Are you stuck in a rut with your outdoor holiday decorations…resigned to festooning the front door with a wreath and maybe adding a few lights in the windows? Were you too late getting to the store to buy your decorations before they were wiped out of every last ornament? Our talented Designer/Illustrator Megan Tracy created this DIY edible garland and ornament to help you add some fun to your yard without adding waste (take that giant blow-up Santa Claus!). Bonus, you’ll be taking care of the winter wildlife around your home…we love our furry and feathered friends! Whether you want to adorn a tree, shrubs, railings, or a porch, you can create these festive flourishes using foods you may already have around your home. Just be sure that the ingredients you choose are plain, free from additives, and if you’re unsure, check that it’s safe for animals. The only tools you’ll need are twine, scissors and a large embroidery or tapestry needle!

What we used:


  • Oranges
  • Plain, unsalted popcorn
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cranberries
  • Plain pretzels
  • Apples
  • Birdseed (oatmeal is a great alternative)
  • Peanut butter
  • Cheerios, pinecones, and nuts are great additions as well (use shelled peanuts sparingly)
  • String — Hemp Cord, Cotton Twine, Jute Twine, anything that would not cause choking. Avoid fishing line, wire, plastic or wire hooks, paper clips, and anything similar.
  • Scissors
  • Large Tapestry Needle

Orange Bird Feeder Ornament:

  • Orange peels
  • Bird seed
  • Coconut oil
  • String — Hemp Cord, Cotton Twine, Jute Twine, anything that would not cause choking. Avoid fishing line, wire, plastic or wire hooks, paper clips, and anything similar.
  • Scissors
  • Large Tapestry Needle

Garland Instructions

Choose a length of string based on where you will place your garland. Then, thread your needle with the string. Push the needle through your chosen foods, one at a time. There is no wrong way to do this—string together whichever foods you like in whatever order you please.

To create dried orange slices:
To add color and more texture to your garland, add some dried orange slices! Preheat your oven to 200º F and very thinly slice your oranges. Lay those slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or on a baking rack. Put them in the oven for 2-3 hours. Once they’re done and cooled off, string a piece of twine through the slices and add them onto your garland or keep them as a free hanging ornament.

Dried Orange Slices

To create apple bird seed decorations:
Halve an apple and discard the core. Thinly slice the apple and spread peanut butter on one or both sides. Then, in a shallow dish that’s wider than the apple slice, spread out some bird seed. Dip the peanut butter side down into the bird seed and press down until the bird seed sticks to the peanut butter. Then—similar to the orange slice—use your needle and twine to string the apple slice up to add to your garland or use as an individual ornament. You may want to half your apple slice before adding to the garland if using a large apple.

Apple Bird Seed Decoration Ingredients
Apple Bird Seed Decoration

Orange Bird Feeder Ornament Instructions

Individual edible ornaments are also lovely to place around your yard. Orange bird feeders are great for a pop of color and are easy to create.

Orange Bird Feeder Ornament

To start, cut each of your oranges in half. Using a spoon, remove the fruit from the peel without breaking the peel—you should end up with a nice bowl shape. Here’s an awesome hack to easily peel your orange! If you don’t end up snacking on the fruit inside the peel, cut the orange halves into thin slices and use the instructions above to dry them for decorations!

Next you’ll need to melt down some coconut oil—I used about 1 cup of oil to fill six halves. To melt, microwave the oil in a microwave-safe bowl or melt it on the stove top. For stove top melting, spoon the coconut oil into a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Be sure to monitor until it’s melted to make sure it doesn’t burn. Once it is in its liquid form, let it cool for a few minutes before adding some bird seed.

Fill the orange peel halves with the coconut oil and bird seed mixture. Allow to cool completely until the coconut oil hardens. You can place them in the fridge to speed up the process.

After they’ve cooled completely, use your tapestry needle to poke your string through one side of the peel and then through the opposite side. Leaving excess string in the middle so you can hang the orange from a tree branch. Tie a knot on each end of the string on the outside of the orange peel.

Now, go grab your hot cocoa and watch the animals gobble up their new backyard buffet!

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