Forget buying expensive, decorative sugar-water feeders. Now you can make your own homemade hummingbird feeder for just a few bucks using a recycled bottle and copper accents, one that is a decorative addition to any backyard. You’ll be amazed at how fun and easy it is to make this one-of-a-kind craft idea. You’ll be attracting hummingbirds to this feeder before you know it!
- 5 feet of 4-gauge untreated copper wire
- 3 to 5 feet of 12-gauge untreated copper wire
- Beads or other decorations
- D ring or carabiner
- Screw eye
- Needle-nose pliers
- Wire cutter
- Hummingbird feeding tube - Find these at bird supply stores and online. If you can't find a local supplier, try doing a web search for "hummingbird feeding tubes" to find a source.
- Glass Bottle (Note: Glass bottles larger than 375 ml are heavy and more prone to leakage. Thus, they are not recommended for this project. Above all, the bottle must provide a tight fit for the stopper portion of the feeding tube you buy. Anything less than an airtight fit will allow the nectar to drip from the feeding tube. Many soda and water bottles are a good fit for a commercial tube feeder assembly. Be sure to test the seal before you complete your design and add sugar water.)
File the ends of the copper wires so there are no sharp edges.
Take the 4-gauge wire and bend it at one of the ends to form a small circle. This should fit loosely over the opening of the bottle.
Insert the bottle in the circle, and make one more loop around the neck to hold it securely.
With the neck of the bottle securely in the two loops, wind the rest of the wire around the bottle. This is where you have a little freedom to create your own design. The wire should be loose enough to easily remove the bottle for refilling the sugar water, but tight enough to hold the feeder securely.
Bend the last 18 inches or so of wire upward to make a hanging hook and then fashion a loop at the very end to secure it, as shown.
Next, decorate your feeder using the 12-gauge copper wire. Use needle-nose pliers and wire cutters to shape the wire as needed. Here's a design tip: To create the look of curling vines, wrap the wire around a pencil first and then attach it in pieces.
Use colorful beads or other adornments to complete your design. Remember, hummingbirds love red, so it's a great accent color.
Remove the bottle and fill it with sugar water. Then take your store-bought feeding tube and gently twist the stopper into place at the opening of the bottle. It should fit snugly to avoid leaking.
After you fill it with sugar water, place the bottle back into the copper holder. You might have to shake the bottle a little to dislodge any air bubbles. If it leaks, remove the feeding tube and try repositioning the stopper to get a more snug fit.
Ready to put your feeder to work? Make sure it hangs securely by hooking the feeder onto a snap ring or carabiner. Then put the ring through a screw eye and hang the entire feeder in the desired location.