Feeding the Birds: Yarn-Wrapped Suet Cake Tutorial

homemade yarn wrapped suet feeder (1 of 2)Make homemade suet cakesCheck out these recipes for one that you like:

Wrap them with yarn. Give a kid some tangled stash yarn or ribbon, a pair of scissors, and some stash beads and a plastic needle for threading if they’re feeling ambitious. Let the kiddo wrap and tie and tangle and twist the yarn all around the suet cake. This is a fun job for most kids, because on the one hand, wrapping yarn around the suet cake is easy, but on the other hand, as your kid will discover the first time that they try to pick the suet cake up using their yarn, it’s deceptively challenging to wrap the cake in such a way that it will stay put and support the suet.

Let your kiddo wrap up the suet cake for as long as she wishes–more yarn will support the suet cake longer as the birds eat it up, and it will give the birds more footholds.

Tie off and hang. Double-check any knots the kiddo made, then finish tying off the yarn wrap, leaving a long loop for hanging. Suet is a little melty because of the fat content, so hang your yarn-wrapped suet cake somewhere sheltered–we have ours under an eave of our front porch, where we can watch birds eat from it through our front windows.

The first time we did this project, I was worried that without a feeder with a ledge for birds to stand on, they wouldn’t be able to perch and eat from our suet cake. The birds seem to do fine, however, either perching on top of the cake or gripping the yarn around the sides in a feat of acrobatics that makes watching them even more entertaining. Perhaps we’re only feeding the smart or especially acrobatic birds that way, but there are still plenty of takers. The only downside that I’ve discovered is that the birds don’t seem to like using any of our hanging feeders during windy weather, so if you get a lot of wind, you might consider crafting a mounted suet feeder instead.

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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  1. While I think this idea looks cute and I applaud your interest in birds and helping them, this is a very unsafe bird feeder. Birds can get tangled in yarn and especially when suet gets soft on a warm day, the yarn will end up hanging in long loose strings. Young birds learning how to feed and cling are especially vulnerable.

    It is already recommended that if you put yarn out for nesting material that it be no longer than six inches because birds can get tangled.. Please revise or remove this feeder.

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