Holiday Project: Pinecone Bird Feeder
This one is an oldie but a goodie. It's a wonderful afternoon project to do with kids, and a nice gift for your neighborhood birds.
First, cover your work surface with newspaper. If you're worried about getting peanut butter in your carpet, then don't work over a carpeted floor.
Gather a bunch of pinecones. You can use any size you like. Some craft stores sell them, but I'd be careful of these - often, they've been soaked in fragrance oils, and this isn't so healthy for birds.
If your pinecones aren't very open, then you can put them in a warm oven (250 degrees) for a while to open them up. If you do this, be sure you have good ventilation as the scent of baking pine cone may not be your cup of tea.
I like to use pipecleaners to make a little hanger for my pine cone. Just wrap the pipecleaner snugly around the top of the pine cone, and twist the ends together a little. If you're fresh out of pipecleaners, you can just tie a length of yarn tightly around the top of the pine cone.
Now, load up a spatula with peanut butter.
Push as much peanut butter as you can into your pine cone, filling all those little spaces between scales.
Work your way around the pine cone until you've covered it in peanut butter.
Next, pour some birdseed into a shallow dish. Roll your pine cone through the birdseed, pressing firmly so you embed lots of seed into that peanut butter.
Make as many of these as you like. (Pie plates are handy for resting your finished feeders in, so they won't get oil on anything.) If possible, I like to let them sit out overnight, so the peanut butter can harden a little bit.
Now, take your feeders outside, and find a nice tree with strong branches. To hang your feeder, just twist the ends of the pipecleaner around the tree branch.
. . . Then stand back and wait for the feeding frenzy!
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