How to Make a Homemade Butterfly Feeder

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Besides bringing a magical beauty to any garden, butterflies help promote growth by pollinating flowers. You can attract more butterflies to your yard with these DIY butterfly feeders – one made with a plate and one made with a jar – that also serve as attractive garden ornaments. Mother Nature would definitely approve.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

For the Plate Butterfly Feeder

Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic plate
  • 10"-14" wire plate holder
  • String
  • 1/2" metal washer
  • Sponge
  • Silk flowers and leaves
  • Hot glue
  • Glass beads
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Wire

For the Jar Butterfly Feeder

Things You'll Need

  • Glass Jar
  • Nail and hammer
  • String
  • 1/2" metal washer
  • Glass beads
  • Silk flowers
  • Hot glue
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Wire

Warning

  • Be careful not to add too much sugar to the butterfly food mixture. A higher concentration of sugar can dehydrate the butterflies.

Tip

  • If you have problems with ants, apply some petroleum jelly to the rim of the plate or jar to create a barrier they will avoid.

    If you have trouble with wasps, add slices of cucumber to the plate or on top of the jar. Cucumbers are a natural wasp repellant, and can even work with ants.

How to Make a Plate Butterfly Feeder

Step 1

Attach a wire plate holder to the back of an acrylic plate. You can find plate holders at hardware stores, arts and crafts stores, and home decor stores. Cut four pieces of string about 24" long and tie the ends to the prongs gripping the edge of the plate. These four strings will suspend the butterfly feeder on the tree.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2

At random points along the four strings, thread some glass beads and secure them with knots on either side. These beads will help catch the light to attract the butterflies.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3

Take the four strings and tie them together around a 1/2" metal washer. This washer will be used later for hanging the feeder on a tree.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4

Using a hot glue gun, attach brightly colored silk flowers to the strings at various points.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5

Make your own butterfly food by mixing 10 parts water with one part sugar. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves, and allow to cool.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6

In the center of the plate, place a sponge on some silk leaves. Spoon some of the sugar water mixture onto the sponge until it is saturated, but not overflowing. Then hang the butterfly feeder from a tree branch using wire connected to the washer. Check the feeder regularly to make sure there is plenty of sugar water in the sponge.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

How to Make a Jar Butterfly Feeder

Step 1

Thoroughly wash and dry a glass jar and lid, removing the paper label. Using a hammer and nail, puncture a hole in the center of the lid.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2

Cut about a quarter inch from one end of a half-inch thick sponge, and cut that piece in half lengthwise so it is about a quarter inch on all sides. Then trim this piece so the sponge is about one inch long.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3

Insert the one-inch piece of sponge into the hole in the lid so there is a half-inch of sponge on either side. To help squeeze the sponge in the hole, use the nail to push a little bit of the sponge through, and then pull it from the other side. The sponge should be very snug in the hole.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4

Turn the glass jar upside down. Cut two pieces of string that are 48" long. Wrap each string around the base of the jar and tie a double knot. The two knots should be opposite each across. You will now have four ends of string extending from the jar. They are labeled here 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5

Take strings 1B and 2B and tie a double knot about half way up the inverted jar. Do the same with strings 1A and 2A. Try to get the two knots at an even height, on opposite sides of the jar.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6

Then take strings 2A and 2B and tie a double knot at the top of the inverted jar. Do the same with strings 1A and 1B. You have now formed a macrame-style structure to hold the jar securely.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 7

Thread some glass beads on the string to catch light in the garden. Tie the four strings together to a half-inch metal washer. You will use this washer to hang the feeder to a tree branch.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 8

Hot glue some silk flowers to the top of the inverted jar to help attract butterflies. Glue additional flowers at other points on the jar, or along the strings. Fill the jar with the sugar water butterfly food, and seal the lid tightly. When you invert the jar, the sugar water will saturate the end of the sponge sticking through the lid. Then hang the feeder on a tree branch, using wire threaded through the washer.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

More Fun Crafts and DIYs

Don't miss these other crafty Jonathan Fong projects:

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How to Make Gourd Birdhouses

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How to Mosaic a Clay Pot

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DIY projects for around the home.
DIY projects for around the home. (Image: Jonathan Fong)
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