DIYing Your Own Hummingbird Feeder Is Much Easier Than You Thought

If you love watching birds from your window, attracting hummingbirds into your garden will provide you with endless entertainment. While these darling pocket-sized birds may be tiny, they play a major role in our ecosystem as pollinators. And you don't need to complete a pollinator-friendly garden overhaul to attract these tiny creatures (though that is always an option, too). You just need a hummingbird feeder, which you can make out of everyday household objects. We've listed 13 of the best DIY hummingbird feeders that anyone can make with a little know-how. 

All of these homemade hummingbird feeders are winners in our eyes, but there are a few things to keep in mind when you make your own. For one, hummingbirds love the color red, so you should try to incorporate it into your design whenever possible — except in the nectar; keep that au naturale. Make the feeding ports big enough so that the birds can access them but not so large that wasps or bees can make their way in. To protect against pests like ants, you may also want to include an insect guard or ant moat. 

1. Don't throw away that empty peanut butter jar

After you've given that empty peanut butter jar a good scrub, don't just toss it in the recycling. Instead, pierce the plastic lid with a few holes that are just large enough for a hummingbird's beak. You can do this with a knife, nail, or drill, but be cautious of sharp edges so the birds' beaks don't catch while drinking. If the jar itself is plastic, you can puncture the sides to create a hole to hang the chain or rope from. If the pot is glass, consider wrapping a thin rope around the jar's opening and then tightening the lid over top. 

2. Upcycle disposable water bottles

You only need some sturdy twine or fishing line, a nail or a needle, scissors, hot glue, and a couple of extra plastic bottles for this craft. Cut out flower shapes from old plastic containers — they love red but are also drawn to orange, pink, and yellow. Attach the flowers to the base with hot glue. Then, using a needle or small nail, carefully create two to four small holes that go clean through the flowers. You can heat the nail with a lighter for a few seconds to make piercing the plastic a bit easier. Finally, use your rope of choice to tie a secure knot around the neck of the bottle and hang.

3. Feel like a Disney princess with a handheld feeder

Want to feel like Snow White for the day? Create a handheld feeder with a travel-sized shampoo or condiment bottle. For convenience and the best results, try to use one with a red lid. Then, with yellow paint or stickers, create flower petals around the opening. Fill the bottle with hummingbird nectar and find a place in your yard to sit down — make sure it's comfortable, because you will need to sit still for a while in order for this to work. Eventually, a little hummingbird friend should stop in to drink from your mini feeder.

4. Mason jars really can do it all

Mason jars are champion multitaskers. Pickling, canning, and organizing are just a few of their functions. They can also be fashioned into darling rustic-style hummingbird feeders, and you don't need to drill into the glass at all. There are two options here: you can create holes in the thin metal lid with a drill or hammer and nail, or you can cut out a lid of the same size from a plastic binder or cheap cutting board — the latter is easier, and you can choose a fun hummingbird-favorite color to make the feeder more attractive. Create two additional holes in the lid to suspend the rope or chain from. 

5. Make a buffet-style feeder

Dollar stores always have plenty of little jars around, and they can be transformed into a hummingbird perch and feeding station with the help of some plywood. Cut three holes out of your scrap wood that match the size of your containers' bases. You can do this yourself if you have a hole saw, but you might be able to have it done at some home improvement stores as well. Using scissors, a knife, or a drill, puncture holes in the lids that are about a hummingbird beak's size, then assemble. Because the wood is fairly heavy, use a sturdy rope or chain to hang the feeder.

6. Give takeout containers new life

That Tupperware or takeout food container can become today's craft project. You'll also need a plastic water bottle with a cap. To make this feeder, cut a hole in the center of the takeout container's lid that matches the size of the water bottle's opening. Puncture a small hole in the water bottles' cap, then attach the water bottle to the takeout container with hot glue. Next, puncture small feeding holes in the top of the container. This idea provides landing area for hummingbirds to rest while they eat and give those fast-flapping wings a break. Hang the feeder with rope or chains. 

7. Repurpose old spice containers

Old salt and pepper shakers or spice jars may be the easiest hummingbird feeders on this list because these handy inventions already come with pre-drilled holes. Because the smell of the spices may linger and cause the hummingbirds to stay away, be sure to clean out the jar really well with water and soap. Also be sure not to use any shakers that are too delicate to keep the wind and weather from knocking them down. Simply swap the salt, pepper, or spices for hummingbird nectar, then suspend it from a tree branch, place it on a flat surface, or try it out as a handheld feeder.

8. Upcycle a wine bottle and cork

There's no shortage of ways to upcycle empty wine bottles, but here's yet another. You can transform last night's bottle of cab sauv into a feeder by drilling a straw-sized hole into the cork and inserting a glass or metal straw for the hummingbirds to drink from before recorking. This feeder will be hung upside down, which could be done with a sturdy wire. It's also a good idea to dress the bottle up with some faux red flowers because hummingbirds won't be attracted to a deep green glass bottle. With those few easy steps, you'll have a whimsical, one-of-a-kind, hummingbird-friendly yard decoration. 

9. Take advantage of your soy sauce bottle's unique design

Some soy sauce bottles come with a serving lid where you can slowly pour the liquid out to ensure you don't drown your sushi in the sauce. These tiny openings are also perfect for fitting hummingbirds' beaks if you turn the bottle upside down. Just fill the bottle with nectar, then hang it with the lid facing down from a tree branch or on your porch. This is a great option if you don't want to bother drilling or making holes in a new container. As a bonus, these bottles often come with red lids, so you don't have to add this color with paint.

10. Use bottles of all shapes and sizes

Inverted hummingbird feeder tubes, available on Amazon, can transform nearly any bottle into a gorgeous hummingbird feeder. Soda, maple syrup, and whiskey bottles just need to be filled with nectar, plugged with a feeder tube, and hung upside down. If you're working with a bottom-heavy or irregular-shaped bottle, wrapping it with thick metal wire can provide some much-needed stability, and it looks gorgeous to boot! Just grab a coil of wire in a color of your choice at the craft store, and leave enough on the end so you can use that wire to secure the bottle from a branch or bar. 

11. Repurpose tiny sauce containers

How many times have you ordered takeout and received half a dozen mini sauce containers full of condiments you certainly won't use? Instead of tossing them out or storing them in the back of the fridge for the rest of your days, transform them into no-cost hummingbird feeders. This feeder is so tiny that you could even wear it on your hat. Paint the lid an appealing red color, layer a yellow flower on top, then puncture the lid with a nail. Hang them with ease from a planter or porch rail or sit one atop your hat brim — just be sure to secure it safely.

12. Make a large bar feeder with a PVC pipe

This is not a conventional bird feeder, but we love its ability to feed many hummingbirds at once. To make it, you'll need a red-painted PVC pipe and a drill. Only make holes in a row on one side of the pipe (the one you intend to have facing upward) or your nectar will leak out, and use PVC stoppers on both ends. Once you've filled the pipe with nectar, cradle it between two lantern posts or planter hooks in the garden. 

13. Reuse your plastic ice cream tubs

If you're a lover of ice cream, there's good news. That plastic tub that houses that frozen delicacy can also hold hummingbird nectar. And because it has such a wide surface area for the birds to perch on, you don't even need to hang it up. Just cut holes into the lid, fill the container with nectar, and place it on a flat surface. If you choose not to hang your feeder, you may want to fill the bottom portion of the container with concrete or large river stones so it isn't whisked away by the wind. To attract more birds, spray paint the outside a bold red shade.