Hummingbirds are cute, small, and extremely fast birds that need nectar to survive. They hover in place while they eat, and they love to be around butterfly gardens and fragrant flowers. However, many of the feeders you get in the store are a thin plastic that isn’t built to last, and this sends a lot of people looking at DIY hummingbird feeder plans. There are dozens of simly DIY hummingbird feeder tutorials available, and you can easily make one or two in the span of an afternoon. Once you finish, you can hang them around your yard to attract these tiny birds.
I’ve picked out several great DIY hummingbird feeder tutorials you can follow to create both small and large feeders. I’ll also give you a way to make the nectar your hummingbirds eat to attract them and keep them around, and we’ll go over how to hang and clean them, how to keep bees away, and when you should take them down.
Hummingbirds don’t need huge feeders unless you have swarms of them around. You can set several feeders around your yard to attract them to different spots.
Seven DIY Hummingbird Feeder Tutorials
The type of DIY hummingbird feeder you make depends on where you want to hang it, how much space you do or don’t have, and the odds and ends you have laying around. Depending on the ones you choose, you could easily make these DIY hummingbird feeders for nothing.
DIY Hummingbird Feeder One – Mason Jar
For this simple DIY hummingbird feeder, you’ll need a four-ounce mason jar, pen, red plastic office folder, hole punch, scissors, and a hanging mason jar lid. The first thing you have to do is remove the original lid and band on your mason jar to repurpose it. Using a red folder will help attract the hummingbirds to your feeder. Hold the original lid down on your red plastic folder and trace a circle around it. Get your scissors and carefully cut it out before using the hole punch to punch four equally-spaced holes in the center of the lid. In the very center, you’ll screw a small eye hook and use a nut to secure it. This is where you’ll attach your chain to hang it.
You can buy or make your nectar at this stage, but it’ll have to be 100% cool before you add it to your mason jar. Once it cools, pour it in your jar. Put your red plastic insert in the lid and screw the new lid onto the jar. Take your filled feeder outside and carefully hang it from a shepherd’s hook or on a sturdy branch and watch the hummingbirds come in.
DIY Hummingbird Feeder Two – Coffee Canister
If you have an old coffee canister that you want to upcycle into something useful, it makes a larger DIY hummingbird feeder. All you’ll need is the plastic coffee canister, a hole punch, twine, x-acto knife, and nectar. Start by punching two holes across from each other on the side of the canister. These holes are where you’ll thread your twine through to hang it. Make sure your canister is clean and dry. Cut your twine to your desired length, thread it through the holes, and tie it off. You should have a loop to go around a branch or hook.
Take your x-acto knife and cut two holes in the top portion of the wall. Don’t cut them down too far because the nectar will spill out. Buy or make your nectar and let it cool. While it’s cooling down, hang up your feeder. Carefully pour your nectar into the coffee canister until it reaches right below the holes you cut. It’s now ready for your hummingbirds to come through.
Hummingbirds are attracted to bright, bold colors like red, so creating a feeder that uses these colors will help the birds hone in on them.
DIY Hummingbird Feeder Three – Mini PVC Pipe
This cute DIY hummingbird feeder utilizes sections of PVC pipe, some bright tape or paint, a drill, fake flowers, and some copper wire with a hanger. Take your PVC pipe and wrap it in your brightly-colored tape or paint each action with non-toxic paint. Set it aside and wait for it to dry. Cap off the ends, making sure you can remove one cap to fill it with nectar. Drill a few holes along one side of the PVC pipe. Take your fake flowers and place them around the hole. If you can use red, do it because this will attract the hummingbirds.
Wrap wire around the PVC pipe and attach it to the hanger. The holes should face up so the nectar doesn’t all run out. Fill the PVC pipe with nectar, cap off the end to hold it in, and go hang it out. Since this is a mini PVC pipe, you’ll want to check it every few days and make sure you don’t have to add more nectar. Also, check the holes and unplug them as needed.
DIY Hummingbird Feeder Four – Juice Bottle
This is a simple but durable DIY hummingbird feeder that uses an old juice bottle, a cap from cooking spray, paint, scissors, glue gun, craft felt, sandpaper, drill, small eye hook, and twine. You want to start by cutting away the middle of the screw cap for the juice bottle. Take your x-acto knife and cut down your cooking spray cap until it’s around two-inches high. Hold your smaller cap above the larger one and glue it in place. You want to create glue bridges with gaps in between them. These gaps are where your hummingbird will stick their beak to eat.
Peel the label away from your juice bottle before getting your sandpaper and gently sanding it all over. This will rough up the plastic and make it easier for the non-toxic paint to stick to it. Paint your juice bottle red and leave it to dry. While this is drying, get your craft felt and cut out a few colorful flowers. When everything dries, gently screw the lid with the larger lid glued on to your juice bottle. Drive the eye hook into the bottom of the bottle and hang it. Glue your felt flowers around the cap. You’re now ready to fill it and hang it out.
A simple glass or plastic juice bottle allows you to make feeders in several sizes and shapes to tempt more birds into your yard.
DIY Hummingbird Feeder Five – Salt Shaker
This is a small but very quick DIY hummingbird feeder that is a perfect craft for your kid’s sleepovers. All you’ll need is homemade nectar, a few salt shakers, drill, red pipe cleaners, and wire or twine. Wash out the salt shakers and let them dry. While they’re drying take the cap and drill several small holes in it. This is where the hummingbird will get at the nectar.
Take your pipe cleaners and twist them into the shape of flower petals. You want to loop them all around the outside of the salt shaker by the opening for the birds to eat. You should be able to twist them and they’ll hold onto the container without glue, but a dab of hot glue isn’t a bad thing. Wrap your twine or string through one of the pipe cleaners, fill the salt shaker with nectar, and go hang it on a sturdy branch.
DIY Hummingbird Feeder Six – Powerade Bottle and Tupperware
You can easily turn an old powerade bottle with tupperware into a DIY hummingbird feeder with this quick tutorial. You’ll need an empty and clean powerade bottle, a square, shallow tupperware container, x-acto knife, thin rope, and hummingbird food. Take the lid for the powerade bottle and trace around it in the center of the tupperware lid using the lidless end as a guide. Carefully cut this circle out of the lid. You’ll want to fit the tupperware lid back on the powerade bottle and the powerade’s cap will screw in to lock it into place between them.
Cut a small hole in the powerade bottle’s lid for the nectar to fit through, and cut four small holes in the tupperware lid, one in each corner. Put the powerade bottle through the hole in the tupperware lid and screw the cap on to trap it in place. Wrap your twine around the bottle, fill it with nectar, and hang it. You could also set it on your porch railing.
A piece of tupperware creates a saucer-style feeder that hummingbirds have no problem using but it’s difficult for insects to get inside.
DIY Hummingbird Feeder Seven – Tiny Window Model
This very small DIY hummingbird feeder uses test tubes, but you attach it straight to your window. This can bring the hummingbirds right up close and personal. You’ll want to clean your windows before attempting to attach it to ensure it stays. You’ll need a few test tubes, copper wire, suction cups, glue, nectar, and felt to cut your flowers out of.
To start, clean out your test tube and set it aside. Get your suction cup and wire. Create a small holder for your test tube in the wire, and attach the other end to the suction cup. Cut out one or two felt flowers for each test tube. These will go around the opening to entice the birds over. Slide your test tube into your wire holder, attach the suction cup to the window, and fill the test tube with nectar. Since this is so small, you will have to fill and check it everyday or every other day, depending on how many hummingbirds you have around.
Four DIY Hummingbird Feeder Kits
If you’re not crafty or you just don’t have the time to make a DIY hummingbird feeder, you can easily buy complete kits that come with everything you need. All you have to do is fill them, screw them together, and hang them out.
1. Antique Bottle Glass Hummingbird Feeder
This charming DIY hummingbird feeder kit comes in three colors, and it uses an old-fashioned bottle that has designs in the glass to make it look very attractive. You get four red, flower-shaped feeding ports that will attract the hummingbirds when you hang it by your hot tub enclosure. The brushed nickel base adds to the aged look and feel while being very durable, and the base easily separates from the glass to make it quick and easy to clean. This product will hold up to 10-ounces of nectar per fill, and this is more than enough to feed multiple hummers for a few days.
2. Hand Blown Glass Hummingbird Feeder
This beautiful DIY hummingbird feeder features vibrant colors to help attract the birds with a unique shape. Since it’s hand-blown glass, no two feeders look exactly the same. They use a very thick and sturdy glass to form the feeder that will withstand wear and tear very well. There are five feeder ports with a leak-proof rubber ring that makes cleanup a breeze, and there are rounded perches around the outside of the feeder to give your hummers somewhere to rust as they eat. It has a solid base that screws tightly into the feeder to stop wasting nectar.
3. BOLITE 18016-P Hummingbird Feeder
This DIY hummingbird feeder kit features a netted textured ball shaped design that makes it an excellent yard decoration to hang by your privacy screen. The rounded perch invites the birds to rest as they drink, and there is a wide-mouth opening with a two-part base that makes it easy to clean and fill this feeder. The metal hanger makes putting it up quick and easy, and there are red flowers by the feeding ports. The lavender color stands out against almost any background, and the glass is slightly thicker to make it less prone to cracking or breaking.
4. REZIPO Hummingbird Feeder with Perch
Rezipo’s DIY hummingbird feeder kit comes with one glass feeder, one ant moat, a metal hook, a small brush to clean it, and a cotton lanyard. The clear glass design makes it easy to see when it’s time to fill or clean it, and it has a wide mouth reservoir with a two-part base that makes it easy to wash. The brushed copper glass with the swirls of bright colors will attract the hummingbirds to it, and it has a sealing ring to help prevent leaking. The metal bottom is very sturdy, and it has a secure hook attachment.
How to Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird Feeder
No matter if you buy or build your DIY hummingbird feeder, ants can present a large problem. Since you can’t spray an ant killer on or around your DIY hummingbird feeder, you have to get creative to trap the ants before they get to the nectar. However, there are a few things you can try, including:
- Fishing Line – Ants have difficulty climbing fishing lines, so you could hang your DIY hummingbird feeder with fishing line. Hang your feeder somewhere in dappled shade. Many flying insects don’t like shade, ants can’t climb fishing line, and the sugar in the nectar won’t ferment as quickly.
- And Moats – A lot of hummingbird feeders come with ant moats, but they only work if you fill them with water. You can easily make one by attaching a small bottle cap filled with water to the line above the body of the feeder. The ants will drown in the water before they make it across to scale the rest of the way down.
- Saucer Feeders – Saucer feeders are very easy to fill without accidentally spilling the nectar, and they don’t leak. This minimizes the sweet smell while keeping the nectar out of the bug’s reach, and hummingbirds can easily reach their food.
Ants can be a huge problem if your feeder leaks because they’ll be attracted to the sugar water. They can drown in the liquid and clog the feeding stations.
How to Clean Hummingbird Feeder
You want to clean your DIY hummingbird feeder at least once or twice a week. The first thing you have to do is take it down and empty it. Get rid of any nectar that is left over. Carefully take apart every piece of your hummingbird feeder, including the feeding spouts if they come off. Be careful of bees during this part. Allow your hummingbird feeder to soak in a mild detergent and hot water for 10 to 20 minutes. Having a deep stainless steel sink comes in handy for submerging larger feeders.
Take a few minutes and scrub away any nectar residue, paying close attention to the feeding areas. Take a brush and scrub the inside of the reservoir as well as the outside, and make sure you remove any mold or mildew growth. Start the cold water and rinse your DIY hummingbird feeder thoroughly. You don’t want any soap residue. Let the feeder and components air dry before you fill them, put them back together, and hang them back outside.
Where to Hang Hummingbird Feeder
While you may be tempted to hang your hummingbird feeder in a bright and sunny spot in direct sunlight, this can encourage the sugar to go bad. It also attracts bees and other flying insects that can scare the hummingbirds off. For the best results, try to find a decently shaded spot not too far from your home so you can observe the hummers as they come into your yard to eat. Many flying insects don’t like shade, so they’ll steer clear.
You can set up a shepherd’s hook under your maple trees or under your pergola and attach the hummingbird feeder to it. Another option is to attach it to a sturdy branch somewhere in your yard. Wherever you choose to hang it, make sure it has a secure attachment point that won’t break away. Not only is this dangerous for anyone around it, but the feeder can break in the fall.
How to Keep Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeder
One bad thing about DIY hummingbird feeders is that bees love them. Since the nectar is basically sugar and water, bees find it irresistible and it’s not unusual to see them swarming around the feeding ports. However, there are a few things you can do to ward the bees away, including:
- Choose Saucer Feeders – The longer saucer feeders make it very difficult or impossible for bees or ants to reach the nectar. However, hummingbirds have long beaks that are perfectly suited for reaching inside.
- Add Nectar Guards – Nectar guards are small plastic pieces that slip over the feeding stations on DIY hummingbird feeders. They block bees and yellow jackets while allowing enough room for the hummingbirds to eat.
- Move the Feeders – Moving the feeders three or four feet away every week or so from their original location will cause most insects to lose interest. However, the hummingbirds will still be able to zero in on it.
- Put up Fake Wasp Nests – Wasps are very territorial, and they normally won’t invade another’s territory, especially if there are nests. Get rid of any real wasp nests and hang fake ones up by your hummingbird feeder.
- Plant Bee-Friendly Flowers – Plant nectar-rich flowers around your DIY hummingbird feeder to give the bees something else to feed on. Flowers like bee balm, trumpet vine, gardenias, and impatiens are all excellent choices.
Bees compete with the hummingbirds for food, and they can prevent the birds from eating. This is why it’s important to take steps to bee-proof your feeder.
When Should You Take Your Hummingbird Feeder Down?
You don’t want to tempt the hummingbirds to stay around and get off their migration course, so you have to know when it’s the right time to take your DIY hummingbird feeders down. Keep them clean and well stocked through the early fall months to give the birds energy. Remove your feeders at the first sign of frost. If you’re not sure, you can keep it up until it freezes for the first time, but this can crack the reservoir.
When you’re ready to take it down for the first time, dump out any remaining nectar. Take the feeder inside and take it apart. Soak it in a mild detergent with hot water. Scrub any leftover residue because it’ll mold if you don’t get rid of it. Let them air dry before putting them back together and storing them until the spring.
How to Make Nectar for Your DIY Hummingbird Feeder
Nectar is very important, and it’s very simple to make. You can also buy it in the stores, but why would you waste money when you can make it in bulk? If you’ve just fit out a new kitchen, make use of it with this simple and quick recipe. You’ll need:
- Storage Container
- Four Cups Filtered Water
- One Cup Organic White Sugar
To start, get your pan on the stove and fill it with your four cups of filtered water. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Slowly add your sugar and stir it in. You want to stir it until it dissolves, and this should take 5 to 10 minutes. Switch off the heat and let the sugar water cool completely. Fill your DIY hummingbird feeders and store the excess in a cool, dry space in an airtight container. Never add red dye to your hummingbird food because it can be toxic for the birds.
These DIY hummingbird feeders make it easy to upcycle things around your home and create something you can hang around your yard. They’re easy to make and maintain, and you can decorate or customize them however you like. Make a few, feed the hummingbirds, and enjoy these small but fast additions to your yard or home.