Introduction: Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder (without a Pinecone)

About: I love to make things and I love my kids. This usually results in me making things with my kids (and lovely wife). Here you will find our adventures and be able to join our family in the making!

This SHOULD be a simple build. It SHOULD take about 20 minutes and about $5.

But, for us it took about 3 hours and we still didn't find a pinecone in the end! Our build journey for this project was fraught with misadventure, wild creatures, and crazy discoveries that you should TOTALLY watch. In the end all of the unexpected roadblocks were what made this project extra fun. Let's get you started on your own bird-feeder adventure by collecting your supplies and then heading to Step 1.



Step 1: Find a Pinecone

So, recently learned from a friend that taking natural things from a park is not cool. Having grown up in the backwoods of Tennessee this was a surprise to me but in hindsight makes sense. Thankfully we didn't find any pinecones when we did look in the park. We found a lot of other crazy stuff though.

You should probably get your pinecones from a friend's yard or, if you live in the city, simply order them online: or buy them locally. Unless you are sure you know where to find them you're going to spend about the same amount in gas and time hunting down those suckers!

An alternative to pinecones is the cone-like woody fruit of the Magnolia tree. You can see a picture of one above that we found in our front yard. They can perform the same function of a pinecone and definitely saved our project when after two hours of traipsing through the woods we returned home only to find these in our front yard!

Step 2: Apply Peanut Butter

Cover your cone with peanut butter to provide both a rich fatty substance for those birds to feed on and a sticky surface to adhere to the birdseed. I personally know a number of guys that started Good Spread which is a non-profit that sells peanut butter in order to fund hunger and malnutrition alleviation. If that is something you think is cool, here is a link to order their product: This project just became awesome.

Step 3: Coat With Birdseed

The kids really enjoyed this part! Placing the peanut-butter covered cones on a cookie sheet kept the mess under control and allowed us to pour birdseed over the peanut butter and then roll the cones in the seed to thoroughly coat them.

Step 4: Hang Feeder

Using about 3 feet (1 meter) of string, tie one end to the cone and another to an over-hanging branch. Make sure to hang the feeder far from other branches or squirrels will likely be able to reach and destroy it (speaking from experience). Lastly, give it a day or two and birds will begin to discover and enjoy your new creation.


Thanks for joining us in this adventure! If you enjoy spending time with your kids and would appreciate fresh ideas and inspiration weekly, consider subscribing to my youtube channel where I do a weekly project with my own kids. I would love to have you join our family!