Pine Cone Bird Feeders

A Fun Activity for Kids of Any Age

My new home is on a heavily wooded lot.  The back yard is bordered by a creek.  It is the perfect spot to hang bird feeders.

So my two year old grandson and I decided to make some.  It was so much fun and sooo eaassyyyy, we thought we would pass this easy to do craft on to my hub-friends.

All You Need

This is what you will need on hand.

  • Pine cones-the bigger the better. In this part of Atlanta, they are everywhere and free
  • Peanut butter
  • A solid fat-I used coconut oil as I had it on hand. If you can get ahold of suet or bacon fat, it can be melted down and used.  Butter or lard, any solid fat will do.  Stay away from solid vegetable oil if you can.
  • A quality bird seed mixture
  • String or fishing line
  • Large bowl for mixing
  • Wooden spoon or other large spoon
  • Something plastic to pour out or roll the pine cones in

Making the Oil Mix

To make the peanut butter oil mixture

Melt the solid oil and mix in the peanut butter--that's why I like coconut oil, at 78 degrees F it is liquid.

Roll the pine cone in the mixture or drizzle it over the pine cone filling in all the nooks and crannies

How much, I don't know, I just guestamated. It was fairly liquidy to start with. It will harden up as the solid fat re-hardens.

Bird seed and peanut butter mix
Bird seed and peanut butter mix

Next the String for Hanging

I used baby yarn for string-it's what I had on hand and I always make do with what I have but...I think the squirrels will make quick work of the string. So next time I will use fishing line instead.

Tie the string around on end of the pine cone. I did two tied at the top and two tied at the bottom to see which will work best.

Now for the messy part.

Roll or Pour - Pick Your Poison

We started by rolling the peanut butter pine cones in the bird seed that had been placed in a shallow plastic pan.

Then I had a better idea. I had a small plastic watering can. One of those one piece jobs with no seams and no top. We simply filled it with seeds and poured it over the pine cones. Things went much faster after that.

This simple watering can also makes it easy to pour bird seed
This simple watering can also makes it easy to pour bird seed

Nothing Better

There may be bird feeders out there that are more sophisticated and better looking but:

  • they are not cheap, what can be cheaper than free pine cones, store brand peanut butter, bird seed and string? and
  • A morning spent with a grandchild

The Vote is In

By the end of the day the nuthatches and the Carolina chickadees were having a ball flying between the four bird feeders.

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Comments 15 comments

Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 6 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

reddog: I love making those kinds of feeders..and a 50 lob sack of mixed food from the feed store goes a long way...This was a great hub...many blessings to you and yours always!!!

Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 6 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

Came back and voted this up as a good thing for parents to do with their children and especially on days when they need a creative activity!

reddog1027 profile image

reddog1027 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

Thanks much WMH! My grandson and I had a blast. We have more pine cones and will be adding more pics soon

Sandyksk profile image

Sandyksk 6 years ago from Sanger

Thanks you! I knew I saved those pinecones for something! Can't wait to make these...very useful...the birds will thank you this winter! :))

Varenya profile image

Varenya 5 years ago

Thanks from me... and from the birds too :) It's really a pretty idea, I will try it for sure!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

When I was a child in Wisconsin my parents always hung suit in the everygreen trees each winter. With or without birdseed embedded it helped feed them and give them nourishment to make it through the cold days of winter.

This is a great hub and one that is also fun for kids to do as a project. Bet you would be a great girlscout/boyscout leader! Rating this useful.

reddog1027 profile image

reddog1027 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

Thanks Peggy W.

suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

These are so cool and would rid the problem of rats maybe. I love to feed the birds but they kick the seed out of the feeder and it lands in my back yard below my first floor balcony where the feeder is hanging. The rats find the seeds, start making holes and move in. Does much of the seed fall off?

reddog1027 profile image

reddog1027 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

No actually it doesn't. Another thing that I found that works well with not to much waste is to string popcorn and cranberries and hand them up. The birds can reach them but critters can't.

suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

That's cool. Thanks a lot for that tip.

reddog1027 profile image

reddog1027 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author


reddog1027 profile image

reddog1027 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

Actually very little falls off as it is stuck in the peanut butter.

Ghaelach 2 years ago

Hi Carol.

I like this idea of using the pine cones.

I suppose you could use any fat that sets back hard. I'm just on with one of last years feeders that needs a bit of maintanence on it.

It's probably wrong but I like having the bird feeders out in the summer over at our caravan. It's wonderful sitting there and watching the little blue-tits and friends swinging up-side down pecking at the bird seed.

LOL Ghaelach

pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 2 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

I loved you article as I too live on a piece of land that has an open field surrounded by woods. Unfortunately, my pine cones are buried under several feet of snow. So, I have taken to using old paper towel tubes and toilet paper tubes, covering them in cheap peanut butter with a drizzle of honey and then rolling them in my own seed mixture. Then I place the tubes on tree branches and fence posts. The animals love their tasty morsels.

reddog1027 profile image

reddog1027 2 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

What a great idea!!!! I am sure that my critter, squirrels and birds, will love them.

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