Quick and Simple Pine Cone Bird Feeder for Kids

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Want to make a quick and simple craft with your kids outdoors? Then, let’s make a homemade bird feeder from a pine cone with 4 easy steps. This craft provides an excellent opportunity to go exploring outdoors in search of sticks and pine cones. You might want to gather a few pine cones. Just in case you want to make more. Also, I can show you a rustic way to display all your homemade bird feeders.

Scroll down to get started!

Four Pine Cones covered in peanut butter and bird seed handing on a stick by twine with texts Pine Con Bird Feeder and Mud Pies with Sprinkles

First, Explore. Then, Collect.

Firstly, we need to explore the outdoors. You can find so many treasures while taking a walk outdoors. Pine cones. Acorns. Flowers. Sticks. Rocks. The treasures are endless. I always take a small container to collect our finds. If not, I end up with my pockets full of nature. My kids discover beauty in a little patch of moss or the Rolly-Pollies in the crack of the sidewalk. Today, we found beauty in a pine cone. Hence, the pine cone craft.

Wooden bridge over running stream with small waterfall in the Fall with text mud pies with sprinkles

Following our walk, we gathered our collected treasures on a small table outside and started creating. My toddler enjoyed sprinkling and rolling the pine cones in the birdseed. While my youngest tried to sneak a few nibbles of the birdseed.  

Two hands holding a pine cone covered in peanut butter with bird seed on a paper plate sitting on a wooden table outdoors with the text mud pies with sprinkles

With this in mind, the birdseed is not for human consumption. Small pieces may be choking hazards for children 3 years and under. I can attest that they will try to eat it. Also, be careful with nut allergies. If you are not sure of nut allergies, then use an alternative such as sunflower seed butter. 

In general, this craft is appropriate for all ages whether toddlers, teens, adults, or seniors. Toddlers will have a blast spreading the nut butter and rolling the pinecones. While teens can get creative with pops of colors from berries or even make a pine cone tower. Adults and Seniors get the benefits of being outdoors and bonding with each other. So, let’s grab some twine, nut butter, and birdseed and Just Add Nature.

Fun Pine Cone Facts

Did you know that pine cones are either female or male?

Surprisingly, the female pine cones are the woody treasures we often collect. The woody petals are the pine cone’s armor. This armor protects her seeds inside.  

While a male pine cone remains soft and contains pollen. The higher branches hold the female pine cones and the lower branches, the male pine cones.

Did you know that a female pine cone opens and closes based on humidity in the air?

When there is too much moisture in the air, a pine cone closes its wood petals. This makes a safe house for the seed. When the sun comes out and dries the water, the pine cone will open again. The pine cone’s job is to protect her seeds until the warmer weather. This provides the seed with the best opportunity to grow.

In addition to crafting, HERE is a fun hands-on science experiment to observe the opening and closing of the pine cone’s petals.

Let’s talk about birdseed

Indeed, store-bought bird feed will work perfectly for this simple outdoor craft. Bird feed usually contains a mixture of seeds that attract various birds. 

What can I feed birds from the kitchen?

To protect the bird’s tummy, let’s stick with foods found in their natural environment. Kitchen scraps like bananas, berries, apples, pears, raisins, or pumpkin seeds are great options. Basically, you want to provide food that you would typically find birds munching on in the wild. 

Only include foods without processed sugar, added salt, or seasonings. 

Being that berries are sweet and colorful, they are a great addition to bird feed. Sweet berries add a fun pop of color to your homemade bird feeder. Birds are always on the lookout for sweet treats. Just ask my blueberry and strawberry bushes in my garden. 

Are cheerios good for birds?

Unfortunately, Cheerios are not part of a bird’s natural diet. Cheerios contain salt and processed sugars. Therefore, it is not the best option to add to your bird feed. It is best to stick with foods found in their natural environment.

Disclaimer: All activities on this website require adult supervision. Some materials used in crafts or play-based activities pose a choking hazard. Nobody knows your child better than you. Please modify all activities appropriate for your child.

DIY Homemade Pine Cone Bird Feeder for All Ages

Step by Step Pine Cone Bird Feeder Pine cones laying on white paper plate progressively covered with peanut butter and bird seed


  • pine cone
  • twine (6 inches long)
  • nut butter (nut free alternative – sunflower seed butter)
  • birdseed
  • paper plate

Helpful Tools:

  • hot glue gun and 1 glue stick (or sturdy glue)
  • stick or popsicle stick for spreading the nut butter

Step By Step Instructions for DIY Simple and Quick Pine Cone Bird Feeder

  1. First, decide how you want the pine cone to hang. If you glue the twine on the top, it will look like a Christmas tree. If you glue it on the bottom, it will hang like an icicle. Using your hot glue gun, place a small amount of hot glue at the top of the pine cone. Now, insert both ends of the twine. Be careful the glue is hot. Now, you have a pine cone ornament. You want to do this step first before painting it with nut butter. If not, you are in for a mess. 
  2. Next, use a stick to paint the nut butter onto the pine cone. You could also use your finger for a messier option.
  3. Then, pour the birdseed on a paper plate. Now, roll the lathered pine cone in the birdseed. 
  4. Finally, find a place to hang your finished product. A nearby tree or a bird feeder pole works great. But if you are like my family, we made quite a few. Keep scrolling to make a fun stick mobile.

Now, you have a beautifully simple bird feeder made from a pine cone. Great job!

How do you hang multiple pine cone bird feeders?

Lastly, you will need to make a display. One option is to hang the pine cone bird feeders all over a tree like decorating a Christmas tree. Another option is to make this rustic pine cone bird feeder mobile. 

DIY Stick Mobile for Homemade Bird Feeder


  • homemade pine cone bird feeder(s)
  • Medium to large stick
  • Twine (20-25 inches long) 

Step By Step Instructions for DIY Stick Mobile for Homemade Bird Feeder

  1. First, thread the stick through the twine loops attached to each pine cone.
  2. Next, tie the twine to each end of the stick.
  3. Now, it is time to hang your homemade mobile on a tree or bird feeder pole.

Great Job! 

Playing is Learning. Here are some more ideas to keep learning with your kids

To further expand your bird knowledge, the Cornell Lab has a free bird ID app called Merlin Bird. Beware the app is a large file. We find the Sound ID feature the most useful. This has allowed us to become more familiar with the birds in our area.

For instance, I turned on the Sound ID and let it record while we were making our bird feeders. We heard an American Crow, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Jay, Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, and Mourning Dove. Following our craft, gave us the perfect opportunity to learn about the birds in our backyard. 

Three Good Picture Books about Birds

pink outline of an opened book
  1. Nesting by Henry Cole
  2. How to Find a Bird? by Jennifer Ward
  3. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

Pin it for Later!

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Finally, I want to thank you for stopping by! Please say Hi in the comment section and tell me what things your kids like to collect from nature.

– With Great JOY, Katie

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