How to Make a DIY Hummingbird Feeder

A colorful hummingbird drinking out of a feeder.

Mr_Jamsey / Getty Images

Overview
  • Working Time: 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 day
  • Yield: 1 hummingbird feeder
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly
  • Estimated Cost: $2

It’s practically impossible not to smile when you see tiny, stunning hummingbirds flitting around your yard, buzzing from flower to flower and sucking up nectar. Despite their small size, hummingbirds are actually voracious eaters—they can eat up to half their body weight each day. Attract these awe-inspiring birds (and keep them around for longer) by adding a simple hummingbird feeder to your yard. After you install one, you’re guaranteed to lose track of time while sitting on the porch and watching them buzz about. 

Making a hummingbird feeder is an easy DIY project that will provide the birds with a spot to rest and drink up to get enough energy to keep those tiny wings flapping all day long. You will just need a few simple supplies to get started, most of which you likely already have on hand. This DIY is kid-friendly, too, so feel free to grab the whole family for a fun craft session. Make several feeders to hang around the yard, or give them as gifts to friends and family

Before You Begin

If you’re using a glass or plastic soda or water bottle for this project, remove the label and any sticky residue. Follow the steps in this tutorial to remove any stubborn glue on your bottle. Then, you’ll be left with a clear container so you can easily see when you need to refill your feeder with nectar.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Wire
  • Drill
  • Hole punch

Materials

  • Empty water or soda bottle with cap
  • Yellow bendy straw
  • Red plastic folder

Instructions

  1. Cut out Flower Shapes

    Cut out two or three flower shapes from your red plastic folder. The flowers should be at least two inches wide—large enough to fit around a straw. The red color will attract hummingbirds and lead them to the feeder. Once the flowers are cut out, punch a hole in the center of each one.

  2. Drill a Hole in the Cap

    Use a handheld drill to drill a hole through the center of the cap of your water or soda bottle, just wide enough for your straw to fit through.

    Warning

    This step isn’t as kid-friendly as the rest of this project. Adults should handle all drilling and do this step at a safe distance from children, as the drilling could cause plastic bits to go flying. For added safety, the person doing the drilling should wear eye protection, and small children may want to wear ear protection.

  3. Attach Straw to Cap and Flower

    Take your bendy straw and insert the long end through the flower and then through the cap. Place the straw so that the cap and flower are both sitting right at the bend of the straw, but make sure the bend of the straw is just outside the cap opening, so that the straw bends as it comes out of the bottle. Glue these pieces into place.

    Tip

    You’ll refill the feeder by removing the bottle cap and pouring nectar inside the bottle. Try not to get glue on the cap so that you can open it in the future when your DIY hummingbird feeder needs a refill.

  4. Wrap Wire Around Bottle

    Wrap wire around your bottle with a loop at the bottom of the bottle while your glue dries. The loop will act as a hanger for the bottle, so you can hang it from a tree branch or a hook on your porch. Once the bottle has nectar in it, it will be heavier, so make sure the wire is wrapped tightly and consider gluing the wire to the bottle if it feels loose.

  5. Allow the Glue to Dry

    Some glue dries more quickly than others. Look at your product’s label to determine drying time, but to be safe, allow the glue to dry overnight before you hang the hummingbird feeder.

  6. Fill With Nectar

    Hummingbirds love to drink nectar, which is essentially just sugar water. Contrary to popular belief, the nectar does not need to be colored. In the past, people have added food coloring to their nectar in an effort to further attract the birds, but this isn't necessary.

    To make nectar that your local hummingbirds will love, mix 1 cup of refined white sugar with 4 cups of water until the sugar dissolves. Fill your bottle with this mixture. Hummingbirds will hover near the straw’s opening and suck out the scrumptious nectar. They may even perch on the bottle or straw to take a much-needed breather.

  7. Hang the Hummingbird Feeder

    Holding the feeder by the loop—so the bottle is upside down, with the cap and straw toward the ground—hang your hummingbird feeder from a branch, hook, or rod.