Lots of families make garlands out of candy or popcorn to use when decorating their Christmas trees. It’s a simple project that the whole family can do together.
Did you know that edible garlands are also great for attracting birds and other small animals to your yard in the winter? Here’s how to make a beautiful decorative garland that the critters will find absolutely irresistible with mostly things that you’ll probably find in your kitchen without a trip to the store. (Especially helpful if you’re still under snow from this weekend and itching to do something fun and creative ;))
What You Need
* Raffia or twine
* Large sail maker’s needle
* Unsalted peanuts with shells intact
* Small pine cones
* Peanut butter
* Butter knife
* Pie plate
* Unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
* Soft dried fruits such as cranberries, dates and raisins
* Sunflower seeds in the hulls
* Plain Cheerios cereal
* Millet sprays
1. Cut a piece of raffia or twine to about a foot longer than length that you want your finished garland to be. Thread the needle with it.
2. Securely tie a peanut to the end of the string. This will keep the items you string on from falling off.
3. Using the butter knife, spread peanut butter onto the small pine cones. Place some birdseed into a pie plate and roll the peanut butter-covered cones in it.
4. Thread the treats, including the pine cones, onto the string in a pattern or at random.
5. Use small pieces of the raffia or twine to tie millet sprays onto the garland at regular intervals.
6. When the garland is filled to about 6 inches from the end, tie on another peanut to keep everything in place.
7. Hang the strand of garland on an outdoor tree, and watch as the birds eagerly devour it!
* You can make clean-up easier by making this project outdoors. When you’re done, you can leave anything you dropped for the birds to eat.
* If making this project with small children, close supervision should be provided to prevent injury from the sharp needle.
* Feel free to add more items to your garland. Just make sure they’re safe for birds and other small animals to eat. They should be all natural, with no salt, butter or other unnecessary additives.
* If you want the birds to come even closer, try looping the garland around the rails on your front porch.
* Make sure the garland is kept out of the reach of pets and small children. They might decide that they would like a snack and destroy it.