This homemade hummingbird feeder is the perfect DIY project for the whole family! You can teach kids the importance of recycling, learning about birds and spending time outdoors this summer by building a plastic bottle hummingbird feeder from your recycling bin.
As a kid, I loved spending time at my grandma’s house. Her backyard was filled with hummingbird feeders, and we loved sitting on the porch swing watching them. I always helped her prepare homemade hummingbird nectar (see recipe below).
I am so excited to continue the tradition with my own son this month! We are excited to share a simple craft to recycle plastic water bottles into a hummingbird buffet.
DIY Homemade Plastic Bottle Hummingbird Feeder
- 3 small plastic water bottles, empty and with labels removed
- 3 yellow drinking straws with a bend
- 3 disposable plastic red bowls (you could also use plastic plates)
- Electric drill
- Hole punch
- 12 gauge craft wire
- Rubber band
- White glue
How to Make a Feeder Out of Water Bottles
- Cut out the flat bottom of each bowl, then trace the cap of a bottle onto it. Cut around the traced circle to create a flower shape.
- Use the drill to create a hole in the top of each bottle cap that is just wide enough for a straw to fit through.
- Punch a hole in the center of each red plastic flower and thread each one onto the end of a straw. Insert the straw into the cap of a bottle and seal with white glue. Make sure the bend of the straw is just outside the cap opening so the straw bends at an angle as it comes out of the bottle. This is where the hummingbird will drink from!
- Arrange the flower so it is at the end of the straw’s bend to attract the hummingbirds. Glue in place. (You’ll need to remove the cap to add nectar to the bottles, so keep that in mind as you apply glue!) My son loved applying the glue!
- Allow to dry overnight.
- Once set, wrap the wire around the neck of a bottle, then pull it up to create a hanger for the bottle.
We attached all three of our bottles together in a pyramid shape so to create a buffet to attract lots of hummingbirds! Use the rubber band to go around the top and hold the bottles together.
It is time to fill up the feeders. Let’s make our own hummingbird food.
Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup Extra Fine Granulated Imperial Sugar
Steps for to Make Hummingbird Food
- Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar until it’s dissolved.
- Refrigerate overnight.
How to Fill the Hummingbird Feeder
Add the nectar to each bottle and trim both ends of your straws so that they allow water to flow just inside the straw.
You will need to change out the nectar frequently and keep it clean. It is best to not use red dyes/food coloring in the hummingbird nectar because they could be toxic to the birds and we can use the red plastic flowers to attract the birds to the food.
Hang Your Homemade Hummingbird Feeder
You will want to hang the water bottle feeder about 5 feet above the ground from a tree, post or porch beam. Make sure it is secure.
How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Feeder
Hummingbirds are attracted to red. That is why we created this homemade bottle feeder with the red plastic flowers. If you don’t have the materials to create those, using red ribbons or even red recycled bottle caps can help!
Hummingbirds are also attracted to an environment of foliage where there are trees and shrubs to perch on. Even hummingbirds who seem to be in perpetual motion need to rest.
If you create a bunch of these feeders, space them out around your yard so that each feeder can establish a hummingbird territory. These birds are pretty territorial and will fight…just like kids!
Oh, and if you attract hummingbirds that fall in love with your homemade feeder, they will likely return year after year.
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