Anyone can add an artisan’s touch to their landscape with this easy to make project… plus you get hummingbirds! You will need only 3 materials and some basic tools for the project (you likely have these around the house). The bottle or bottles can be sourced on Amazon, I recommend a nice bright color like red which hummingbirds are attracted to. Ask restaurants if they have any empty vintage or artisan bottles (they’re free if you can find some). Also, stores with a housewares department will stock nice high-end looking olive oil dispensers. You may also look for liquor or liqueur bottles with similar sized openings. The corks with tubes that go into the bottle opening should work just as well as wine bottles. I’ll leave links to everything I mention and and a helpful video at the bottom of this article.
- A used or empty wine bottle(s)
- Copper (recommended), aluminum, or galvanized steel wire thin enough to bend with pliers but strong enough to hold a full bottle at the same time. (If uncertain, go with the thicker guage wire).
- A hummingbird feeder bottle adapter
- Hummingbird ‘friendly’ nectar, see info-graphic below
After we have our materials, we will need to hang the wine bottle upside down in some way. There are thousands of ways you can do this and allot of examples of crafty wine bottle hummingbird feeders can be found on Etsy if you need more inspiration. They sell allot of these things if doing it yourself is not of interest to you. For our demonstration I will show you the easiest and fastest way I have found to make a wine bottle hummingbird feeder which is to wrap copper wire around the bottle, looping around the neck at the bottom end and making a hook up at the top end. This is where our tools will come in handy…
- Household pliers
- Straight-nose pliers
- A hand-held pair of vise grips would also be helpful
Here’s a Tip:
Use garden S-hooks made for hanging baskets to hang your feeders instead of using all copper. This way the bottle can blow in the breeze with minimal bending of the soft copper wire, eliminating weak points where it could eventually break.
First, wrap the copper wire around the neck of the bottle at least 3 times. Then, holding the neck with the wire wrapped around it, start to wrap the wire down the rest of the bottle in a spiral fashion, making enough spiral rings around the bottle to firmly hold it. You can use some temporary electrical tape to hold the wire to the bottle for the next step. Now all there is to do is to make a hook at the bottle’s “bottom end”, which will be at the top when you fill and turn the bottle upside-down.
You can place the bottle anywhere you could hang a plant… along a fence (with a plant extention hanger), an overhang, trellis, under an arbor, etc.
Before filling your bottle with nectar clean the inside of the bottle thoroughly (see cleaning below). Be sure to fill the bottle all the way to the top rim of the bottle. Push the tube and adapter into the bottle in a twisting motion. Some nectar will overflow and come out of the tube but this will keep air out of the adapter and tube, then your feeder is ready to go!
Hummingbird Feeders Require Routine Cleaning Every 4 or 5 days.
This is especially true in warm sunny weather. Check your feeder daily for ants or mold. Feeders made of glass and plastic should be cleaned with a vinegar solution. Use a bottle brush to clean debris and rinse with warm water.
Resources for Materials:
Empty wine bottles can be found at restaurants and on Amazon. Also, artisan olive oil dispenser bottles from stores usually work, make sure the stopper/opening on the bottle is about the same size as a wine bottle;
Copper wire can be sourced at local hardware stores and craft stores;
Garden S-hooks are sold at any good hardware or garden center;
For even more ideas how to use old wine bottles visit our Pinterest board full of images on this subject.
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