ClickCease Decorating an Outdoor Edible Tree for the Animals – Wilder Child
Decorating an Outdoor Edible Tree for the Animals

Decorating an Outdoor Edible Tree for the Animals

When my husband and I had our first child, we wanted to create some of our own family traditions around the holidays. This year we made biodegradable, edible ornaments for the animals to eat during the winter. It was so fun, I know we'll do this every year!

Collect Your Materials

Child Collecting Acorns
We started by gathering pinecones from around our property. You can also just use this time to choose the tree you'll be decorating. If you're in an urban environment or don't have trees, you can also use a branch with lots of smaller branches on it. This first time out can also be spent animal watching to get the kids excited about decorating later.

Make Your Ornaments

I collected all of my ingredients the week before, so I wasn't scrambling at the last second. Here are each of the decorations we made with a link to instructions:

Peanut Butter Pinecones My tweaks: I used Organic peanut butter for this (I know, I know but that's how I roll!).

Birdseed Orange Feeders My tweaks: We made these the day before and threw them in the refrigerator.


Birdseed Ornaments My tips: Here are the ornament forms I use. I replaced the corn syrup with honey in this recipe. I've read different views on using honey and gelatin to feed birds. It is incredibly cold here in Michigan, so I have less fear of mold and melting. Also, I use Great Lakes Grass Fed Beef Gelatin. However, if you are nervous about this one just leave it off the list. Or, you can make suet ornaments. Edible Ornaments for Animals and Wildlife

Dehydrated Fruit My tips: Skip the last step where the varnish is applied

Popcorn and Cranberry Garlands These are are quite a pain if the kernels are small, and it's not something you want to do with tiny little hands around. But when we switched to an all cranberry garland things got a lot easier.

It's best not to use fishing line to hang any of these because birds can get tangled in them.

Read The Night Tree by Eve Bunting

This is one of my favorite childhood books, and I couldn't believe how well it fit with this activity.
The night tree childrens book
It's about a family that decorates the same tree in the forest every year. They homemake and hang edible ornaments for the animals and share a cup of hot chocolate under the stars. Even though we didn't decorate at night, this book still set the tone and scene perfectly! You can get it here.

Decorate Your Tree

And now comes the best part - mix up some healthy hot chocolate and get out there! Start with the garland first and then move on to the rest. Don't worry too much about how perfectly the ornaments are hanging. Cora couldn't reach that high, but we just moved a few up before we left.

decorating edible christmas tree for the animals

Create a Closer Observation Point

edible ornaments and outdoor Christmas tree

The only bummer part about our tree was that we couldn't see it from our house. It's great for the animals because they can eat it peace, but we still wanted to see some wildlife eating our ornaments. So we found a branch and stuck it in a pot just outside our sliding glass doors. Then we took a third of the ornaments from the original tree and hung them here. It's the best of both worlds, and it is a great option for those who don't have many trees in their yard. I would love to hear how this works out for you and hear about some of your own family traditions!

Your Woman Gone Wild,


decorating a outdoor tree for the animals

Older Post
Newer Post


  • I use Tahini instead of peanut butter so it won’t trigger any allergies – can’t be too careful…

    Kathy Zadvorny
  • We love this book and make these decorations for the birds also, it’s really lovely. I love all your ideas, and we also use organic peanut butter ‘cos that’s how we roll too haha. I always love looking through your website, it brings such peace to me, thank you.

    Camilla Manson
  • This is what we do all December in my preschool classroom.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Close (esc)


Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now