Christmas Tree Turned 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

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

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.

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 bur 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).

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.

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

Burr Oak Acorn Cap Birdseed Cup

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

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

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.

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

Orange Halves on a Chop Stick

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.

Picture of Dana Nichols
Dana Nichols
As conservation manager at SAWS, Dana spent her days promoting beautiful San Antonio landscapes that need little to no water while benefiting Texas wildlife. While she’s no longer whipping up new landscape programs, she’s still 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.
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