(Photo by: Jade Hanley)

by Jade Hanley

It’s that time of year: when birds are flying south and squirrels are packing up food for the winter months, but there are still fun arts and crafts that can be done.

For the birds that are still here and the squirrels that are hungry, you can make an animal feeder at almost no cost. Most of the materials can be found around the house or outside.

What you need:

  • A pine cone
  • String
  • Peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • Spoon
  • Bird seed

1.  Precious Pine cones

Pine cones can be found outside or purchased in a craft store. When selecting pine cones, try to get ones where the spikes on the pine cones are separated and not closed. Collect as many pine cones as you would like to make into bird feeders.

2.  Peanut Butter as Glue

Using the spoon, take the peanut butter and apply it generously between the spikes of the pine cones. This is going to act as an adhesive for the bird seed, as well as a fun treat for the animals. Leave the bottom ring of spikes free of peanut butter for later.

3.  Rollin’ in Seed

After the pine cones are covered in peanut butter, either dip them in bird seed, roll them like you would ice cream in sprinkles, or using a spoon, sprinkle the bird seed on top of the peanut butter. You can do this using a clean spoon or with your hands. The more bird seed there is, the happier the animals!

4.  String Them High

After the pine cones are covered, take each pine cone and flip it upside-down. This is how it’s going to hang. Taking the string, tie it around the bottom ring of the pine cone that was left clean from earlier. Then, leave a loop for you to hang the feeder on a tree branch.

5.  Get Creative!

Be creative! Use different types of clusters of pinecones, or hang them at different heights to create different effects. They’ll look great for you, and extra yummy for the critters!