Garden Therapy Notes

 A Collection of Gardening Information and Inspiration



November 4, 2012


Pinecone Bird Feeders

An Easy HT Activity For Autumn

Making pinecone bird feeders has become an annual tradition for some of my Horticultural Therapy groups. We usually make a batch of 16-20 birdfeeders and then freeze them. Most of the bird feeders are later sold at a bazaar.


  • medium-large pinecones
  • brown string
  • peanut butter (Allergy Alert - the peanut butter can be substituted with suet, shortening or soybean peanut butter)
  • cups
  • wide popsicle sticks or spoons
  • wax paper
  • bird seed
  • decorative ribbon
  • scissors
  • plates

This project starts a few weeks prior to the activity. First we collect pinecones and bring them inside to dry. Collect enough pinecones so that everyone can have a least two.


Encourage participants to take a close look at the pinecone. Which is the top? Which is the bottom? Are there seeds inside?


1.Tie brown string to the top of the pinecone with a double knot. The string will be used to tie the bird feeder to a tree branch, fence or hanger.

pine cone with string

2. Distribute the peanut butter in cups with wide popsicle sticks. Place a few plates on the table with bird seed. Have large pieces of wax paper ready to wrap the bird feeders.

peanut butter in cup

3. Hold the pinecone upside down and smear peanut butter all over it. Participants requiring assistance can be partnered with a peer or volunteer.

peanut butter on pinecone

4. Roll the pinecone in the bird seed.

rolling pinecone in bird seed

5. Place the finished pinecone on a large piece of wax paper and wrap with a decorative ribbon. They can be kept in a freezer until they are needed. 

pinecone bird feeder on waxed paper

wrapped pinecone feeder

 pinecone bird feeder in tree

Happy Growing,

Trina Alix

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