DIY Feeder: How to Create a Holiday Tree for Backyard Birds

When hungry birds come calling this holiday season, give them a treat they’ll love: a holiday tree decorated just for them. It’s festive and provides another way for you to watch the birds this season. Best yet, it provides birds with natural shelter and a fun way to get the nutrients they need.

In winter months, feeding the backyard birds is so important for these reasons. This creative DIY outdoor craft will take about an hour as a great way to keep the birds fed at the start of this cold season. Start now as it may take time for the birds to find their new favorite food source!

What You’ll Need:

Step 1: Make the Birdseed Ornaments

These awesome instructions are adapted from Little Bins for Little Hands. Make extra items to redecorate your tree throughout the month as birds devour your creation!

  1. Prep your gelatin according to the package (Typically, this is a matter of mixing gelatin with cold water, then adding boiling water until it dissolves).
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of corn syrup and stir.
  3. Mix in birdseed. We chose our Birders’ Blend as it’s great for permanent winter residents like cardinals and woodpeckers.
  4. Spoon the seed mixture into your cookie cutters. Press the seed mixture firmly into the cookie cutters with a sheet of parchment paper (this keeps the seed from sticking to your hands).
  5. Cut your straws into 2-inch pieces and press into the top of your ornament to make a hole for hanging.
  6. Let your ornaments chill on a cookie sheet in the fridge overnight.
  7. Take the straws out and thread string through the holes.

Step 2: String Together Your Peanuts

Thread string or strong thread through your needle and push through each peanut’s shell until you have a long string to hang. Peanut strings look best when threading through the longest part of the peanut, with string coming out from each narrow end. Please note – if you’re making this craft with kids, it’s best to have an adult handle this part!

Pro tip: Birds that love peanuts include woodpeckers, jays, and titmice.

Step 3: Prep Fruit Ornaments

Cranberries, oranges, and apples make beautiful edible ornaments. All you need to do is thread your cranberries like you did with your peanuts, then slice up oranges and apples. Hook craft wire through the edge of each slice and curl up the other end of the wire to create an ornament hook.

Step 4: Hang Treat Bells

Our treat bells are conveniently ready-to-hang and made with ingredients birds love like honey, sunflower, safflower, millet, cracked corn, and peanut hearts. All you’ll need is a piece of string to hang each bell on your tree.

Ready to get started? Print or save this graphic as a reminder of everything you’ll need, and a visual guide to what each ornament should look like!

As always, you can get advice from our expert birders on our blog and find the best in backyard birdseed, feeders, and more on our website. If you’d like to try another craft, our DIY Bird Feeder Holiday Wreath is always a big hit with the backyard birdies.

Happy birding!