Building a Hummingbird Feeder

A female ruby-throated hummingbird image by Maria Corcacas/


Hummingbirds are not only interesting to watch but also help control insects in your garden. A hummingbird feeder full of artificial nectar is the best way to get the little birds to visit you. While commercial feeders are available, it is simple and much less expensive to make your own feeder out of recycled materials. Be creative when making your feeder so it does not just attract the hummers but also is an attractive addition to your garden decor.

Step 1

Soak a plastic drink bottle in warm water. Remove the label and rinse thoroughly.

Step 2

Poke a hole in the side of the bottle 1 inch up from the bottom of the bottle. Use a nail or the tip of a pair of scissors to make the hole.

Step 3

Cut a 3-inch length from a drinking straw. Push the straw into the hole so it angles up from the bottom of the bottle. Glue the straw in place with waterproof glue and let it dry.

Step 4

Cut a 4-inch diameter flower from red craft foam. Poke a hole in the center and slip it over the straw, gluing the flower to the bottle.

Step 5

Decorate the bottle as you wish, leaving enough of it clear so you can check the nectar level and make sure there is no mold growing.

Step 6

Fill the bottle with nectar and then place the cap on the top. Tie a string around the neck of the bottle to hang it from a tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check the nectar daily for cloudiness or mold growth. Rinse with diluted bleach water and replace nectar to avoid sickening the birds.

Things You'll Need

  • Bottle
  • Scissors
  • Drinking straw
  • Glue
  • Craft foam
  • String


  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Oregon State University Extension
Keywords: hummingbird feeder, handmade nectar feeder, hummingbird sugar water

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo by: Maria Corcacas/