Christmas Tree Bird Feeder

Christmas Tree Bird Feeder

Before you haul your holiday pine or fir to the brush/compost pile, decorate it one more time — this time as a bird feeder.

The weekend after New Year’s Eve is usually when the Christmas tree comes down in our house. I usually cut it up and add it to my brush/compost pile where it slowly decomposes and also provides some winter cover for the small song birds that spend winter in our yard.

But this year I decided to decorate it one more time, this time as a bird feeder. I took all the ornaments and lights off, left it in its sturdy stand and placed it in a good spot in our yard. Then I made some bird seed decorations. The whole project only took about an hour.

Acorn Garland

A-Gather-Supplies

Gather your supplies: acorns (mine were from red oaks and burr oaks), glue gun, glue sticks, string or yarn, creamy peanut butter, birdseed, scissors, butter knife, wax paper.

B-String-Attach-Glue

Step 1:When the hot glue is ready put a dollop on the flat end of the acorn and quickly lay the string across the glue. Hold for a few seconds until glue hardens. Position the first acorn about 5 inches in from the end of the string.

C-Garland-Hint

Repeat Step 1 for as long as you like, spacing the acorns about 5 inches apart. I ended up with a pattern of five red oak acorns, one burr oak acorn, five red oak, and so on. Hint: as you add acorns to your garland lay them out so it doesn’t get tangled (I learned this the hard way).

D-Dip-Acorn

Step 2: Slather creamy peanut butter on each of the acorns and then dip or roll in birdseed. Hint: line a shallow box or cookie sheet with wax paper and carefully snake garland on to it as you complete each acorn.

E-Happy-Mockingbird

Now hang your garland on your tree. The mockingbirds have really taken to mine!

Burr Oak Acorn Cap Birdseed Cup

Supplies: Burr oak acorn cap, floral wire or similar, hot glue gun, glue sticks, birdseed.

Step 1: Cut the wire to 6-inch lengths.

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Step 2: Take one end of the wire and twist it in a circle molding it to the stem end of the cap. If a piece of the stem is present you can wrap it around that. Set aside.

Step 3: Liberally apply a dollop of glue to the wire-loop-covered area.

Step 4: Quickly press the wire into the glue. Hold for a few seconds.

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Step 5: Wire the cup to a sturdy limb and fill with birdseed.

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Orange Halves on a Chop Stick

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Supplies: Small orange, chop sticks

Step 1: Cut orange in half, skewer from the peel side through the middle.

Step 2: Slip chop stick into denser branches which will likely be toward the top of the tree.

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Dana Nichols

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Dana Nichols

As conservation manager at SAWS, Dana gets to spend her days promoting beautiful San Antonio landscapes that need little to no water while benefiting Texas wildlife. When she’s not working with her talented co-workers whipping up new landscape programs, she’s cooking up delicious dinners made with fresh herbs from her low-water-use garden or planning the next trip with her husband, Rick -- preferably to some exotic place that requires a passport.