How to: Make Edible Christmas Baubles for Birds

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Creating homespun Christmas decorations is great fun, but why not make a few that garden birds can enjoy too? These edible baubles are great for decorating an outdoor tree or shrub for the festive period, with the added bonus of built-in bird food for our feathered friends. 

The basic idea starts with pine cones combined with pre-bought fat cakes – you can then customise the edible embellishments depending on the look you’re trying to achieve and the birds you’re hoping to attract. This is also a great project to try with children – they’ll love the sticky process of creating the baubles, along with the thrill of lending a hand to garden birds. 

You'll need:

  • Pine cones
  • Fine wire 
  • Dobbies fat cakes for birds
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Berries from the garden or from Skimmia and other plants available in-store at Dobbies. 
  • Garden twine

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1. Attach thin wire to the top of the pine cones. This will be used to secure the finished feeder in position outside. Children may need a little help with the fiddly wire. 

2. Press chunks of pre-bought fat cake into the cone. Keep it at room temperature for a couple of hours first to make it easy to handle. It’s a bit messy but kids will love it!

3. Embellish the cones with nuts and seeds, depending on the birds you’re hoping to attract. Create a decorative look by arranging them in lines or a simple pattern.

4. Decorate the hanging wire by threading it with foraged berries. This will add a splash of festive colour and help to attract the birds. 

5. Finish off the baubles with bows made from garden twin. Attach them to the wire where it’s attached to the cone – it doesn’t need to be perfect.

6. Hang the cones in trees – they’ll look a little like Christmas decorations come the festive season. Replenish the food as the birds eat it, reusing the cones.

Loved by:

Seed mixes – adored by tits and finches
Nyjer seed – a must for goldfinches.
Sunflower seeds – a favourite of blue tits
Peanuts – loved by sparrows and woodpeckers