Let’s make a DIY butterfly feeder and fill it with an easy butterfly food recipe that can be hung from a tree branch in your backyard to attract beautiful butterflies. Kids of all ages will love this easy butterfly feeder project and it is a great way to upcycle your overripe fruit!
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DIY Butterfly Feeders
Our yard doesn’t have many butterflies right now and I am going to change that with this butterfly food recipe & homemade butterfly feeder.
Related: Make a hummingbird feeder
Making a DIY butterfly feeder is a great way to attract more butterflies to your yard in an inexpensive and homemade way! Many of us have bird feeders, but not a lot of us have an easy butterfly feeder.
What to feed Butterflies
Often butterfly food is a sugar solution, but our butterfly food recipe is more than just a sugar solution utilizing other ingredients you have in your kitchen.
The cool part is, it isn’t just a butterfly water feeder or sugar water that we are adding to our butterfly feeder. We are making a specific butterfly food recipe butterflies love. This butterfly feeder and homemade food combination is a sure way to attract local butterflies and all their bright colors to your yard. It’ll almost look like a butterfly garden it’ll attract so many.
How to Make a Butterfly Food
See how to make a DIY butterfly feeder below from hanging sponges and let’s gather the ingredients you will need so you have exactly what you need to put into a butterfly feeder.
Butterfly Food Recipe Supplies & Ingredients
- 1 pound Sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
- 1 or 2 cans stale beer
- 3 mashed, overripe bananas*
- 1 cup of molasses or syrup
- 1 cup of fruit juice
- 1 shot of rum
*Use overripe fruit, not rotten fruit. There is a difference. Overripe bananas are like the brown bananas you would use for banana bread. An easy way to tell if your fruit is bad is if it is liquid, smelly, or moldy.
How to Make Sugar Water To Feed Butterflies
Mash the bananas using a fork.
In the large bowl, mix all the ingredients well. If you find that your bananas are lumpy, continue to stir with a large spoon until smooth.
Note: Do not let your little one taste this. The bananas, sugar, and syrup may be appealing, but adult supervision is required if your little one is helping.
How to Make a Butterfly Feeder
The simple butterfly feeder is made with just two supplies which makes it really easy to answer the question, How to feed butterflies?!
Supplies Needed to Make DIY Butterfly Feeder
Steps to Make a Butterfly Feeder
Take each sponge and cut a small hole in one end toward the top in the middle using the sharp end of the scissors to poke through the sponge.
Tie twine or string through the hole and secure.
Leave a long end of the sting/twine so you can use it to hang from a tree branch.
Now let’s make the butterfly food recipe (a printable version is below)…
How to Feed Butterflies with Your Feeder & Food
–>I recommend doing this step outside so the butterfly food mixture doesn’t drip in your home!
Step 1 – Add Butterfly Nectar to Sponge
Dip the sponges into the mixture and allow the sponges to soak up the mixture. I did one side of the sponge then flipped it over so it was entirely coated.
Step 2 – Hang DIY Butterfly Feeder in Tree Branch
Then hang the sponges from a tree limb or tree branch. The vibrant colors of this fun little project will also make your tree more colorful! A welcome addition of color I think.
Plus hanging it up high on a tree branch is a safe place away from pets and children. This homemade nectar is for butterflies after all.
How to Feed Butterflies Without a Feeder
You can also paint the butterfly food mixture on trees, fence posts, rocks, or stumps. Choose places that butterflies might land or be attracted to. Butterflies especially like the color yellow.
Butterfly Food FAQ
Yes! In fact the traditional homemade nectar of sugar water can be used for both hummingbirds and butterflies. Hummingbirds prefer red and bright warm colors. Butterflies are attracted by brighter yellows. Hummingbirds will eat more and need larger feeder areas.
Butterflies generally drink nectar which is liquid and sweet. Finding things that mimic that combination will usually attract butterflies to eat. Fruit juice, sugar water or water sweetened with syrup or honey are all things that are similar to the natural food of butterflies.
Yes, in fact sugar water is a very common butterfly food. It needs to be diluted and most butterfly food recipes call for a 10-15% sugar water dilution.
A butterfly feeder that contains liquid can be filled with a sugar water solution, fruit juice or even clear liquids like gatorade.
We think it is our homemade butterfly food recipe with all sorts of sweet and unexpected goodness!
- 1 pound Sugar
- 1-2 cans stale beer
- 3 mashed, overripe bananas
- 1 cup molasses, honey or syrup
- 1 cup fruit juice
- 1 shot rum
- Twine or string
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- Mash the overripe bananas with a fork.
- Combine all the ingredients in the large mixing bowl.
- Stir until the mixture is as smooth as possible.
- At the end of each of the sponges poke a hole with the end of the scissors.
- Thread the twine or string through the hole in the sponge and tie a knot leaving enough string or twine length to use for hanging.
- Dip the sponges into the mixture allowing them to soak up the liquid either dunking it or rotating to all sponge sides. This step is best done outside to decrease your kitchen mess!
- Hang the sponges from a tree limb, fence or post.
- You can paint the extra butterfly food mixture onto trees, fences, rocks and stumps.
More Feeders to Make for Your Backyard
- Make a homemade hummingbird feeder with homemade hummingbird nectar recipe
- Make a pine cone bird feeder
- Make a toilet paper roll bird feeder
- Make a fruit garland bird feeder
- I think we all need a picnic table for a squirrel feeder
More Butterfly Fun from Kids Activities Blog
- Make a colorful butterfly suncatcher craft
- Color this rainbow butterfly coloring page
- Color these butterfly coloring pages
- Color this zentangle butterfly and flower coloring page
- Color this zentangle butterfly and heart coloring page
- Follow along on how to make a butterfly out of paper
- Easy, no-mess butterfly sandwich bag craft works great for younger kids
- Make these simple butterfly snack bags
- Make this butterfly glass art
- Make butterfly collage art
Tell us about whether your new homemade butterfly feeder attracted butterflies!