Growing up on Curacao in the Caribbean, and attending an anthroposophical (Rudolf Steiner inspired) school until the age of 10, I was always outside. My sister and I would play on our beach and swim in the sea after school, collecting shells, crabs or jellyfish, or we would go exploring. During the day, school lessons would also often take place outdoors, learning about nature, examining hermit crabs, learning about the moon and the tides, and we would often make things too – including these orange and grapefruit bird feeders. I hadn’t made one of these since then, about 18 years ago (!), but with winter fast approaching I thought it would be a nice idea to hang up some fatty bird seeds and nuts to keep the birds going through winter, and give them an extra layer to keep them warm!
Unsurprisingly, they’re not exactly difficult to make (I think I was around 7 or 8 years old when I started making these), they are fun to do and look quite pretty too 🙂
You will need:
- Oranges – maybe hold some back when making your next batch of white mulled wine? Old, hard oranges work best, and they’re less of a waste of good pulp and juice, or squeeze out the good oranges to make some orange juice and keep the skins for later.
- Bird feed.
- Scissors or a knife, to poke holes for the string.
1. Halve the oranges, then scoop out the orange pulp or squeeze it out, creating as much space inside the orange halves as possible.
2. Using scissors or a knife, pierce a hole on opposite sides of the orange peel – try to have it as symmetrical as possible, so the holes are exactly at opposite ends, otherwise when you try and hang it up it will hang at an angle and the seeds will fall out!
3. Cut a long piece of string and loop each end through a hole, and tie a knot to secure the string in place.
4. Take the orange halves and the bird seed outside, and start hanging them up! I found the easiest way to do this is by pulling the middle of the string over a branch down into a loop, then passing the orange through the loop.
5. Once the oranges are hanging up, they will be easier to fill with seeds and nuts.
I had some hooks on my fence, leftover from fairy lights and festoon lights during the summer, which were perfect to hang some of these oranges from!