Gifts for the birds
For the next few weeks I’m going to save you from the shopping mall and post some easy holiday gift ideas you can make at home. First up, gifts for the birds.
These little bird feeders are incredibly quick and easy to make. I usually have all the materials lying around the house already. Even better, I get the kids involved and make it a family affair. They love it.
You will need:
- pine cones or stale bagels
- peanut butter
- bird seed (you can buy seed in manageable quantities from the bulk store)
- string or ribbon
If your pine cones are sticky with sap, line a tray with foil and bake them in a 200F oven for about 20 minutes. (If you happen to get sap on your hands during this process, rub them with a bit of shortening and then wash the whole mess off with dishsoap and you’ll be sap-free in no time.)
The pine cones will open up a bit more during baking and won’t be as sticky, and as a bonus, your house will smell amazing. After the pine cones cool down a bit they are ready to be decorated with seeds! (If you don’t have any pine cones, stale bagels work well too.)
Using a knife, smear your pine cone or bagel all over with the peanut butter. The PB can be crunchy or smooth (it doesn’t really matter) but I like to cut mine with a bit of bacon fat. It’s good for the birds, and gives meÂ a reason to use the bacon fat I’ve been saving all year long. (Grandma would be proud.) Roll the pine cones or bagels in your seed mixture, thread a string or ribbon through them and you’re done! If you’re using bagels you can also just hang them on the branches. See? Easy.
Decorate your trees, or your neighbour’s trees (!) as a gift. It makes a lovely and festive decoration, especially now that the leaves are gone. Our feathered friends will thank you.