I created this homemade bird feeder for AY's "How To" feature a couple of years ago and thought I would post it here as a fun "almost-springtime" project to do with kids, or just for yourself if you really like birds. It's cold out, they are hungry.
1 block of floral foam
package of wire wood picks
a bouquet of evergreen branches
1 package of cranberries
1 bag of birdseed
needle and thread
- Take a walk around your neighborhood and collect cedar, fir, magnolia, holly, pine, spruce or juniper to name a few. Cut branches down to 2 to 6 inches.
- Attach branches to wire wood picks by wrapping end of branch to top of wood pick, letting the two overlap for added strength. Wrap wire around branch and insert wood pick into floral foam.
- Go around the outside edges of the foam; first with longer branches, and work your way to the top of foam with shorter, thicker branches alternating plant types for variation until foam is mostly hidden.
- Double-thread your needle and begin stringing cranberries on about three feet of thread. Repeat using popped popcorn or alternate for variation. Drape cranberry and popcorn strings around branches. Slice orange into a few round slices and coat edges in peanut butter.
- Cover pine cones in peanut butter and roll in a birdseed mix. Roll peanut butter-covered edges of orange slices in birdseed.
- Place oranges and pine cones in the arrangement using wood picks if necessary.
- Place arrangement on a patio table, porch banister or in a hanging basket to attract beautiful winter birds to your yard. Spray evergreens with water to help them last longer and replenish your birdseed and fruits when necessary. Happy birding!
-From AY Magazine, January 2008