything interesting on nature walks or hikes and pinecones are at the top of the list for fun things to look for in nature.
Besides cute crafts like the pinecone snowy owl, what else can you do with the pinecones? Making a pinecone bird feeder is an excellent way to bring more nature to your house, especially in the cold winter months when food becomes scarce for wild birds.
This pinecone bird feeder craft is easy to make at home or in the classroom. Your preschoolers, kindergarteners, and elementary school kids will love slathering the peanut butter on the pinecone and then rolling them in bird seed.
If you are concerned with peanut allergy, you can substitute the peanut butter with almond butter or sunflower seed butter. And if you can’t find pinecones, there is also the option of purchasing them on Amazon. If you are using pinecones you find on the ground, try to collect ones that have open cone scales so you can fit more bird seeds in between the scales. Also double-check to make sure there are no little bugs or critters in the pinecones before you give it to your kids for the craft!
How to Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder
- Dried, open pine cones
- Peanut butter
- Bird food
- Popsicle stick
- Paper plate
- Twine or string
1. Cut a piece of twine or string about twice the length you would want the pinecone to hang down from the tree.
Tie a knot around the tip of the pinecone with the piece of twine or string. Do this before covering your pinecone with peanut butter to avoid a huge mess! I made two knots to ensure that the pinecone will not fall when we hang it up.
Tie the ends of the twine together. Now you have a loop to hang the pinecone wherever you wish.
2. Use the popsicle stick and spread the peanut butter onto the pinecone. The peanut butter will act as glue so that the bird seeds can stick to the pinecone. Make sure you also insert the popsicle stick with peanut butter in between the scales as well as all around the pinecone.
I suggest holding the pinecone by the twine while you cover it in peanut butter. If you place the pinecone down on any surface, the peanut butter will come off. I only placed it down on the paper plate to take a picture for you to see the process.
If you are working with small children, don’t worry about them spreading the peanut butter evenly around the whole pinecone. As long as there is some peanut butter, the bird seed should be able to stick to the pinecone. And if your kid put too much peanut butter on the pinecone, that just means more bird seed will be on the bird feeder.
3. Pour some bird food on the paper plate. Grabbing your pinecone bird feeder by the twine, carefully roll it in the bird seeds. Continue rolling until the entire pinecone is covered with bird seeds.
If you are having trouble getting the bird seeds in between the scales or near the twine, feel free to use your other hand to sprinkle more bird seeds in areas that are hard to reach by rolling.
4. Your pinecone bird feeder is done and ready to be hung up! I recommend hanging it from a branch that is visible from inside the house. This way, your children can keep an eye on the bird feeder and get excited whenever they see a bird eating from it!
Can Birds Eat Peanut Butter?
One of my son’s first questions when doing this bird feeder activity was “Is peanut butter safe for birds to eat?” The answer is yes, peanut butter can serve as a high-protein, high-fat, and high-calorie snack for the birds.
If you live in a hot climate, watch out that the peanut butter might turn rancid if left out for too long. Also, the oil might separate or the peanut butter might become soft and runny in the heat. That’s why this pinecone bird feeder is a good activity to do in the winter. If you are doing it in the spring or fall, make sure to pick a tree that has plenty of shade to hang your pinecone bird feeders. I do not recommend doing this craft in the middle of the summer.
When choosing which peanut butter to use for this homemade bird feeder craft, make sure to choose one that has as few additives as possible. Get one that contains only fresh peanut butter with no salt or sugar added is the best.