Simple Pine Cone Bird Feeder

This winter, we made a simple pine cone bird feeder to feed the winter birds in our yard. You will love this simple, quick kid’s craft that helps kick the cabin fever and gives everyone in the family something to watch from the windows.

kid craft pine cone bird feeder

Winter is creeping along and we are still trying to get outside every day, even if it is just for a little bit. In the morning, I hear the few winter birds that remain in our yard singing as the sun comes up.

It made me think about how nice it would be to make them a few birdie snacks for our yard, Not only would the birds appreciate it, but so would we as we watch them nibble from our windows, so I decided to have the kids make them these simple pine cone bird feeders.

The best thing about this craft is that it doesn’t take a lot of time, supplies, or make a huge mess if done the right way. The worst part is cleaning up peanut buttered hands, which isn’t too bad.

To prepare, I had Liam go on a pine cone hunt in our yard for our bird feeder craft. He came back with a bag full. I brought them in to tie on twine and quickly realized that they were filled with hundreds of bugs.

I should have known that something that has been outdoors for months would be filled with critters, but it slipped my mind.

I remembered several years back how I collected acorns and baked them on a low temperature to make sure any bugs in them wouldn’t be finding their way out of the acorns. With that thought, I quickly decided to bake them to kill the bugs. Easy fix.

pine cones laid out on the counter

Prepare the Pine Cones

  • To prepare your pine cones, soak them in water for 5 minutes
  • Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet
  • Bake at 200°F for an hour to an hour and a half.

That should be enough to kill anything hiding in your pine cones and now they are prepped and ready!

Pine Cone Bird Feeder Supplies

  • Pine Cones- the best pine cones are the ones with firm cone scales, but any pine cone will work
  • Bird Seed (most grocery stores carry “wild bird” seed)
  • Peanut Butter- you can use any nut butter or even honey
  • Twine- yarn, twine, or string will work

Steps for making Simple Pine Cone Bird Feeders

  1. Soak and then Bake your pine cones to kill bugs
  2. Tie a length of twine to the top of your pine cone so you can hang it outside
  3. Place a small square of parchment paper on the table where each kiddo will do his/her craft
  4. Put a large spoonful of creamy peanut butter on one corner of the parchment paper
  5. Pour Bird seed in a dish large enough to roll the pine cones in
  6. Have kids smear peanut butter on the pine cones, smearing in the direction of the pine cone petals
  7. Once covered, roll the pine cones in the bird seed.
  8. Hang outside for birds to enjoy!
pine cones rolled in bird seed

To be honest, this is one of the easiest crafts I’ve done with the kids in a long time. Yes, they had peanut butter on their hands. Yes, I had to vacuum up some bird seed, but it wasn’t much at all and the kids loved getting to put their hands to something.

Sometimes, that’s all we need to get us through these long, winter days- something to put our hands to.

Now, we wait and watch for little chickadees to come nibble on our pine cone bird feeders.

Tips for Making These Bird Feeders

  • Pour the bird seed into a baking sheet or dish with tall sides. This makes it easy to roll the pine cones, but it also keeps the bird seed contained
  • Tie the twine on the pine cones prior to adding the peanut butter and bird seed.
  • I prefer the twine to be cut about 10 inches long, but do what you prefer.
  • Be generous with the peanut butter so the bird seed has something to hold on to.
  • If you don’t have access to pine cones in your yard, most craft stores and amazon carry them.
  • Hang your pine cones where you can observe the birds from the windows. The squirrels enjoy them, too!

Substitutions and Variations

This craft is very forgiving and you can use, basically, whatever you can find to make it. Below are some variations in case you don’t have some of the supplies.

  • If you don’t have pine cones, you can use old toilet paper rolls or even sturdy sticks you find in your yard! I’ve even seen them done with ice cream cones!
  • Honey or another nut butter is a great substitution if you don’t have regular peanut butter.
  • Bird seed is easy to find, but you can also use other food seeds and even dried fruit!

Simple Pine Cone Bird Feeder Video Tutorial

I filmed a step-by-step video tutorial walking you through how to create your own bird seed feeders.

I hope this video shows you how simple and fast this craft is. It is a yearly tradition now and the kids cannot wait to do it again and watch the birds (and squirrels) flock to the pine cones!

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Simple Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Make this simple pine cone bird feeder to help our little outdoor friends stay healthy during the cold months.
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Yield: 4 bird feeders
Author: Liz Quick
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • baking sheet
  • twine
  • bird seed

Materials

  • 1 bag wild bird bird seed
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 8 pine cones
  • 8 strings of twine

Instructions

  • Soak and then Bake your pine cones to kill bugs
  • Tie a length of twine to the top of your pine cone so you can hang it outside
  • Place a small square of parchment paper on the table where each kiddo will do his/her craft
  • Put a large spoonful of creamy peanut butter on one corner of the parchment paper
  • Pour Bird seed in a dish large enough to roll the pine cones in
  • Have kids smear peanut butter on the pine cones, smearing in the direction of the pine cone petals
  • Once covered, roll the pine cones in the bird seed.
  • Hang outside for birds to enjoy!

Notes

Prepare the Pine Cones

  • To prepare your pine cones, soak them in water for 5 minutes
  • Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet
  • Bake at 200°F for an hour to an hour and a half.

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